Interviewed December 2006
Betsy is a currently a second-year MBA student at UNC Kenan-Flagler. She worked as a marketing intern last summer for the consumer healthcare division of GlaxoSmithKline. In addition to being an active participant in the school's Net Impact chapter, Betsy also serves as the president of the Carolina Women in Business and the chair of "The House that Kenan-Flagler Built," the school's partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Orange County to build a single-family home.
After graduating from Loyola University of Chicago with a BA in Communications and Sociology, Betsy worked as a non-profit fundraising consultant for Community Counselling Service, Inc., an organization that helped manage multi-million dollar fundraising campaigns for global clients such as Habitat for Humanity International and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. She then continued to pursue her passion to assist organizations with social missions by working for Habitat for Humanity International.
Then, knowing that she would be able to make a more significant impact on her community and in promoting the social issues she cared about if she had more business skills, Betsy chose to return to school for an MBA. Her decision to attend UNC Kenan-Flagler was due, in large part, to the sustainable enterprise program. Her primary reason for returning to school was to balance her understanding of how to manage social issues with how to manage environmental and financial considerations as well. In seeking a more balanced triple-bottom line education, Betsy credits success of Kenan-Flagler students in sustainable enterprise to the quality of the professors and the opportunities to apply sustainable ideas through real-world experiences, such as practicum projects and case competitions.
When asked which skills gained in the MBA program she imagines will be most valuable to her in her future career, Betsy stated, "I believe that sustainability will be a competitive advantage for businesses in the near future, and my ability to make a compelling case for sustainability from a business perspective will allow me to make an impact at any organization."
She sees that sustainability will become the differentiator for companies in the future, specifically, "it will influence a company's ability to generate profits, attract top talent, and create an effective business model." That being the case, those companies will be looking for Betsy and her peers. Upon graduation in 2007, Betsy plans to pursue a career in brand management or general management where she can implement sustainability concepts and affect positive change.
Nominee for Sustainability Superstar:
I think Bank of America is a leader in sustainable business because it is a banking leader that has the ability to influence other like-minded companies. If Bank of America makes a compelling business case for sustainability, it will be a very powerful story.