Emma Poole: ‘exactly where I want to be’

By Seth Robinson

Emma Poole studied commerce because she wanted something that would set her apart working in sustainability. Now, she works as a Consultant for EY’s Climate Change and Sustainability Services Team.

‘I’ve always thought of myself as sitting on the creative side of things, which is why I majored in management and marketing, but I also knew that I wanted to work in sustainability. I wanted to bring something really unique to the table in this area.’

Emma Poole
BCom alum Emma Poole.

For Emma, studying a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) was a tactical decision, to pick up the skills she thought would set her apart in her field and allow her to make a real, positive change in the sustainability sector.

‘Competition for new graduates is fierce, particularly for those who want to work in sustainability. It’s gaining a lot of traction, and both consumers and businesses are realising just how important it is, so you have to bring something unique to the table. The BCom was quite a rigorous program, and set me up with things like financial and strategic planning skills that I wouldn’t have otherwise. My accounting studies also mean that I can speak that language, so when – inevitably – the financial element needs to be addressed as part of a project, I don’t shy away from it,’ says Emma. ‘The BCom was also flexible enough with its breadth options that I could pair those core business classes with electives from other disciplines, I took classes like Middle Eastern History and Global Environmental Politics as well.’

Emma’s current role, came about as a result of an internship that she undertook at the end of her studies with the Climate Change and Sustainability Services Team.

‘I think from that moment on, I felt like I’d really found my tribe. It was the dream job, and I knew that was what I wanted to be doing once I graduated. These days, I work with businesses to help develop and implement sustainability strategies, initiatives and practices, ranging from risk-management to industry leadership. We approach projects from an angle of not just environmental sustainability, but social and financial sustainability as well, because realistically anything you implement needs to tick all of those boxes to be successful,’ she says. ‘I think realistically, sustainability consulting is still in its infancy stage, so we are open in our approach when we speak to clients, encourage collaboration as a means of embedding a sustainable approach, and really focus on impact, and how we can measure these outcomes.’

With the industry still in its infancy, and her whole career ahead of her, Emma has landed in the perfect place.

The Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) equips students with the skills and knowledge to understand and solve key business challenges. Make a difference to society, policy, and organisations while forging a pathway to a global career. Choose from majors including Accounting, Actuarial Studies, Economics, Finance, Management and Marketing.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Commerce now.

‘I feel like every day we get a little more traction, as consumers and businesses continue to understand the importance of sustainability models more, especially as we continue to see the impacts of COVID across supply chains and global communities. When I think about where I want to go next, I’m not exactly certain at the moment, largely because I think the role might not yet exist. I think things are going to continue to change and evolve. I feel ready for it, I have a skillset that can adapt and change with the growing prioritisation of sustainable development and outcomes, but for now, this is exactly where I want to be.’