The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Rockefeller Leadership Fellow: Lauren Buchanan '16

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This series introduces the 2015-2016 Rockefeller Leadership Fellows. Each fellow reflects on why he or she wanted to be a part of the program and what aspects of leadership most interests them.

At Dartmouth I have held a variety of leadership positions and each has taught me about my strengths and weaknesses as a leader. Connecting with people, determining what motivates them individually or as a group and inspiring them to do great work excites me. I believe that the RLF Program will greatly enhance my understanding of leadership dynamics and improve my effectiveness as a future leader. Furthermore, I am interested in working in consulting after graduation and in corporate sustainability in the long-term. RLF will provide me with the training and tools that would be invaluable in the collaborative, team oriented environment of consulting and, even more importantly, help me to develop into a skilled and vocal leader that could make a meaningful impact in the corporate world where sustainable practices are not always rewarded or recognized.

This summer, I will be interning at the consulting firm Bain & Company. I am very interested in the cross section of sustainability and business and chose to work in consulting because I believe that it will provide me with a solid understanding of and exposure to general business concepts and issues before I pursue a dual Masters degree in Environmental Science and Business. My interest in the relationship between these two fields stems from a research study that I have spent the last year designing and conducting with the guidance of a professor in Dartmouth’s Environmental Science Department. The study (which will be the basis for my senior thesis) examines the statistical correlation between corporate profitability and corporate sustainability. In the past, I have done work with environmental non-profits but my research project and an internship during the winter of 2014 at a start-up dedicated to Corporate Social Responsibility showed me that positive changes can also come from the private sector. Ten years from now, I hope to be the Chief Sustainability Officer at a large corporation.

My extracurricular activities at Dartmouth that have afforded me the opportunity to learn about leadership include being an Admission Office Tour Guide, a DOC Trip Leader, a Sustainability Office Intern, the Chair of Growing Change, a Member of the Moving Dartmouth Forward Standards Working Group, the President of TriDelt Sorority, and the Manager of the 2015 Sustainable Moving Sale (SMS). My role as the SMS Manager began in the spring of my sophomore year and culminated in a recycled goods sale during freshman orientation the following fall that netted a record $16,000 for Dartmouth’s Office of Sustainability.

I would bring enthusiasm, endless curiosity and a sincere commitment to the next delegation of RLF. I believe that my grounding in Environmental Studies as well as Business (accumulated through my independent research project and attending Tuck Bridge) would enable me to contribute a unique perspective to the group. I hope to gain from RLF an examination of my skills as a leader (especially pinpointing and improving upon my weaknesses). I am excited by the prospect of being exposed to and engaged with an array of leaders from all across campus and utilizing their feedback, ideas, and skills to hone and improve the leadership abilities of each individual. I envision that RLF will provide me with a fellowship of students who are committed, beyond Dartmouth, to growth in their leadership capabilities and who will support one another in achieving that goal in the years to come.

Lauren Buchanan ’16 grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico and graduated from the Santa Fe Preparatory School where she was a captain of the varsity lacrosse team, chair of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Board, president of the student body, and founder of the not-for-profit Go Teach Green (goteachgreen.org). At Dartmouth, Lauren is a double Environmental Studies and Spanish major. She is currently an Admission Office Tour Guide, a member of Dartmouth Women and Business, a Dartmouth Outing Club Freshman Orientation Trip leader, and an active member of the Dartmouth sustainability community (interning for the Office of Sustainability numerous times and serving as the 2014 Sustainable Moving Sale Manager). She is also president of her sorority, TriDelta. After graduation, Lauren plans to work in consulting and hopes to one day become a Chief Sustainability Officer for a large corporation.

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