Have you thought about pursuing a master’s degree in a field you’re passionate about? A master’s degree can open up a whole new world of setting goals and achieving dreams, just as it is for Knott Scholar, Mitchell Webster. He is working towards his Master’s Degree in Sustainability Management, and has shared what he plans to do with this degree below. During his undergraduate studies, he even founded the Baltimore Biodiversity Alliance – a club that worked to survey the Loyola Evergreen campus to find invasive plants interfering with the native ecosystem and worked to remove them. How amazing is that?
Q: How did you become interested in Sustainability Management?
”My interest in Sustainability Management arose during the start of my junior year at Loyola University Maryland.I have always been interested in the transformation that modern day companies are making towards pursuing a strategy around ‘shared value’ and the triple bottom line. I had a dream of working in the sustainability sector and this passion was catalyzed by my upbringing on the Chesapeake Bay. The realization that there was a career path that aligned with my ambitions and passions was brought upon me by Dr. Kanashiro – who taught my International Business course in my junior year. Dr. Kanashiro worked with me to envision my ideal career and supported me in the application process for graduate school by writing a letter of recommendation. With my experience as a Knott Scholar in the Sellinger School of Business accompanied with my Environmental Studies Minor, I came to find an ideal program at American University – the Masters of Science in Sustainability Management.”
Q: What are your goals in utilizing what you’ve learned after achieving your Master’s Degree?
”I plan to utilize my masters degree to break into the exciting and evolving sustainability field. One of the benefits of a Master’s Degree in Sustainability Management is that it is an interdisciplinary degree and has career opportunities in conversation, public policy, strategic management, consulting, and more! Additionally, I find the field of sustainability to be in a transformative stage and the need for qualified and experienced sustainability specialists has skyrocketed. I have two fields that I am interested in pursuing following this program – one is circularity in packaging production and the other is sustainability consulting. I am still early into my program, so I am still figuring out my ideal position.”
Q: In what ways did being a Knott Scholar prepare you for your studies in college?
”Wholeheartedly believe that being a Knott Scholar during my undergraduate experience at Loyola University Maryland prepared me for this Master’s Program and will continue to aid me as I move forward in my career. As a Knott Scholar, I had to maintain a strong GPA throughout my time at Loyola – but Knott Scholars typically go above and beyond and work to be leaders on campus and or the surrounding community. One way that I engaged in leadership on campus was helping launch the Baltimore Biodiversity Alliance – a club that worked to survey the Loyola Evergreen campus to find invasive plants interfering with the native ecosystem and worked to remove them during community invasive removal days! Being a Knott Scholar prepared me for both the rigorous academic nature of graduate school and the leadership roles associated with my program. I am happy to announce I will take on another leadership role here at the Kogod School of Business as a Student Program Ambassador for the Masters of Sustainability Management Program!”
Q: What advice do you have for other students who are considering pursuing their Master’s Degree as well?
”As someone who just went through the process of researching and applying to graduate schools, I have a few pieces of advice.
- For starters, I would recommend starting the research process as early as possible. For example, I started attending online information sessions for programs I was interested in back in August 2021. It might seem early, and it can be tough to juggle both undergraduate work and the search for an ideal Master’s program, but treat it like a job search!
- Another piece of advice is make use of your professors and have conversations with them about your career ambitions, potential Master’s programs and more. My instructors, specifically Dr. Kanashiro, Dr. Trump, and Dr. Cummings, were instrumental in the research and application processes involved with pursuing a Master’s Degree.
- My final piece of advice is a Master’s Degree can be daunting, especially right after undergrad, but you are more than capable! One thing that I have appreciated so far is the collaborative nature of my current program. With folks from all around the world, with different ages and professional backgrounds – we have a unique opportunity to come together and work to address some of the most pressing environmental challenges facing our common home.”
Congratulations, Mitchell, on your many accomplishments already in Sustainability Management, and good luck in your future adventures and leadership opportunities!