College of Business {College of Business}

Image: Photos of SF State students

Preparing to lead in the new economy: SF State offers an MBA Emphasis in Sustainable Business

News + Events : Preparing to lead in the new economy: SF State offers an MBA Emphasis in Sustainable Business


An MBA used to be tied to careers in banking, finance and administration, and made it likely that graduates moved to Wall Street, not Main Street.

Efrat Stark (MBA 2008)Efrat Stark, Class of 2008

Corporate Sustainability Marketing Manager, Autodesk

SF State MBA internship turns into a dream career at one of the Bay Area’s leading software companies

Efrat Stark secured a position in Autodesk’s sustainability department through an internship she completed at the company while she was studying for her MBA. Autodesk provides the software used by millions of architects, designers and engineers all over the globe, who increasingly must incorporate sustainability into every step of the design process.

Autodesk has a robust sustainability strategy that involves providing tools to help its customers make more sustainable design decisions, while also working to improve the company’s own impact on the environment. Stark is responsible for the positioning and promoting of Autodesk’s leadership in providing the tools to achieve sustainable design to various audiences.

Her inspiration to pursue this career path came from SF State’s Professor Peter Melhus’s ethics class. “I was struck by the immense responsibility—and opportunity—that comes with the influence businesses have on society and the environment.” Stark says. “I knew I needed to find a career opportunity that would incorporate my strong business background, while making a positive impact on society. Thanks to SF State, I’ve found that at Autodesk.”

Joanne Panchana (MBA Candidate 2012)Joanne Panchana, Class of 2012

Program Manager, Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Professor Murray Silverman’s class inspires the formation of PG&E Green Network

As part of the integrated demand side management (IDSM) department at PG&E, Joanne Panchana’s team helps customers save money and reduce emissions through energy efficiency, demand response and self-generation. She also helped start the utility’s Grassroots Green Network, which strives to align the company’s goals for environmental leadership through employee engagement and initiatives. The Green Network has more than 200 employee members and the support of many company executives, including PG&E’s chief sustainability officer.

Panchana’s inspiration for forming the network came from taking the MGMT 856 course, Managing the Sustainable Business, where the ability to instigate real change from within a major company became tangible. “The SF State program helped me tie my environmental interests to my business interests,” she says, “and to apply business concepts as change drivers for sustainability.”

MBA Emphasis in Sustainable Business

For more information, see Graduate Programs : MBA : Emphasis in Sustainable Business

Share this story:

SF State Home