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Growing up in an outdoors-loving family, I often spent weekends exploring nearby trails and parks. I love camping, hiking, paddle boarding, and skiing. I am always eager to challenge myself in developing fresh perspectives and embarking on new adventures. Coming from an Economics background before entering the HBA program at Ivey, I am passionate about exploring the intersection of finance and sustainability, particularly socially responsible investing.

What is your personal definition of sustainability? 

To me, sustainability was never confined to environmental conservation. Instead, it is multifaceted and ever-evolving. At its core, sustainability is practices that support long-term growth. This growth can be of a person, company, economy, nation, or the world, causing sustainability to vary in scale and elements incorporated; some may require social and environmental, while others may rely on economic and human. In the end ,it is to ensure that the resources used to reach current objectives aren't overutilized to a stage where it compromises future goals.

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

Given my aspirations to pursue a career in finance, I hope sustainable practices become a norm when I make investment decisions. More than ever, non-financial factors are becoming more prevalent as investors become more socially conscious. I envision ESG (environment, social, and governance) will become foundational factors when analyzing investment opportunities. With the knowledge developed through the Sustainability Certificate, I hope to offer a new perspective to current strategies and innovate new sustainable investing approaches. Additionally, I wish to continue exploring the relationship between ESG considerations and the impact on companies to evaluate future investment opportunities and risks better.

Further in the future, I hope to take on roles in organizations to spearhead their trajectory towards ESG compliant practices and ensure sustainability becomes an integral part of their long-term vision. I hope, in whatever form it may take, I can positively contribute in my professional career to creating a more equitable society where firms equally prioritize sustainability and maximization of shareholder value.

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?

I was initially exposed to sustainability initiatives in high school, where I organized many initiatives for clubs, including Me to We to Tree and Habitat for Humanity. Seeing the impact I was creating in my community and the difference it had on my growth, I was inspired to continue broadening this passion during University. At Western, I have been an active member and representative for UNICEF Western and Habitat for Humanity Western. Our team fundraised and campaigned for many prominent societal issues throughout the year.

In my professional career, I was fortunate to receive the opportunity to intern at Diversio. I got to assist in projects that contributed to the development of an artificial intelligence engine that analyzes an organization's diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and suggests solutions for areas of improvement. Additionally, working as an analyst at a search fund last summer, I was exposed to sustainability within our investment criteria. Our team would carefully analyze and account for ESG factors when screening industries and companies.

All in all, I am eager to further engage in larger-scale sustainability projects in my community and professional career.

Jieru Yang

Jieru Yang

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