When Sophie Lahey first came to the Kelley School of Business, she was not particularly interested in the environment or sustainability. It’s now part of her major and career path—she’s a senior studying sustainable business and public policy analysis.
It started with the need to belong.
“My first semester was a challenge,” Sophie says. “I didn’t find my group right away. I questioned if Kelley was for me, even though I loved all my classes. I joined the Net Impact student club because the members were so welcoming. I wanted to make friends.”
Sophie made many friends—a network of likeminded students who care deeply about the world around them and how they can solve problems to make positive change. She also discovered a passion for preserving the environment for future generations.
“Businesses have one of the greatest impacts on the environment and the community,” Sophie says. “There’s only so much we can do as individuals. When we get businesses to make changes that’s where we’re going to see the biggest impact on society.”
The Kelley Institute for Social Impact (KISI) and its student organizations (including Net Impact) engage undergraduate students, nonprofits, corporations, and university partners in fostering positive economic and social change. Opportunities for students include service projects, career resources, and internships—including Sophie’s eight-week summer internship in Lima, Peru.
“I worked on a marketing and fundraising strategy for Kantaya, a nonprofit that helps children receive quality after-school education,” says Sophie of her Peruvian assignment. “I learned to ask a lot of questions. And to not assume anything, especially as an outsider.”
Sophie hopes to pursue a career in environmental consulting. It’s a path she didn’t see for herself, and she encourages other students to open themselves up to new possibilities.
“You don’t have to know everything,” she says. “Learn what you can and grow into your passions.”