Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Should Sustainable MBAs work for Exxon?

After reading Raz Godelnik's take on Sustainable MBAs working on ExxonMobil and JP Morgan, I was inspired to unpack it:

First, I question the premise that "67 percent of MBAs...would take a 15% pay-cut to have a job in a company committed to corporate and environmental responsibility". As with many other environmental surveys, this seems optimistic. Just as people say they will pay more for renewable energy, the reality is it will probably only be considered when it is near parity. Students may also be hoping with a pay-cut that there will be other progressive benefits (such as telecommuting privileges) along with innovative corporate and environmental responsibility. 

In terms of the article, it is unclear whether "values not matching their own" means working for a company whose basic business he or she is opposed to. If a student is strictly against a certain product or core business model, it makes sense that students may wish to take a pay-cut or not work for such a company. If "values not matching their own" merely means that the firm may not have the ideal CSR for a student, I have not seen the trend personally at the undergraduate level. Not one of the people I graduated with constrained themselves to work at the "Unilevers, Nikes, SAPs" companies. As we just begin our careers, starting at a sustainability program poised to grow can be just as interesting as working in a deep sustainability program. 

What are your thoughts?

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