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Padmaja Soundararajan

Padmaja Soundararajan, MBA

Degree Earned: B.Tech, MBA
Organization: Allegis Group
Title: Strategic Data Analyst

Padmaja Soundararajan, NC State University Alumni

What experiences first made you interested in using your career to drive business sustainability?

My initial experience with sustainability came in the form of CSR initiatives in Bangalore when I started working in the service industry at Infosys Limited. This is where I learned that you can contribute to the cause you are passionate about even in a role which is not directly a sustainability related role. The causes my then organization supported motivated me to work towards understanding how brands can influence the triple bottom line creatively.Give us some examples of how your company uses sustainability to drive innovation, produce results, or improve the way you do business.

Community involvement is an important piece of personal development that gives individuals the opportunity to promote awareness and understanding within their community. At Allegis Group, we believe in supporting the communities where we live and work through volunteerism.

What’s your advice for students who are interested in sustainability?  How can students combine their sustainability interests with their day-to-day duties?

According to me, there are three kinds of career options for a student interested in sustainability.

One where a student is directly in sustainability related roles – here, the student is directly responsible to contribute to the cause and create an impact.

One where a student works for an organization where sustainability is ingrained in the company’s culture – here, while the role might not be a sustainability role, the culture of the organization drives any person working in the organization to solution from the perspective of the triple bottom line.

One where the organization’s operations are not necessarily directly inclined to sustainability. – this is great opportunity for the student to get creative in such organizations. This is like a whiteboard, one on which you can paint what you like. As strong leaders, we should be the change agents in these organizations to contribute our best to help align to the triple bottom line.

Tell us about your current job duties, and how you’re working to integrate sustainability into your role.

The best part of working in the staffing industry is that you get to create a direct impact in the careers and lives of others. I am fortunate to work for an organization that believes in contributing to the triple bottom line. The organization is highly involved in the local community and takes every opportunity to give back to it. While my role is not directly linked to sustainability, I love how I am able to involve in avenues across the organization. The amazing culture of the organization helps me to venture out to find avenues to contribute.

Feel free to add any observations about your career and/or sustainability that we haven’t covered in these questions.

It is amazing how in different industries sustainability is defined differently. No matter the kind of role/industry you are in, I believe that there is always a way for you to contribute to the cause you are passionate about. As leaders of sustainability and graduates of our sustainability leadership program, we share a common cause and should find ways to work on this cause beyond school. I love how the leadership program equipped me to think differently for different organizations with diverse lunch and learns and speaker sessions.