NIB Q&A: Peter DeBruin, Vice President, Office of Environmental Sustainability, State Street

Peter DeBruin

We’re really excited that Peter DeBruin, Vice President, Office of Environmental Sustainability, State Street, will be a keynote speaker at the 2015 Net Impact Boston Career Summit on February 27. Sign up today for the event – here’s a sneak preview of what you’ve got to look forward to from Peter.

What inspired you to pursue a career with positive social or environmental impact?
I felt that with my background and interests, I would be able to work on programs in a collaborative fashion that could make a meaningful difference in individuals’ lives, while pursuing a sustainability agenda. In addition, seeing the sense of excitement and even fulfillment that this work provided to others was inspirational.

What’s the most interesting/most challenging aspect of your job?
The most interesting part of my job is engaging with colleagues and partners around the world and learning about their lives, cultures, challenges and what they enjoy. When I am able to travel to other countries it really helps put sustainability into context. The most challenging aspect of my job is the large amount of technical work including calculating global greenhouse gas emissions, and the substantial quantity of content I must create, edit, or otherwise work with to develop and convey a narrative on this work to stakeholders.

What advice would you give to those looking for a career with a positive social or environmental impact?
Start volunteering with non-profit organizations that are addressing challenges that interest you. You will quickly start to develop a network as well as useful organizational skills you might be able to use in a full-time role, or as a stepping stone for a career. When someone tells me they are passionate about sustainability work, the first thing I look for is evidence of volunteer work to help assess how passionate they really are, and the type of experiences they have encountered.

The theme for the Career Summit 2015 is ‘Impact Across Industries’ – do you think it is important for different industries and sectors to come together to tackle social and environmental issues and why?
It’s certainly important to collaborate and learn best practices across and within industry segments, and ultimately for any substantive systemic change to occur that is what will need to happen. I would argue, however, that it’s okay to start small and effect change within your scope and network, to make the challenge more manageable and to see progress more immediately.

Sign up today for the Career Summit on February 27 and prepare to be inspired!

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