An MIT Sloan Milestone:
First-ever sustainability certificates awarded

Christina Ingersoll, MBA ’10, and Carolina Mondelo Bas, SF’10 Carolina Mondelo Bas, SF’10 and Christina Ingersoll, MBA ’10

This June, Christina Ingersoll, MBA ’10, and Carolina Mondelo Bas, SF’10, became the first two students to receive the new MIT Sloan Certificate in Sustainability, a remarkable achievement given that the certificate program was not announced until February 2010.

Based on student demand and the success of Sustainability Lab, the new certificate program was created to provide a formalized path for students working to create a more sustainable world, and both Ingersoll and Mondelo Bas saw it as an invaluable opportunity to broaden their knowledge and expertise on all aspects of sustainability.

A holistic view

Having worked in sustainable products for the last ten years, Mondelo Bas says the certificate’s required core and elective courses helped her view issues of sustainability from a wide range of new perspectives. “Because I was working with agricultural products, I used to think of sustainability only from that aspect,” she says. “I was thinking in a much more simplistic way. After the certificate I can see many different aspects of the problem. This allows for a more complete solution.”

Ingersoll agrees. This summer she will be working for the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D.C., after which she plans to pursue a PhD and work on public policy related to agriculture. She says the certificate program gave her a much fuller understanding of many facets of sustainability.

“A big part of the reason I wanted to go to business school,” she says, “was because I really wanted to learn about all forms of sustainability—not just environmental. I wanted to learn about economic sustainability and the social side that goes along with that. I wanted to learn how you can produce a profit in a way that doesn’t make anyone’s life more miserable, and how you can run a business in a manner that improves the quality of life for all involved. I found that MIT is a great place to learn all of that.”

Hope for the future

Ingersoll and Mondelo Bas also agree that their experiences at MIT Sloan have inspired them to continue their work toward a more sustainable world. And, despite the sometimes daunting complexities of sustainability, they feel encouraged by what they have learned and by the people they have met. Ingersoll is optimistic about the future. “I feel that we can have impact. I have gotten to meet and learn from some of the top minds working on these issues and I know they are the real thing: true scholars with deep integrity. There is a community of people here that are very smart and well-meaning and actually willing to take a stand.”