Student Spotlight: Jacob Christensen

Tell us about yourself.
Hello! I am from Colorado Springs, CO where I’ve lived for the last 20 years. I graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in Geography and Environmental studies. After graduation, I stepped into a management role at an Oregon-based coffee shop company called Dutch Bros, where I was for a total of 7 years. During that time, I started a small clothing brand dedicated to sustainably sourcing material and working to create a circular model of production/consumption. Since starting that small operation, I have been increasingly interested in sustainable business models which led me to Duquesne. I have a wide range of career interests, chiefly among them would to work in the clothing industry or create my own design/consultation firm.

If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning a medal for?
It would probably have to be the sport of catching stuff that has been knocked from its place on a table or a counter. My catch rate has to be above 90% and in my mind that must put me into the top performance percentile, globally.

What skill would you like to master?
I would love to master graphic design/illustration. A lot of my business is centered around graphic design and I currently have a competent understanding. However, I would love to feel like I had the full complement of skills so I could fully translate what’s in my head into real life.

What are you most looking forward to in the next 10 years?
Honestly, I am looking forward to sustainability gaining a stronger foothold in all arenas. It seems like the conversation is growing, more businesses are adopting more sustainable business models, and a lot of countries have large environmental initiative deadlines looming so it may put more pressure on the market to make the necessary large scale changes. Being a part of that change is really exciting.

Where is the most interesting place you’ve been?
The most interesting place I have ever been would have to be Afghanistan. I was there in a non-military capacity in 2010 and it was my first trip overseas. As such, the juxtaposition in cultures was incredibly striking. The area has so much beauty within the place and its people, and you would have to work to find a more distinctly different place from the U.S. The tribal culture and the grit of the people has been protecting that area for thousands of years, and that spirit lives on to this day.

Who inspires you to be better?
I know this sounds very corny, but it would have to be my wife. She is the kindest human I have ever come across and she has the courage to look at things in herself she doesn’t like and work on them to be better. She loves people so well and can meet any human and make feel at home within a few minutes. It all makes me want to be a better version of myself. It’s truly inspiring.