SEI employment pathways workshop: consulting and private sector

Hear from consultancy professionals championing environmental and sustainability values as they share their industry career pathways.

University of Sydney students and researchers are invited to join this Sydney Environment Institute workshop that will explore career pathways in consultancy and the private sector for people with environmentally focused research experience. We will consider the kinds of roles available in the sector – from management or strategy consulting to research advisory positions – and the concrete steps that are needed to position yourself competitively for these roles.

We’ll hear advice from three panellists who have significant experience working in sustainability consulting and will learn about their own journeys in the sector.

This workshop is for University of Sydney students or staff only. It was held online on Tuesday 4 April 2023.


Emma Bones, management consultant

Emma Bones is the General Manager of the Sydney Environment Institute. With a background in consulting and the not-for-profit sector, she has broad ranging skills across operations, strategy and finance. She has worked as a management consultant, developing strategies and designing operating models for government agencies and not-for-profits, and held senior roles in charities with a focus on building impactful and sustainable organisations. With a keen interest in policy solutions addressing the climate crisis, Emma is passionate about bringing new voices into the conversation on climate change and achieving bipartisan support for meaningful climate action in Australia. Emma is a registered Chartered Accountant, an advisor to Groundswell Giving and a committee member of Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action.

Emma Herd, climate change and sustainability partner

Emma Herd is a Partner with EY’s Climate Change and Sustainability team and is a skilled professional with over 20 years’ experience in climate change, sustainable finance and sustainability practice. Prior to joining EY, Emma was Chief Executive Officer of the Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC) (2015-2021) and Environment Commissioner for the Greater Sydney Commission (2020-2021).  Previously, Emma worked at Westpac for over 15 years across a range of sustainability, environment, sustainable finance, climate change, carbon trading and ESG risk management roles.  Emma is a regular media contributor on climate change matters and a respected voice on climate transition implications for business.

Danielle Rajendram, strategy consultant

Danielle Rajendram is the Associate Director of the Advisory and Insights team at Asialink Business. In this role she leads evidence-based strategic and market insights projects to help Australian organisations capitalise on opportunities with Asia. She has a background in management consulting and government, with significant experience in enhancing Australia’s engagement with Asia. Prior to joining Asialink Business Danielle was a Senior Consultant at Nous Group, where she worked on a range of public policy and strategy projects for clients in government, non-government organisations and the private sector. Danielle has previously held Asia policy roles at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Department of Defence, and worked as a Research Associate at the Lowy Institute for International Policy.

Mary Stewart, climate risk and energy transition expert

Dr Mary Stewart leads Energetics, Australia’s climate risk and energy transition expert. Energetics works with ASX200 and all levels of government to advise on net zero targets and pathways to achieve them, strategies for climate resilience, sophisticated data analytics and reporting, and procurement and investment insights as Australia transitions to clean energy. Mary is recognised globally as a leader in decision-making for sustainable development, life cycle assessment as it applies to resources, and in the development of carbon footprints and carbon neutral positions. Mary is the BINGO (business, industry, NGO) observer on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Technology Executive Committee’s Implementation taskforce. She was invited to take up this position by the International Chamber of Commerce. She is the president of the Energy Efficiency Council of Australia and is the chair of the International Energy Board of the Institute of Chemical Engineers (IChemE). She is a member of the Technical Advisory Group of the Science Based Targets initiative.

Sam Thorp, social impact consultant

Sam Thorp is a Manager, Consulting with Social Ventures Australia, where he works with not-for-profits across Australia to help them solve problems and increase their impact. He has over a decade of experience in the charity and not-for-profit sector. Sam has held diverse roles across Australia, Sweden, Singapore and the United Kingdom, where he has predominantly worked in process improvement and project management. He was previously at London South Bank University, where he built relationships between academics, businesses, and the third sector. Sam holds a Bachelor of Commerce, a Bachelor of Science (Hons), and a diploma of Innovation Management from the University of NSW, and is a graduate of Singularity University.

Christopher Wright (Chair), organisational change expert

Christopher Wright is Professor of Organisational Studies at the University of Sydney Business School key researcher at the Sydney Environment Institute. He teaches and researches organizational and societal responses to climate change, with a particular focus on how managers and business organizations interpret and respond to the climate crisis. He is the author of several books on climate change and business including Climate Change, Capitalism and Corporations: Processes of Creative Self-destruction (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and Organising Responses to Climate Change: The Politics of Mitigation, Adaptation and Suffering (Cambridge University Press, 2022).


Header image: Image by hallojulie via AdobeStock ID:385654899.

SEI employment pathways series

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