Alumni Spotlight: Sara Lund

Sara Lund ‘15: Passionate about Greening Business

USF has always had a passion for teaching students how to make the world a better place.  The USF interdisciplinary Environmental Studies Program addresses the relationship between human behavior and nature in ecological issues and responds to the Jesuit call to promote environmental justice and ethical stewardship of the natural world.  It emphasizes social responsibility and sustainability, preparing graduates to become green change agents in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Sara Lund ’15 came to USF specifically to study the environment.  “I was declared an Environmental Studies major before I even started school,” Sara explained.  Inspired by her environmental studies at USF and an internship at Genentech, Sara is starting her education at the Presidio Graduate School to pursue a MBA in Sustainable Management this fall.

Sarah’s passion for environmental studies goes back to high school.  When it came time to head to college, she wanted to be in a big city that promoted environmental awareness.  USF was the perfect fit.  While at USF, Sara had the opportunity to do two internships.  She did a semester long internship at Greenpeace, and while it was a positive experience, she discovered that the world of advocacy was not for her.  Her second internship with the biotechnology firm Genentech was more aligned with her interests and skills.  At Genentech she got the opportunity to get real world business experience, working directly with Genentech’s Sustainability Manager on a new program to reduce waste by 20%.  She gained exposure to developing metrics, monitoring results, meeting with the waste management team, and rolling out a new sustainably-focused website.

The internship helped Sara realize she wanted to continue on to get her MBA in Sustainable Management.  “I think that green business is an up and coming new field," she said.  "I am really passionate about helping big business thrive over the long term, through shifting business practices and making environmental changes."  As a vegetarian, another one of Sara’s big passions is sustainable food.  She realizes not everyone wants to be a vegetarian, but she hopes that more students will become aware of the problems with our food systems.  She stressed, "Agriculture uses 80% of the water that we have available to us in California and produces more greenhouse gasses than the whole transportation sector combined.  I think it's a problem that a lot of people don't really realize.” Sara's message to all USF students, “Keep in mind how your actions are going to impact the environment.  Ask yourself, how is this going to affect the planet, the people around you and generations to come?”