Vermont native Ian Lanza began his college search with a unique set of criteria in mind: he was looking for a school where he could play football and pursue an interest in ceramic arts. He decided on Alfred University, where he played for the Division III Saxons and pursued his love of the fine arts.
At Alfred he double-majored in environmental science and political science, complemented with a year in Copenhagen where he studied European Union politics and environmental business.
Now the regional life science director at Triumvirate Environmental in Somerville, Mass., Ian found kindred spirits when he enrolled in Green Mountain College’s MBA program—people with diverse backgrounds and interests, each committed to making positive change in their business.
“At Alfred I got interested in the place where politics and the environment intersect—business was one of the missing pieces for me. GMC was a great fit because it incorporated sustainability into business strategy.”
Triumvirate Environmental is a leading provider of waste management and environmental services in healthcare, education and life sciences—all booming businesses in the Boston area. Ian began working for the company directly after graduation—by the time he enrolled at GMC he had advanced through several field roles and into management.
“At the time there weren’t many MBA programs offering a sustainable business track,” he says. “GMC was, and still is, a pioneer in that space.”
He made the case to his employers that the sustainable MBA was the right match for the company’s needs and his own career trajectory. Thanks to a strong benefits program that supports employees in continuing their educations, Triumvirate Environmental agreed to subsidize his degree. Balancing his coursework with a full-time job was challenging, but that payoff was worth it.
“The MBA actually helped me make a double jump at Triumvirate into a service director position,” he said.
Now Ian is leader a much larger team and using his training and experience at GMC has incorporated sustainability into new and existing services. “I’ve been able to help the organization develop more environmentally sustainable service programs. This has differentiated Triumvirate and allowed our customer to improve their sustainability performance.”
Ian assumed that one tradeoff in the online program would be the absence of the personal touch, but that proved not to be the case.
“I had friends doing brick and mortar MBAs in Boston and when we would compare notes, I felt like I was closer with my classmates than them.”