Sandra works as Head of Sustainability Strategy
Sandra Runsten graduated with a Master's degree in Economics with a focus on development economics. Today she works as Head of Sustainability Strategy at the agency The New Division in Stockholm.
Who is your current employer?
- Today, I work as Head of Sustainability Strategy at The New Division, the agency that created the design for the UN's global sustainability goals. Before this position I have been working with surrounding world analysis at United Minds, sustainability work at Microsoft, communication strategy and formation of opinion at Hallvarsson & Halvarsson and Chairman of the board of Sustainergies.
My job is to help companies or authorities to link sustainability work to their business models. Specifically, it involves mapping out what their existing impact looks like, how they can improve the various dimensions of sustainability.
Describe your job, what do you do and what are your responsibilities?
- As Head of Sustainability Strategy, I am responsible for our offering in sustainability strategy. We help companies or authorities to link sustainability work to their business models. Specifically, it involves mapping out what their existing impact looks like, how they can improve the various dimensions of sustainability to be in line with Agenda 2030 and how they can reduce their carbon dioxide emissions, for example. It is often about creating strategies and communication, educating and being an advisor.
How did you end up where you are today?
-This position fell into my lap. I was looking for a position where I could work with sustainability in exactly this business-like way, and TND was looking for someone who was exactly like me. The CEO and I had the same vision about the future development of sustainability work, so it was a very easy process. Often you have to go through several interviews, cases, and intelligence tests in the processes, in this case it was a coffee and then it was a done deal.
Economics was a good way to understand the world and the analytical mindset has been very applicable, even though I do not work with economics in that sense.
How has your education at the School of Business, Economics and Law helped your career?
- Very well. Economics was a good way to understand the world and the analytical mindset has been very applicable, even though I do not work with economics in that sense. Regarding the development economy, I really have use for what I have learned, especially when I work with issues that concern poverty, human rights and gender equality.
What did you think was the best thing about being a student at the School of Business?
-The best thing is that it was flexible to set your own focus, and that I that it is a well-known and respected university. My strongest memory is collecting data for my MFS thesis, myself, in rural Peru. Or the first lunch in the school restaurant Handelsrätten, where I sat by the same table as the man I ended up marrying!
Take every opportunity to get involved outside of school. Take an internship, write an essay for a company, network with the industry /area you want to work in. My internship at the UN was more valuable than my grades in the end.
Do you have any tips or advice for our students at the School of Business?
-Choose unexpected courses and focus on what you are interested in! Also, take every opportunity to get involved outside of your studies. Take an internship, write an essay for a company, network with the industry / area you want to work in. My internship at the UN turned out to be more valuable than my grades when I started to apply for jobs.
Did you go for an exchange semester?
-I took a semester off at the end of my education and did an internship at Sweden's representation at the UN in New York, where I took care of minor resolutions in the second committee. During my education, I also spent a semester in Melbourne and studied at Victoria University. It was fantastic, Melbourne was a perfect city to be a student in and on the weekends we kayaked, cycled downhill and climbed mountains in nearby national parks.