Sustainability Campus Conversations Highlights

The Sustainability Campus Conversations took place yesterday. We decided to highlight the career paths of two of our panelists, and to share their advice.

Diane Richardson is an undergraduate advisor and internship coordinator with the Geography Department here at SDSU.

SDSU CS: What is your academic background?

Bachelor of Arts, SDSU, Master of Arts, SDSU.

SDSU CS: Did you complete an internship during college?

Yes, I completed two internships and they both led to jobs.

SDSU CS: Please give us a brief explanation of your personal work journey.

Internships, to jobs. I worked at the National Park Service and Environmental compliance consulting and management prior to SDSU.

SDSU CS: What is one piece of advice you would want current SDSU students to know about being an intern?

It is an extremely important experience.  It allows you to explore a field that you think you may be interested in, it provides excellent networking opportunities, it provides experience in professionalism, and it gives you important experience that you can use in future job searches.

SDSU CS: What is one piece of advice you want current students to know about being in the Sustainability industry?

I don’t believe that Sustainability is an “industry” per se.  Rather, it is a concept that promotes careful management of our resources and a high quality of life for all people; there are many industries that practice this concept.  This opens up what many people believe could be “sustainability industries”: any company or agency that manages natural resources so that they are conserved (or “sustained”) and/or promotes social/economic justice.  Thus, public agencies (such as the National Park Service, city governments), or utilities (such as SDGE, San Diego County Water Authority), or private companies (such as Helix Environmental, CH2M Hill), and institutions (such as SDSU), could all be considered “sustainability industries”.

SDSU CS: What is one thing you wish you knew about the Sustainability industry before you entered it?

That, in reality, compromise will often be necessary in order to move forward with sustainability. For instance, when considering a development proposal that will build homes on existing open space, perhaps one might want to see the open space preserved and no homes built, but the local policies allow residential development, and people need homes.  So, the solution is to protect valid open space on the site, open space that connects with adjacent open space, while concentrating development in less sensitive areas that connect with (hopefully) transit systems.  That is a compromise – the development occurs, and the habitats are protected while affording the population adjacent healthy open space that contributes to their health, as well.


Tyrone Hatch is a District Sales Manager at Ecolab and agreed to share his experience transitioning from student to employee and his five years working for Ecolab.

SDSU CS: As an employer of SDSU interns and/or alumni, can you tell us:

What are the strengths of SDSU interns/graduates?  Self-starters, ability to adapt to changing customer concerns, passion for the safety of the environment.

What benefit do you get from employing them? Energetic driven individuals in local markets help our global company deliver on its promises.

What keeps you hiring SDSU interns/graduates?  I hire college graduates from all over the country.  San Diego is one of the most prestigious and sought after areas of employment.  Many of the SDSU graduates are looking to stay in the local market and I am looking for the best to represent Ecolab in San Diego.

SDSU CS: What is your academic background?

BS in Marketing Management from the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University.

SDSU CS: Did you complete an internship during college?

I served a two year evangelical mission in India.  Those two years were instrumental in my understanding of the importance for professionalism in the workplace, leadership development, training, team building, perseverance, and intense study.  I see my service as an extended internship that broadened my network and helped me secure employment post-graduation.

SDSU CS: Please give me a brief explanation of your personal work journey.

I was hired out of college to be a Hospitality Territory Manager in Orange County CA. I worked in this position for three years.  I earned accolades as three time budget achievement, Territory Manager of the Year, and was asked to train new associates and lead them through the 90 day on-boarding process.  I was then promoted to be a Street Sales Development Manager.  In this position I was solely responsible for finding and brining on new business for the company and transition the daily responsibilities to an account manager.  I worked in this role for 6 months.  I was then promoted to District Sales Manager 18 months ago.  In this capacity I hire, train, and lead a group of 13 individuals and am responsible for over $8 Million in annual sales.

SDSU CS: What is one piece of advice you would want current SDSU students to know about being an intern?

Build your network.  Ask questions about how those you interact with got to their positions.  Shadow those people who have responsibilities that you would enjoy. Volunteer for all that you can.

SDSU CS: What is one piece of advice you want current students to know about being in the Sustainability industry?

Your impact can be recognized in your daily actions.  Sustainability is not about one big initiative but about making small incremental changes every day to help your customers make sustainable decisions.

SDSU CS: What is one thing you wish you knew about the Sustainability industry before you entered it?

I never knew how many companies you could be involved with that contribute to worldwide sustainability.

SDSU CS: Would you like to share any additional comments with us?

In 2011, I was part of an Ecolab market test of a breakthrough water and energy savings platform for one of the largest global hotel chains: Marriott Hotels.  This market test saved 30 market test locations 45% on their water and energy usage in their laundries!  In just a few months, Ecolab’s technology saved Marriott hotels millions of gallons of water annually.  This program has now been rolled out nationally and will soon be rolled out internationally as well.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s