MBA Fellow Develops ESG Strategy at MarketAxess

Taylor Donegan Headshot
During the summer of 2021, Taylor Donegan (MBA '22) interned as an NYU Stern MBA Sustainability Fellow at MarketAxess. Read on to learn more about his time there:

Name: Taylor Donegan
Year: 2022
Specialization: Sustainable Business and Innovation
Briefly describe your internship experience (company, department, your focus projects/deliverables)
I worked as an ESG Fellow at MarketAxess, the largest bond trading platform. My background is in technical sustainability (renewable energy and green building consulting) and I took the MarketAxess fellowship to gain experience in sustainable finance and corporate sustainability. These are both areas that are rapidly growing in importance across many industries. Companies in the finance space are facing pressure from large clients and shareholders to improve their ESG performance. MarketAxess needed someone with specialized knowledge in this area to help develop their ESG strategy. 
Was there a moment when you faced a roadblock or difficulty? What helped to overcome that phase of the project?
I did not have clearly defined deliverables when I began my internship. The bulk of the work I took on stemmed from reaching out to key individuals with ideas on how to create structure around the ESG effort. These ideas came from my previous work experience and from best practices learned in sustainability courses taken during my MBA1 year. MarketAxess is a large company at this point but still prides itself on it’s entrepreneurial culture. After presenting my ideas, I was given the opportunity and support to run with them.
Tell us about one fun fact or surprising/interesting concept you encountered.
Over the course of the summer, we conducted a materiality assessment and presented it to senior leadership, along with the next steps for creating a robust sustainability strategy. Through this process I saw varied levels of buy-in towards our efforts. This is something that I have experienced in every role I’ve had in sustainability – it can be quite a polarizing topic. Sustainability means different things to different people. The key to successfully integrating it across a larger company is to really understand the motivations and drivers behind each business unit. This allows you to adjust how you convey the value of what you’re trying to accomplish appropriately. This internship gave me the opportunity to practice exactly that. I think this is a valuable skill that can be transferred to any organizational change effort.
The best part about this experience was that the work I was doing was shaping the company going forward. Being able to run with your ideas, present directly to senior leadership and leave a positive, meaningful impact are not common characteristics of an internship. MarketAxess provided a great balance of leveraging my current skill set to provide value and learning from a group of talented and fun people.