Career Resources

Opportunities to make a difference in major environmental challenges

If you aspire to make a positive impact on the world, there are many opportunities to do so through a career that integrates a nuanced understanding of environmental issues. You might join an industry in which environmental challenges are front-and-center, such as energy, agriculture, or real estate. Work in finance, incorporating environment, social, and governance (ESG) factors. Engage in entrepreneurial ventures that generate environmental solutions and bring them to market. Or pursue careers with nonprofits focused on corporate engagement, or in the public sector.

HBS MBAs have many options for making a difference at the critical intersection of environmental and business issues. BEI actively assists students in planning their careers and collaborates with HBS Career & Professional Development


BEI partners with the HBS Career & Professional Development to host an Energy & Environment Careers 101 each year so students can learn about careers in the field and two Professional Perspectives Panels during which alumni speak about energy and environment-related jobs. Individual career coaching is also available, and several MBA coaches specialize in energy and environment-related career paths.

Each fall, the Energy & Environment Club hosts the Energy Symposium, featuring industry executives, investors, entrepreneurs, innovators, and startup companies. The symposium provides insights and answers questions about the current state and future of the energy industry — and offers conference attendees the opportunity to network with leading professionals representing a diverse group of firms, markets, and geographies.

Recruiting Resources

Organizations wishing to recruit at HBS may host events on campus and request résumé books from student organizations, including the Energy & Environment Club. The number of energy and green technology recruiting partners at HBS continues to grow. More than 88 organizations hired students in 2018 for summer or career positions. Check out the MBA Career Resources Guide on Energy and Environment for top industry newsletters, podcasts, and more to help navigate and inform your search. 

Students should also check Baker Library's Industry Highlights Newsletters, bi-weekly newsletters for selected industries including energy. Each newsletter provides summaries of important news items with links to the full text. Articles are selected that provide significant news about major players and HBS recruiters, analysis of trends in the industry and the competitive environment, and news of innovative products and services. 

Career and Professional Development website

Once matriculated, you will have access to myHBS which connects you to classmates, course work, and the CPD website. You can access a wealth of information: lists of HBS recruiting partners; job search tips and resources; and 3 Minute Tips, part of a video library addressing key areas of the career search. Students can also view and apply for job opportunities, research organizations that recruit on campus, schedule interviews, and sign up for programs and coaching appointments.

Summer Fellowships

The HBS Summer Fellows Program enables students to apply their classroom training as they explore career opportunities in roles or regions where compensation is generally lower than the traditional MBA level. The goal of this program is to give students the freedom to realize their unique career visions without being limited by compensation levels, regardless of industry or location. Funding is available for students joining existing organizations, as well as for those founding new ventures and who have not yet raised significant capital.

Funding for students joining existing organizations is based on the employing organization's contribution amount. Students founding their own ventures must provide a thoughtful and detailed plan for the summer (i.e. roadmap for development, experimentation, and accomplishing other key milestones). The maximum weekly contribution provided by HBS for all Fellows is $650 per week. Students select which cohort of Summer Fellows they wish to join in the online application:

Rock Summer Fellows: Students exploring an entrepreneurial path, both as founders and as those joining early-stage start-ups.

Social Enterprise Summer Fellows: Students either founding or working for social enterprises (nonprofit, public sector, or for-profit organizations with a social impact focus). Areas of focus may include: arts and culture; business at the base of the pyramid, CSR; community and economic development; education; environment; human services; impact investing; international relief; nonprofit consulting; and philanthropy.

General Summer Fellows: Students joining both large and small organizations in a wide range of for-profit industries. Note that all founders must apply as either Rock or Social Enterprise Summer Fellows.

The Rock and Social Enterprise Summer Fellows have the added benefit of engaging in a peer exchange network of students committed to entrepreneurship or social enterprise and will receive the additional benefits of access to the resources and expertise of the Rock Center for Entrepreneurship and the Social Enterprise Initiative. Programming for these Summer Fellows will begin with a kick-off session in spring 2019, followed by a fall wrap-up session in September 2019 to offer Fellows the opportunity to be active and engaged during and beyond the Summer Fellow experience. The online application for 2019 Summer Fellows will be available on the CPD website in January 2019.

Funding Opportunities

While many options exist to address environmental issues through traditional for-profit careers, some students make their marks on the world through other types of organizations. The following funding programs support a wide range of career choices:

  • The Horace W. Goldsmith Fellowship grants awards of approximately $10,000 to 7 to 10 first-year MBA students who have exhibited leadership and an extraordinary commitment to working in the not-for-profit sector.
  • During the summer following the first year, generous support is available through the HBS Summer Fellows Program program to students who wish to explore career opportunities in roles or regions where compensation is generally lower than the traditional MBA level.
  • Where environmental sustainability is a core element of an Independent Project, students may be eligible for reimbursement grants for project-related expenses during their second year of study.
  • Second-year students entering the nonprofit or public sectors may apply to the HBS Leadership Fellows (login required) as a pathway to work with senior leaders and have meaningful impact at an organization focused on environmental issues.
  • The HBS Forward Fellowship helps support students from lower-income backgrounds who have carried significant financial burdens or obligations. It helps ensure that students from all socioeconomic walks of life continue to be part of the rich diversity that fuels our community. Fellowships will be awarded beginning with the Class of 2020.
  • HBS offers a number of programs to assist with MBA-related student loans upon graduation including:

    • Social Enterprise Loan Repayment Assistance Program: The HBS Nonprofit/Public Sector Loan Repayment Assistance Program was established in 1992 to reduce the educational debt repayment burden for alumni serving in managerial positions in the nonprofit and public sectors.
    • Rock Center Loan Reduction for Entrepreneurs: Rock Center, in consultation with MBA Financial Aid, eagerly supports their graduating entrepreneurs. One such way is through a one-time need-based award of $10,000-$20,000 to graduating MBA students who are committed to pursuing their own for-profit entrepreneurial ventures, including selffunded entrepreneurship by acquisition ventures.
    • HBS Loan Reduction for Private Sector Employees: A loan reduction program for students working in the private sector at jobs that pay significantly below the HBS average. These awards offer a one-time loan reduction that typically ranges from $5,000 – $15,000. Award availability is determined based on an applicant's earnings and need-based debt, as well as employment and job fit criteria. Funds awarded can be used only to reduce existing need-based loans.
    Students are encouraged to learn more about each of the programs and their unique application processes. You can find more information about all of these here (login required).

Alumni Connections

As a student at Harvard Business School, you are part of a larger community that includes alumni working in many sectors and industries — often in key leadership positions. BEI maintains relationships with a number of organizations and individuals who can offer career advice and opportunities to current students.

One way to connect with alumni is through BEI's mentor program. After collecting some data about participants, we pair individual alumni working in environment-related sectors with current MBA students, based on mutual interests. Survey results and informal feedback indicate that mentoring is a rewarding experience for alumni and is highly valued by students.

Students have many opportunities to meet alumni who come to campus to speak, attend panel discussions, and other events. We also organize mixers that allow current students to meet soon-to-be alumni of relevant Executive Education programs.