Shelley Raymond, MBA '12in Sustainability
AUNE Inspires Sustainability Champions
AUNE: What brought you to the MBA in Sustainability at Antioch University New England?
Shelley: I was looking for a program where I could expand on my environmental science education and learn new skills to use in the workforce. I was drawn to sustainable business naturally, because it combines environmental awareness with the practicality of business. I was also drawn to the program because of the international component and the opportunity to study sustainability abroad.
AUNE: What did you find valuable and why?
Shelley: I found it very valuable to go through the program as a cohort. The diversity of our group made it an even broader learning experience, with a variety of perspectives and ideas. As someone who was freshly out of my undergrad career, I loved the opportunity to learn in a class with folks who had full careers already.
Sustainability is such a new and ever-changing field, and we were all learning most of it for the first time together, regardless of our years of experience. Sustainability flattens the learning playing field, and we all started out rookies but ended up sustainability champions in the end.
AUNE: How were you challenged by this program? How did you respond to the challenge, and what have you learned or how have you grown professionally and/or personally as a result?
Shelley: The program is very self-directed, and I was challenged to keep pushing myself to go beyond what was assigned and continue to learn through other parts of my life. I decided to get an internship during my first year in the program to gain some experience while being in school, and take what I was learning at Antioch and apply it outside of class. This internship was an important piece of my time at Antioch, and provided me with valuable skills and experience I used not only in class, but also to help boost my resume and get a job after graduation.
AUNE: What are you doing now professionally?
Shelley: I work for an environmental nonprofit, specifically a regional land trust north of Boston called Essex County Greenbelt. I am the operations manager and am responsible for many of the daily aspects of running the office, like financials, human resources, and administration.
AUNE: How has your learning in the MBA been valuable to you professionally and/or personally?
Shelley: Personally, I grew a lot during the program. As one of the youngest in my cohort, I had a wealth of experience and knowledge to draw from in my fellow cohort-mates. I think being in class with seventeen other people who are different from me in many ways was beneficial and expanded my perspectives on sustainability. Since everyone had a different background, we all had different views on sustainability, and that made class conversations interesting. I was pushed to think in ways I hadn't before about what sustainability means to other people. Professionally, the program gave me new skills to expand on my science background and apply to the business world.
AUNE: Please describe a specific situation in which you drew on some aspect(s) of your learning from the MBA program.
Shelley: I've used the skills gained in the Teams course often through work, as I've been responsible for leading several meetings. The team dynamic component of this class has helped me see the stages of team development and be able to adapt my facilitation skills to the group. Also, the presentation skills I gained through various group and individual projects have been valuable in several work situations as well.
AUNE: What would you like prospective students to know about the MBA in Sustainability?
Shelley: You can get out of the program whatever you want to, and you really do get what you put in. There's plenty of flexibility that allows you to not only learn broadly, but also focus in on your specific interests. The people you meet, staff and students, are all amazing, and you will learn so much from them. The program promotes both academic and personal accomplishments that make you a better sustainability advocate.