Studying Business and working in Sustainability; how can you combine that?

I have wondered about this and other questions since I’ve become aware of climate change and how its effects have risen the past semesters in university. As a new team member and student assistant of the Climate-KIC Accelerator of Germany, Switzerland and Austria I want to introduce myself and show why you should strive for your visions.

Past

John Strelecky The Big Five for LifeFirst of all, growing up in a small town at the German seaside I have always been connected to nature. After living in 3 major European cities: London, Berlin and Madrid, slowly my lovely picture of a “good world” has vanished. Once you live with so many people squeezed in one place you can realize their huge impact on the environment. However, when studying classical business administration, you don’t necessarily get to think about how to make a sustainable impact. While other students around me strived for big consultancy agencies and global players, I started asking myself what I want to achieve with my degree. One day, I read a book by John P. Strelecky: “The Big Five for Life”. The book describes how you can position yourself in work and at home based on your purpose in life. If you are reading this now, definitely put the book on your list! My result after reading was clear: as one of the first generations who will suffer because of the climate change and being the last ones who can change it, I clearly want to dedicate my future job to sustainability.

Present

Here we are! 3 months after reading the book and defining what I actually want with my business administration background, I am now working in the Climate-KIC DACH Accelerator team. Climate-KIC accelerates innovative start-ups and supports them with expertise, financial support and an extensive relevant international network. When I told my mum about the position, she would call it the “Shark Tank” or “Höhle der Löwen” for innovative start-ups. You can definitely compare it with that and should consider this great accelerator if you are in the beginning-phase of your business.

Future

With my work at Climate-KIC, I am excited to see start-ups developing, building awareness and working towards one aim: making the planet a bit better. It’s like supply and demand. All individuals together make up a great purchasing power and every single one of us can change and contribute. Climate-KIC shows that entrepreneurship and sustainability is possible and has many positive examples. Alumni’s like Emmy (electronic scooters sharing) or Sirplus (supermarket for saved groceries) have demonstrated this. In the current batch, Leaftech has established a cloud-based and highly cost-efficient sensor technology for windows in smart buildings. Cirplus operates as an online marketplace for the trading of recycled plastics. These are only a few great start-ups and yours is yet to be part of it! The next Call for Applications opens on 17th June 2019 and if you are considering applying, I can promise that Climate-KIC offers not only great support but also gives a fantastic environment to work on your business idea!

 

Author: Anje Kluth, EIT Climate-KIC

 
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