New Case Study Course Prepares MBA Students for Career in Sustainable Business

Case Study course graphic
In Fall 2018, Amy Klopfenstein (MBA ‘19), participated in an independent study project with two other Stern MBA students, overseen by Chet Van Wert, Senior Research Scholar at the NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business. The student team researched and wrote a case study for use in future MBA classes, in what became the pilot for a new course, Case Study Development in Sustainable Business (BSPA-GB 2307). Students in the course get a unique opportunity to work with business leaders who are innovating at the leading edge of the next industrial revolution (and they are credited as co-authors of their case studies – a great resume builder!). Learning to manage critical client relationships, students develop expertise that translates to careers in sustainable business, management consulting, and more. Continue reading to learn about how the course influenced Amy’s career trajectory. 
Under CSB supervision, two other students and I worked with Con Edison to write a teaching case for classroom use. It was by far the most hands-on experience I had in my time at Stern in terms of working directly with another business. It was also a different experience to create something that is intended to be used as a teaching tool, rather than a class project intended to simply inform or persuade. Overall I learned a lot!  
We worked with Con Edison to write a case on their decision to roll out a demand management project for energy distribution in Brooklyn and Queens (BQDM) to meet projected rising energy needs rather than build a new substation.
My biggest takeaway from the Con Edison case was that there are many creative solutions to sustainability-related issues in the business world. In this case, it was inspiring to see how a collective effort amongst businesses and individuals to reduce energy consumption can make a big difference. I would translate this takeaway to other challenges in the sustainability space, where change can sometimes feel impossible
I learned a lot about the process of writing a business case study, which actually helped me get my first job out of business school: a case writer with the Harvard Business School Case Writing and Research Group. Now I will get to work on case studies every day!

To see the syllabus for Case Study Development in Sustainable Business (BSPA-GB 2307) in Spring 2020, click here.

To learn more about the MBA Specialization in Sustainable Business and Innovation, click here.