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MidFellowship Look back

As part of this series on our programs, we have the Fellows share their own voices on how the impact investing fellowship has impacted their work. Check out this reflection from Laura Rodriguez, who is from Colombia, is pursuing a master’s at the University of Leeds in Sustainability and Business Studies. She’s connecting with the Fellowship to learn more about sustainable finance and how to create impact. We’re honored to have Laura with us. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

As part of the Impact Investing Fellowship, our Fellows get access to training programs and knowledge sessions. We empower our participants to see the possibility in creating real world impact with the financial system by learning about the forward-thinking organizations and programs that are spreading sustainable finance and impact investing. We work to transform education and empower the future finance leaders and impact creators.
Learn more here – 

Impact Investing Fellowship Program – Key Learnings
by Laura Maria Rodriguez Uribe

Participating as a fellow and volunteer in the oikos & New England Impact Investing Initiative -NEIII- Fellowship, has been an enriching opportunity to gain hands-on knowledge from experts and scholars in the impact investing field. As a sustainability professional and current master’s student in sustainability and business, I find the program insights essential to understanding how the sustainable finance ecosystem works, and what are the main key players, language, tools, approaches, and impact measurements in this setting. 

One of the greatest highlights of the program is the possibility of networking with other professionals and practitioners in the industry. These ideas and expertise exchange are quite valuable to finding future and potential partnerships and collaborative projects. In my case, I had the chance to connect with professionals from other regions and backgrounds to share our perspectives on sustainability challenges and opportunities. The general design of the sessions has been well-organized, and it has allowed us to delve into diverse and relevant topics, including impact entrepreneurship and ESG investment foundations. 

Among the sessions that have contributed the most to my professional training, I would like to highlight the Integrated Capital Card Game from Boston Impact InitiativeBII,  where we had the chance to role-play as an impact investor making key decisions on how to structure a deal into an impact project and what are the most adequate tools and instruments to fund a specific project. 

For fellows without prior experience in the field, such as myself, the session: Introduction to Sustainable Finance and Impact Investing facilitated by Jennifer Coombs at Ethos ESG was truly enlightening because it covered the origins and principles of sustainable investing, the motivations, and limitations for adopting this practice, and the role of stakeholders in the impact investing spectrum.

Furthermore, I found the Diversity in Sustainability (DiS) membership benefit quite useful for my career development and next professional steps.  I would aim to attain leadership positions in the future through an impact job. For this reason, being part of the community is a suitable resource to have peers’ feedback get inspiration from other sustainability professionals, and explore potential employment openings.  

It has been such a fruitful experience so far! We have 2 months more to go!
I look forward to participating in the upcoming training, webinars, workshops, and regional in-person gatherings. A special mention to the founder of this initiative Lubna Maria for believing in emerging talent, and democratizing access to education about impact investing. Moreover, thank you to Stephen Snider who has supported us in this amazing learning journey, his guidance has been crucial to making the most of the fellowship benefits.  

Thank you!

Professional Profile
Laura María, originally from Colombia, is deeply committed to driving positive social and environmental change within the business landscape. Currently pursuing a master’s degree in sustainability and business at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, she also serves as an Impact Investing Fellow and volunteer for the spring cohort 2024 at the New England Impact Investing Initiative.

With over three years of experience, Laura María possesses a robust skill set in developing and executing programs and initiatives aimed at integrating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into organizational business models. Her dedication extends beyond the professional realm; she has been passionately involved, since 2015, in different social, corporate (events), and governmental projects as a volunteer. Nowadays, she has renewed her commitment to the Earth Charter values and principles, with a strong belief in the importance of global interdependence and shared responsibility to turn conscience into action. 

As a sustainability professional, Laura María is committed to the vital role of education and awareness-building across diverse audiences; as a way to address sustainability challenges and promote a balanced perspective on social well-being, economic growth, and ecological transition.