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Center for Sustainable Business | EmpowHER: Career Development Program in Sustainable Finance, Supported by Visa Foundation

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MBA Student Programs

EmpowHER: Career Development Program in Sustainable Finance

Supported by Visa Foundation

**Applications for the class of 2026 are now OPEN.

Apply here

A career development program focused on empowering aspiring business professionals in supporting gender equity in the financial industry and ESG investing space.

Launched in Fall 2022, EmpowHER aims to help a diverse group of students committed to gender equity build their financial expertise and networks, creating the foundation for gainful career opportunities in sustainable investing. 

A career in sustainable finance provides a unique opportunity to drive investment into companies that are solving pressing environmental and social challenges. ESG-related investments currently account for 1 in every $4 invested in the US, totaling more than $17 trillion invested in sustainable assets in 2020 alone. This represents a 42% increase from 2018 and consistent year over year growth for more than a decade. There is a corresponding explosion of demand for sustainability-related financial expertise to manage these assets. However, there is not enough qualified human capital to keep up with the financial capital being funneled into ESG investments. An analysis of LinkedIn job posts by the CFA Institute found 6% of investment professional job posts mentioned sustainability-related skills, yet less than 1% of profiles disclose such experience. 

NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business is at the forefront of academic institutions providing students with the skillset, network and hands-on learning experiences to fill these high-demand job opportunities and drive the continued growth of ESG investing.

EmpowHER will provide a two-year leadership development initiative for MBA students, including:

  • Intensive training on society’s most pressing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues and how to address them through innovative financial and business solutions. Trainings will include fundamentals of finance and sustainable finance, workshops diving deeper into certain topics, and additional support by finance professors and mentors throughout the program. Additionally, we have developed a curriculum guide to support students through figuring out which Stern courses they can take in sustainable finance
  • Hands-on learning experiences in which students work directly with a company and learn how to embed sustainability into corporate and investment strategies. Students will participate in experiential learning opportunities, including finance-focused Stern Signature Projects, NYU Impact Investment Fund (NIIF), or NYU Michael Price ESG Fund. Students will also participate in a case competition of their choice 
  • Employer engagement to provide recruiting pathways for students seeking summer internships and full-time roles in finance and sustainable finance
  • Networking opportunities giving students access to careers and professional communities in sustainable finance which they might not have otherwise considered 
  • Mentorships to provide support and feedback for students, enabling them to navigate their MBA experience and career search with confidence



Learning Objectives

Students who complete the full two-year career development program cycle will:            

  • Be familiar with the current trends, innovations, and developments in sustainable finance, and ESG issues affecting finance and business
  • Develop knowledge and skills required to incorporate sustainability into financial services
  • Understand and be equipped to pursue the diverse career paths related to sustainable finance
  • Build a network of peers, educators, and professionals for support during and after MBA program    



Application Process, Eligibility, and Expectations of the Program

We seek to build a diverse, inclusive cohort of students who are dedicated to promoting gender equality, removing obstacles, and breaking down historical barriers present for minorities in finance. This program is open to all Stern MBA candidates regardless of sex or gender identity; we particularly encourage female-identifying students to consider applying.

Applications for the class of 2026 are now OPEN. Please apply here

You can review the information session hosted on March 27th, 2024 here. 

This program serves to supplement the finance and sustainable business offerings of the MBA program. In joining this program, the expectation is that the student will attend all of the mandatory events.


Complementing Existing Resources

This new program is designed to build on the existing educational and career development resources at NYU Stern, including core and elective courses in finance and sustainable business, experiential learning programs through the Office of Student Engagement, and knowledge development and recruiting support through the Careers team and student-led groups such as Graduate Finance Association (GFA), Stern Women in Business (SWIB), and Social Impact and Sustainability Association (SISA).



About Visa Foundation

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Visa Foundation seeks to support inclusive economies where individuals, businesses, and communities can thrive. Through grant making and investing, Visa Foundation prioritizes the growth of gender diverse and inclusive small and micro businesses. The Foundation also supports broader community needs and disaster response in times of crisis. Visa Foundation is registered in the U.S. as a 501(c)3 entity. For more information, visit Visa Foundation.