Amy JacksFull-Time MBA Associate, Sustainability at JBG SMITH
“My Questrom experience helped to validate my belief and passion that both nonprofit and for-profit companies can differentiate themselves through investing in business strategies with an environmental and social impact.
While working for a nonprofit focused on creating communities with affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents, Amy Jacks discovered her career calling.
Amy’s responsibilities included reviewing hundreds of housing project applications seeking Enterprise Green Communities Certification, a holistic green building standard available to buildings with affordable units. She realized energy efficiency and sustainability could align nicely with business objectives—as long as companies knew how to combine them.
“I narrowed my MBA search to focus on programs with strong course offerings in sustainability, the impact of business on the environment, and energy. I wanted a firm understanding of how to build a case for a company to integrate sustainability and energy efficiency into its business strategy,” says Amy, who received her undergraduate degree in Politics and French at Bates College. Questrom’s energy and environmental sustainability concentration (EES) ultimately led Amy to BU. Through classroom work, capstone projects and an internship, Amy has shaped her degree to her interests, delving into finance, strategy, accounting, marketing and organizational behavior as they related to environmentalism.
Amy particularly enjoyed her capstone project, “Foundation in Environmental Sustainability,” in Professor Kira Fabrizio’s class. Students were asked to propose a solution for a problem facing a company participating in the Carbon Disclosure Project. “We were challenged to consider what a company must think about when developing a sustainability strategy for a specific issue or more broadly,” says Amy. “This project brought together the core functional areas of business and challenged us to make the business case for environmental sustainability.”
Her internship as an Environmental Defense Fund 2017 Climate Corps Fellow at Boston Properties involved identifying energy efficiency investments for the company, with an emphasis on lighting, HVAC, and energy storage systems. Amy’s findings were provided to the executive leadership team to inform capital planning decisions. “The experience helped to validate my post-graduation career goals: My belief and passion that both nonprofit and for-profit companies can differentiate themselves through investing in business strategies with an environmental and social impact,” she says. As such, her post-graduation ambitions include teaching companies how to incorporate energy efficiency and sustainability into their strategic plans.