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As a third culture kid, growing up in Brazil, I saw the first-hand wealth and poverty discrepancy. Since then, I have always been curious to see how as an individual, I can help create change even if that change is small. I have always had a passion for geography and during my second year of university, I took a variety of geography courses to better my understanding on how different countries pursue sustainability needs. I am excited to keep broadening my knowledge of sustainability and prepare myself for the business world to see how companies and employees can work together to help create initiatives to spark change in the world.  

What is your personal definition of sustainability?

I believe sustainability is an interaction and mixture of the environment, economic and social aspects to create a better working world. All three aspects of sustainability have to be present and active in our generation to help preserve and change the world to be better for future generations. Although environmental sustainability is important, I realize the need to focus on the social and economic aspects of sustainability since it is the least defined and understood and in which the business industry plays a huge role in.  

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

Organizations have become a huge role-model and player for the world and while choosing an organization to associate with, I want to ensure that I find one that aligns its sustainability values with mine. Social sustainability should be a critical part of any business because it affects the quality of a business relationships with others and its stakeholders. With large corporations becoming the leader of this generation, we want to ensure that they are leading by example. Large corporations should be creating programs that align with sustainable practices to better improve the lives of people and improving the environment to help combat climate change. Although I am still unsure on the work I want to do after Ivey, I know that I want to work for an organization that creates positive impact globally as well as allow individuals to have autonomy to create initiatives for change. I want to be able to help create a sustainable impact during my career whether that be environmentally, economically or socially.  

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?

Although I have yet to be directly engaged in sustainability projects, I am actively looking for new opportunities to broaden my knowledge and make an impact. As a current Human Resource coordinator at Enactus, I have seen the impact at Enactus and its focus on engaging the next generation and using their entrepreneurial mindset to create a better and more sustainable world. Being the HR coordinator, I look and recruit for like-minded people who share a passion to make sustainable changes in the world and have individual values that align with Enactus’ mission.  

In addition, I had the opportunity to be able to scuba dive in Semporna. This trip made me realize the need to sustain and preserve our environment for future generations and the animals. As the population becomes increasingly larger, I want to ensure that we maintain the environment for our animals to thrive and hope that future generations are able to experience the same beauty as I was. Whether that be reducing plastic waste or creating educational campaigns, I am excited to keep exploring the opportunities there is to be part of sustainable projects.

Jennifer Qu

Jennifer Qu