Energizing My Career

by James Landi, MBA ‘15 (7/21/14)

James Landi, MBA ‘15

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Climate Corps offers a set of critical challenges that require creative thinking relevant to an MBA education.

My interest in Climate Corps began while applying to business school. In my pre-MBA career I had the opportunity to serve as the sustainability officer at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and to co-chair the Colleges' Climate and Energy Committee. In that role I facilitated energy project scoping and simple payback analysis for physical plant energy efficiency upgrades.

While this was an incredible learning experience and helped me confirm my passion for sustainability, I always felt as though I lacked proper training to take the Colleges’ energy initiatives to the next level. I looked to Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Climate Corps to complement my education from the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management’s core curriculum and its Sustainable Global Enterprise (SGE) Immersion program, and to round out my skillset by developing practical business solutions for mitigating climate change. EDF has helped me accomplish those goals.

The training and work experience I have received as an EDF Climate Corps Fellow has allowed me to dig into energy efficiency and greenhouse gas mitigation project analysis with real granularity. This deep dive into building efficiency technologies has resulted in more complex financial and environmental return on investment (ROI) analysis. Moreover, the work has given me a better perspective on broader market dynamics, and allowed me to apply my MBA education to a set of critical challenges that have required me to think creatively to find appropriate solutions.  

I have now had the opportunity to apply operations skills alongside frameworks I recently learned in marketing and strategy courses. These, of course, have all been complimented by financial analysis. The integrated learning aspect of my Climate Corps experience has been hugely rewarding!

Climate Corps training and the cohort of 117 fellows have been fantastic and a perfect fit for me. Ultimately, EDF has helped me move closer to my goal of building a career in the field of energy efficiency.