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I’m currently an HBA1 student that originally came from Toronto, Ontario. I’m someone who continuously seeks to achieve balance in terms of academics, extra-curriculars, and social relationships. My personal expectations and standards for my lifestyle have ultimately led to my journey here at Ivey. During my free time, I enjoy reading, travelling and volunteering. These hobbies have perpetuated my interest in social impact and sustainability as they broadened my perspective. It also helped me grow into an individual who searches for new opportunities to learn. 

What is your personal definition of sustainability?

I define sustainability as an emphasis on creating positive impact and having a future-oriented purpose. Too often, short-term goals are achieved at the expense of long-term considerations which is a practice I am firmly against. I believe that understanding these adverse impacts and actively implementing change is what defines sustainability. It encompasses more than just the impact on our planet, but also includes our community, our society, and our economy. I see this as a movement that requires businesses and people to finally taking ownership over their actions and committing to a better future.  

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

As someone who values sustainability, I have always searched for a cohesion between my passion for social impact and my professional career goal as a consultant. I am especially interested in the area of pro-bono consulting services for businesses that align with my social values. I hope the expertise I develop from my profession will enable me to help more companies that take bold steps to drive positive impact. 

Additionally, I plan on incorporating sustainability into my career by taking a more holistic approach in my decision-making processes. Whether it’s during early recruitment phases or after landing a job, I plan on considering aspects beyond pure economic factors. I am against the notion that there’s a clear-cut tradeoff between financial gains and societal impact so I will always strive to find innovation alternatives. Therefore, in the near future, I envision myself working at a company that aligns with my views on sustainability while changing businesses to make more sustainable decisions. I recognize that in order to create long-lasting change, there needs to be a voice in corporate offices that addresses these topics and I’m striving to become one of them.  

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in? 

This year, in pursuit of my sustainability interests, I’ve joined the Impact Consulting Project. Along with three other Ivey students, we were tasked to help Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) find a solution to standardize their donation processes. YOU is a registered charity that aims to support local youth and provide them with basic resources. I personally felt connected to this organization’s mission, so it was an honor to partake in this pro-bono project. This experience was a great way to better understand consulting while helping a local charity improve the community.  

I have also been involved in many volunteering experiences that highlight my passion for sustainability. For example, I am part of London Public Library’s R.E.A.D. Program where I dedicate a few hours each week to help a struggling reader. Despite my contributions appearing to have limited impact, I can observe how my participation greatly influences my assigned R.E.A.D. partner. However incremental, I am proud of the success I achieved by inspiring a child to love reading. I acknowledge the value of these community programs which motivates me to continue pursuing a career in sustainability

Melody Kuo

Melody Kuo