Sustainability: A Passion That I Never Knew Existed

by Aubree Halusic

As a young adult trying to discover my best interests within life, I came to the MBA-SBP program with the desire to be a better student, learner, friend, and positively motivated individual in the business world – little did I know that I would find such a passion for a sustainable environment!  The semesters thus far have really embodied the sustainability aspect as we learn about renewable energy, sustainable investing, the social cost of carbon, and various sustainability models that provide great insight into business operations.

My Weeks Before the Program
Right before the program started, I took some time to visit my sister in the dry, sunny state of Arizona. We planned a day trip to Sedona to hike one of the most popular trails that goes up to the mountains. I always loved outdoor activities, even though heights aren’t my favorite thing. However, when I got to the top, I understood why it was so popular! The views were absolutely stunning, and it was quite literally a breath of fresh air to overlook some of the most beautiful sights of nature. Because this was a couple of weeks before the program was starting, and right before the Coronavirus hit, I thought of the great importance of contributing to the life of the environment so that sights like Sedona can be sustained. On my trip back down the mountain, I was even more excited to start the MBA-SBP to learn about this concept called “sustainability” and how it can be integrated to something I love, like business, to help the world stay as healthy as Sedona is.

The Zoom Experience
This learning experience has been quite different than my undergraduate times. As a people person, starting out on Zoom was very difficult to navigate and extremely unlike the walk to Rockwell Hall in previous years. Originally, I thought virtual learning was going to be terrible; however, it proved me wrong! It is much different being able to have your coffee pot right next to you during class, seeing cats walk across the computer screen and hear dogs bark in the background, and complete an entire semester by using technology. Sustainability connects very well with technology – we even had an entire course on the endless possibilities within sustainable technology which contributed even more to my sustainability and business interests. These uncertain times we are all experiencing throughout the world did not stop the 2020-2021 MBA-SBP cohort from becoming closer with each other over time, even if that meant it was on Zoom, which in itself will always be a very memorable experience for me!

The Program
This program, even over Zoom, has allowed me to put into perspective not only the importance of cross-functionalities in business, but the great significance of dedicating our best selves to making a cleaner environment. The summer semester taught me that accounting is not really my worst enemy, that I actually enjoy putting finances together in an Excel spreadsheet, and consulting projects are extremely hard work, but the outcome is so fun and worth it! The fall semester continued to expand upon all things business while including an interesting sustainability models course and of course, a really great consulting project. One thing I truly love is that there is always something new and exciting to learn every single day. Most importantly, I have found that my most enjoyable topic is sustainability and more specifically, how it positively relates to all areas of business.

My Reflections – Let’s Be the Change the World Desperately Needs
As I begin my final semester, I have reflected back on my time in the program since May and can confidently say that I have progressed in school, the friendships I have made within the cohort, and the important lesson that every day is a chance to learn something new. There are numerous ways (large and small) that we, as individuals, can contribute to making a healthier Earth for our future leaders and the generations to come. I believe we can in fact be the change we wish to see in the world.