Pursuing My Passion for Animals

by Luna Guo, MBA ‘17

Luna Guo, MBA ‘17

What does SGE have to do with marketing and animals? A lot, as it turns out.

When I first decided to quit my job as a businessanalyst and pursue my MBA, I had a very clear direction I wanted to go in:marketing, and something related to my one true love—animals. I was crazy. Noone had to explicitly tell me, for me to know that. After all, the greatesttrouble with finding a job related to animals is that animals don’t pay you.

I chose Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School ofManagement, because I knew that despite the fact that “business” was a wordthat often evoked images of greedy CEOs, I wanted to be a part of a greatergoal of making the world a better place. I knew that Johnson had the SustainableGlobal Enterprise (SGE) Immersion and Center for Sustainable Global Enterprisewhich helps people like me realize those dreams. There, I found a family oflike-minded individuals, a cohort of future leaders who were passionate aboutbusiness as a way to advance solutions to some of the toughest problems in theworld. It was within the SGE Immersion that I had some of the most profoundconversations, and it was within the SGE Immersion that I worked hands-on witha team of my peers to tackle a real sustainability problem facing a company.

These experiences influenced me and followed me to myinternship this summer in brand management at Mars Petcare. In fact, on thefirst day of my internship, I sat in on a major presentation around trends in thenatural pet food category and I raised a question regarding how the word“natural” was being defined in this space. I knew the word “natural” withregards to food does not have the same strict regulatory parameters as“organic” because of the project I worked on during the SGE Immersion.

Luna's Dog

As my summer has progressed, I have increasinglyrealized the extent to which my classes and immersion have helped me on thejob. When thinking about how to strategically place the brand I’m working on inthe years to follow, I can’t help but reflect back on the frameworks discussed inclass or the hours our SGE Immersion team spent brainstorming solutions to ourcompany’s problem. I know that these experiences impacted me significantly andthat they will continue to inspire me in the years to come.

Marketing? Check. Animals? Check. SGE? Definitelycheck.

Oh, and extra bonus: Dog-friendly office means my pup,Roxi, gets to chill in the office, too (see picture). Next step is to get herto pay me.