“The Economist Sustainability Week was the highlight of my Master’s experience” 

From March 29 to March 31, IÉSEG sponsored one of the most important events dedicated to sustainability, “The Economist Sustainability Week”, that attracted more than 1,000 representatives from businesses, policymakers, financiers, investors, NGOs… All came to exchange and share their good practices to empower businesses to accelerate action on sustainability. IÉSEG students from the Master in Management for Sustainability had the great opportunity to attend the event with their professors. Jonathan OON, one of them, talks about this unique experience and what it brought to him. 

“My classmates and I spent a week in London, with the first days focused on visiting companies and meeting their top management, like Uniqlo and Alfasights, as well as the French Chamber of Great Britain. These meetings gave us an exclusive inside view into what they are doing, what their priorities are, and potential positions they will be hiring for. It was great to visit them.

The second part of the week was focused on attending The Economist Sustainability Week, and we chose the different sessions we wanted to attend. I specifically went to the circular economy and to the food sustainability keynote presentations, which really enriched my learning experience by allowing me to learn about what companies are doing right now about some of the things we are studying.

I am currently going through job interviews and what keeps coming up in those interviews are companies asking “How do you stay on top of what’s going on in the market?”, “What do you think some of the key trends are?”, or “What do you think companies are most concerned about particularly?”. So, being able to answer “I just went to the Economist Sustainability Week in London, met with sustainability managers and saw presentations from many large global brands, and the most topics subjects were …” really helps you stand out as a candidate. I think it puts you in the same level of advancement as people in the industry.

When studying sustainability, it can be overwhelming trying to master business, policy and numerous fields of science that have existed for a long time. It can feel like there is too much that you have to know, but when I went to the conference, I saw that everyone was in the same position! Even top speakers showed that they didn’t always know much more than we do in some fields… It actually gave me a lot of confidence to go back into the workforce and say “OK, I don’t know everything, but neither does everyone else, and we’re just going to figure it out together”.  

I’ll always thank IÉSEG for giving me such an opportunity. Beyond this transformative event, throughout the year, we have had amazing professors, who were passionate, very eager to shape the course with us for future cohorts, and went above and beyond, deeply caring about our professional development and future careers. I hope to stay in touch with many of them!

Before this Master, I worked for about 7 years in strategy consulting. I joined this Master because I had spent a bit of time studying the scientific side and the theoretical side of sustainability. I wanted to learn how to put all that into action, so I chose to join a business school. IÉSEG specifically stood out because, as Frank DE BAKKER, Director of the Master in Management for Sustainability said, the key differentiator of this Master is that beyond the business fundamentals (with a sustainability focus), there is also a bit of political science and technical climate science in the program too.

The Master in Management for Sustainability and its curriculum add a lot of credibility to our profiles too. The Global Reporting Initiative certification and the B Corp certification testify to our practical skills and they are certifications that industry is looking for. So that’s really helpful. Sustainability remains a niche field. So, going to sustainability dedicated forums is really helpful. I think I met more than 15 companies during the conference and those managers are now part of my network, which will surely be useful for meeting other leaders in the field and hearing of future job opportunities.”

For Frank DE BAKKER, Academic Director of the Master in Management for Sustainability, “Sponsoring The Economist Sustainability Week was a spectacular opportunity for the School and for our students. Being the only Higher Education institution to be a partner of this event alongside prestigious companies such as IBM, Dassault Systèmes, Google, etc. proves how much the School is ready to invest to give its students the best opportunities to network with leaders, thinkers, policymakers and investors in the field of sustainability and get the best chances for their future professional life.”

Sponsoring this event is relevant for IÉSEG as this is fully in line with our Vision to empower changemakers for a better society and with our strategic plan, through which the School positions itself as a responsible organization and intends to contribute to reflection and public debates on sustainability in all its dimensions. After all, upskilling for a sustainable future was one the main topics debated during the event, as business leaders need to integrate sustainability thinking in every function, both internally and with their partners. They need to develop a comprehensive understanding of the sustainability issues facing their business, the decarbonization priorities and the impact on stakeholders. With the IESEG Center for Organizational Responsibility (ICOR), IÉSEG houses a strong team of professors who are recognized for their expertise and cutting-edge research. IÉSEG continuously intends to strengthen its position both in terms of increasing the skills of all its employees, and in terms of continuously enriching its programs so that its students can enter the job market equipped with all the skills that companies will need tomorrow.

IÉSEG's 60th Anniversary Badge