Connecticut College News
Alumni advise students that green industry is on the rise05/4/2010
Dan Saccardi '00, Erika Berlinghof '05, Natalie Hildt
'97 and Janan Evans-Wilent '11 took part in 'Green, Greener, Greenest: Careers That Reflect Your Ideals' April 18.
When it comes to the job market, it can be rare to find anyone speaking optimistically, but Dan Saccardi ’00 gave hope to about 20 students during a Sundays with Alumni panel April 18.
Saccardi, an associate at a consulting firm specializing in sustainable business strategies called GreenOrder, said that green industry is on the rise and that the number of jobs in the sector will grow as more companies adopt environmentally friendly practices.
Saccardi was part of “Green, Greener, Greenest: Careers That Reflect Your Ideals,” an event that brought three alumni back to campus for an afternoon of discussion with students. As part of the Sundays with Alumni series, current Camels are given the chance to network and seek career advice from alumni who have been in their shoes.
Joining Saccardi were Erika Berlinghof ’05 and Natalie Hildt ’97, who were all environmentally minded students on campus and each built a career from their passion.
As a student, Hildt loved stomping through the marshes of the Arboretum with Professor William Niering.
“The great thing about a liberal arts education is that no matter what your major is, you are learning how to think and write critically,” she said.
With a self-designed major incorporating government, economics and environmental studies courses, Hildt said that her well-rounded education prepared her to become the College’s campus environmental coordinator after graduating. Today she works as a public policy manager at Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships.
Berlinghof, now the director of congressional relations at the National Association of Water Companies, also said that Connecticut College prepared her for her career.
“Classes with professors like (MaryAnne) Borelli and (William) Frasure exposed me to water management issues firsthand, and I haven’t stopped working on the topic since,” she said.
Berlinghof advised students to take every opportunity to improve their public speaking abilities and to expand their professional network.
She also noted the growing influence of social media in the professional world. Moderator Janan Evans-Wilent ’11, a certificate student with the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment, chuckled and added, “So maybe we’re actually not wasting time on Facebook when we should be doing homework instead.”
-Matt Zientek '10