With record temperatures and catastrophic floods and droughts now occurring more frequently than ever on every continent, the threat climate change poses for humanity is intensifying with every passing year. Passionate about making our world a better place, Korea-born Soomin chose our BSc in Environmental Management and Technology (EVMT) because it opened up a career path where she could foster real change. After starting professional life as a specialist finance research analyst at a climate change & water think tank, she is now an ESG consultant at a global Consultancy firm. Following her ambition, her job entails ensuring financial institutions are more ESG-compliant and creating long-term value in a changing climate.
After starting her studies at HKUST in 2018, Soomin was keen to maximize her time by rounding out her theoretical knowledge with practical expertise. She subsequently spent the next three years serving as an IPO Student Ambassador and promoting EVMT programs to like-minded peers in Hong Kong and around the globe. She also helped to produce an informative vox pop video to attract prospective students to HKUST. Her hard work and commitment were rewarded when she won the Outstanding Student Ambassador award for 2019/2020.
Determined to boost her fellow undergraduates’ awareness of how on-campus composting would promote better soil conservation, Soomin’s spare time during her second year involved assisting our Sustainable Campus Leadership Program 'Eco-reps' initiative. The following year she followed through by volunteering as an external secretary and heading up the EVMT Student Society’s career development program.
Internships were another area where Soomin made the most of her time by endeavoring to gain sustainability experience with NGOs, businesses and investors. NGOs on whose projects she worked in 2018 and 2019 included WWF-Hong Kong, a WWF-Korea teacher training workshop and Fair Trade Hong Kong’s research into sustainable hospitality.
Additional activities during her third year included a 6-month full-time placement with Adidas’s Social and Environmental Affairs team. In doing so, she received a thorough grounding in the basics of sustainable supply chain management, environmental data analytics and sustainability program development.
The last two years of Soomin’s course saw her further beef-up her academic knowledge and practical skill sets by taking up an Investment Research internship at HK-based asset management company. While there, she initiated a research aimed at improving the company's ESG scorecard.
Between 2020 and 2021, Soomin assisted Swire Properties’ Public Affairs team in eliminating waste at the company’s flagship ‘White Christmas Street Fair’ CSR event as part of her capstone project on sustainability. She subsequently supported the property giant’s Technical Services & Sustainable Development Department during the unveiling of an ambitious packaging initiative entitled "The Future of Takeaway and Delivery Packaging: What is the Green Option?”.
“I’ve been aspiring to close the gap of business & finance in tackling climate crisis and courses I took in HKUST’s EVMT truly helped me create an effective roadmap to pursue my career. The vast amount of practical and academic insights I learned while earning my qualifications are now proving hugely useful in my career in ESG/sustainability field – be it in research, or consulting!”