Gugu Mclaren

Current Job: 
Senior Sustainability Specialist

Majors: Psychology and Gender Studies

Postgraduate Degree:
MSocSc in Gender and Development.

I've worked in the field of sustainable development for over 10 year within the non-profit, consulting and corporate sectors covering numerous industries. My current role within the Office of the CEO of a business association focused on sustainable social and environmental change is the culmination of my experience. I develop strategies and programs for implementation by member companies to achieve sustainability transformation and change.
My world was opened up through my studying for my social science degree, and ignited a need to have strong purpose-driven career. I am fortunate that my qualifications provided me with the knowledge, analytical skills and abilities to successfully work in roles and within organisations that address social challenges.
Research and dissemination of information
Building relationships
Strategic thinking
Good planning and time management
My day to day activities include conducting research, developing strategies, putting together programs, project management, evaluating progress on objectives and engaging with member companies.
My extra-curricular involvement gave me an appreciation for collaboration and importance of building a strong network of people who can act as advisers, guides and champions.
University is a great time to encourage innovative thinking. Fresh thoughts and ideas applied to existing approaches are what sets people apart in my field.
I would have tried to understand better the opportunities available to me. When I started in the sustainable development field it was still in it's early stages, and I did know what what lay ahead. I could have equipped myself better by understanding where the field originated from, particularly globally, and I would have had an earlier leg up.
Relationships are important and it is worthwhile to actively nurture and grow them.