Skip to Main Content

The person I am today–someone who places a significant importance on developing strong relationships and connecting with others–was influenced by growing up a first-generation Canadian. Before I spoke English, I learned both Russian and French, and was exposed to a variety of cultures early on in life. This exposure made me fall in love with the power of human connection and is part of my impact story today. Coming to Ivey has inspired me to leverage my past skills and experiences in social impact, developed business acumen, and leave a mark on the world through the sustainability realm.

What is your personal definition of sustainability?

To me, sustainability, at its core, is a human capital matter which has vast benefits if rooted in people. As the triple bottom line includes people, I believe sustainability is about taking care of people, both internal and external to an organization. If the well-being and livelihood of employees and all other stakeholders are key priorities of a firm, a firm, in committing to these ideals, can unlock endless untapped value through its operations and activities. From there, it can and should leave a positive imprint on communities, the environment, and society at large.

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

Given my interest in sustainability and social impact, I am eager to have these as a part of my professional development journey. While many companies are committing to sustainable business practices as part of a broader ESG movement in the corporate world, I hope I can find a way to leave an impact even in an entry-level position. One thing I can do is, in my job search, look for firms that emphasize sustainable operations, take good care of their workforce, and are involved in genuine society-improving and-empowering initiatives. Working for a firm that aligns with my values in this sense is a personal goal as I enter the workforce. Beyond this, I would like to pursue a career that allows me to use my knowledge of business, law–as I am hoping to complete the Ivey Law Dual Degree–, and sustainability. A couple careers I have considered are sustainability consultant and environmental lawyer. Wherever my career takes me, I hope to continue challenging myself and those around me, as well as the companies I work for, to always strive to maximize our positive impact on the world around us.

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?

I have been involved in a social impact project with Pathways to Education, an organization that works with school boards to provide extracurricular learning and mentorship opportunities for marginalized youth living in high crime areas in the GTA. At Pathways I was part of a team that collected resources for these students, be it learning materials, food, or sports equipment. Our goal was to fill the gap in resources, programing and supported provided to these youth by the public school system due to limited funding available to these areas. This was an incredibly rewarding and eye-opening experience which further cemented in me an appreciation for the value of education and youth empowerment. As well, with the Ivey Social Impact Club, I am an HBA1 Representative. Firstly, I am part of a team that puts out blog posts educating students about business and sustainability. I have personally written apiece on market failure and sustainability. I am also involved in the club’s first-ever Impact Report which will serve to communicate to the club’s members and clients the work being done and what value we are adding to the Western and broader London community in the sustainability and social impact space.

Sean Parkanski

Sean  Parkanski

Connect with Ivey Business School