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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

Jiya Hai

 

With a persistent interest in the intersection between politics and business, I hope to pursue a dual degree with Honors Political Science and go on to study public policy. Although I study at Ivey, I’ve also continued writing and editing with organizations including Western’s student-run think tank and the school’s international relations journal. Beyond the classroom, I try to explore business as a dynamic, positive tool for change. I joined Ivey’s Social Impact Club as a section representative upon entering the HBA program, and have been fortunate enough to meet many like-minded members of the Ivey community and beyond. 

 

What is your personal definition of sustainability?

My personal definition of sustainability is a quality of society that indicates people can live and business can function in ways that do not irrevocably harm themselves or their environment, or else in ways that actively protect themselves and their environment. I believe that today’s climate — natural and sociopolitical — makes it so that businesses cannot compete without an understanding of their impact on communities and the environment. Having studied them, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals also strongly impact my definition of sustainability and give myself and my peers a framework for approaching sustainability in the world.

 

What role do you see sustainability playing in your professional career?

Admittedly, I am unsure of exactly where I want to go career-wise and am thus open to several possibilities. Currently, I see sustainability potentially playing a core role in cases where I work for an impact-focused non-profit organization, or in social impact investing or consulting. I am also interested in public sector consulting, and liaising between firms and broader society within their social impact/other relevant arms.

However, I can better visualize myself pursuing academic research on businesses, governments, and other entities for the purpose of helping solve common problems. To that end, I would also be interested in working in the public sector — whether municipally, provincially, or federally — and applying my sustainability learnings. The topic would also play a role in my career as I would actively seek out fellow professionals whose work tackles relevant environmental or socioeconomic issues in direct or indirect manners.

Prior to or near the beginning of my career, I see myself learning even more about sustainability and how sustainable solutions can be built into different facets of business and life through graduate school.

 

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?

Although I have not been engaged with sustainability-focused projects this year, I have been indirectly involved through social impact. The key projects in question have been Ivey Social Impact Club’s (SIC) annual conference and the Impact Consulting Project (ICP). As a Section Representative for Section 4, I’ve been responsible for promoting SIC’s events and social impact as a key career and life consideration to more than 70 of my peers. I have also assisted the club’s Vice President of Finance, soliciting sponsorships for the annual conference from local businesses and impact-oriented organizations. After this year’s conference, I wrote an article for Ivey News using my own notes and those of my fellow section representatives. For ICP, myself and three other HBA1s will be completing a 5-week consulting project for The Walrus Lab, a branch of The Walrus looking to identify potential clients for their fact-checking service.

A driving reason I have for applying to the Sustainability Certificate is the opportunity to engage with sustainability-focused projects.

Jiya Hai

Jiya Hai