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Dreams abound at Presidio Graduate School.

Early in the Spring 2021 semester, Presidio Graduate School’s current cohorts of MBA and MPA students were asked to complete a “Dream Job” survey as part of the MBA curriculum review process. The survey asked three questions:

  1. Do you have a dream job?
  2. What types of organizations would you like to work for?
  3. What field(s) would you like to focus on in your work?

Many of our Presidians share aligned values and worldviews, and are here to learn the skills they need to make the world a better place. Whether it’s through the public or private sector, there are many avenues and pathways to creating careers that lead to change. The sustainability field encompasses a spectrum of professions and lends itself to many job possibilities. Our direct feedback from students on their dream jobs reflects this wide array of job opportunities and interests. 

Upon reviewing the survey results, the phrases that come to mind when thinking of my peers include trailblazers, non-conformists, emergent strategists, visionaries, and pioneers. We chose our school based on values and a hope for reimagining a brighter future for our planet and society.

PGS students expressed a desire to work across the spectrum of environmental and social justice, sustainability, and climate action. Out of 60 student responses, the breakdown of organization type, role type, and specific field interests were varied and can be seen in the graphs below.

Fig. 1: Ambitious Role Types

Dream jobs include such roles as consultant, entrepreneur, corporate sustainability practitioner, marketing manager, and nonprofit leader. Some set their sights high, citing specific leadership titles such as Chief Sustainability Officer, CEO, Board Director, and Founder. As our alumni can attest, there is much need for each of these roles in the sustainability space and opportunity for impact at all levels. 

Fig. 2: Varied Organization Types

Our student responses regarding target organization type were as varied as our student body. Specifically, 24 students expressed interest in working in a startup environment, with many specifying clean tech or green tech startups. Several students shared hopes to work for corporations, either in sustainability or diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) roles, social impact teams, or in impact marketing functions. Other respondents said they want to work for nonprofit organizations, governments, smaller private sector companies, cooperatives, and educational institutions. 

Interests spanned the spectrum of the sustainability field

The survey revealed wide interests in sustainability field jobs, and Presidians want to work in food systems, agriculture, energy equity, corporate social responsibility, gender-lens investing, green tech, sustainable fashion—and everything in between. A significant portion of the responses reflect our students’ specific interests in working inclusively at the nexus of environmental and social justice efforts. Some of the specific responses we received for field focus included climate action, corporate climate strategy, climate venture capital, renewable energy, water, circular economy, policy, zero waste, conservation, sustainable finance, clean beauty, water, transportation, and ESG reporting. 

Woven through each student’s dream is a common thread: the desire to build a regenerative economy and facilitate an equitable, just transition to a low-carbon economy and sustainable future for our planet. Whether it’s achieved through using biomimicry principles for design planning, or influencing a board of directors to invest in a corporate ESG strategy, our students will be well equipped to apply their knowledge and skills gained in the classroom at PGS.

It is clear that, while our students come from various backgrounds, the Presidio Graduate School student body does not fit one particular persona; rather, it consists of dreamers and doers, social justice warriors, community activists, business practitioners, and changemakers. Our students have dreams of making impact and systems-level change across all manner of institutions in our present society, in differing fields and positions. PGS aims to equip students with the soft and hard skills and knowledge they need in order to create the change they wish to see in the world. It’s hard to sum up people’s dreams into survey responses, let alone a blog post, though I’ve tried to do justice to encapsulate these ambitious hopes of our student body. I’m humbled and honored to be in the midst of my remarkable and dedicated peers and optimistic about a future with Presidian leaders advocating for change.

Ready to join talented students like Alexa and become a Presidian? There’s no better time than now to make a change—for yourself and for the world. Learn more about our MBA, MPA, Dual Degree, and Certificate programs, and then start a conversation with us!

About the Author / Alexa Basse

Alexa is currently pursuing an MBA in Sustainable Solutions at Presidio Graduate School, while also working as a Sustainability Reporting and Research Assistant for the Academic Dean. She has worked with Fortune 500 companies and nonprofits in tech go-to-market strategy and marketing. She has also supported companies in building social impact and sustainability strategies and corporate ESG reporting efforts. She is an adventure seeker, nature and travel enthusiast, a certified Kripalu yoga instructor, and is passionate about creating impact at the intersection of business, society, and the planet.

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