Sustainability in the Workforce: An Interview with Rebecca Beaulieu ‘18

A few Holy Cross students planting seedlings in a garden bed
Holy Cross students participating in Working for Worcester 2021
Rebecca Beaulieu graduated in 2018 with a degree in English and a minor in Environmental Studies. After graduating, Rebecca participated in a year of Americorps where she taught at a high school in Boston. She is currently the director of communications and youth program organizer at 350 New Hampshire, a non-profit organization advocating for the expansion of reusable energy and an end to the use of fossil fuels. I spoke with Rebecca about how her Holy Cross experience prepared her for her career.

Q: What was your major at HC? How do you think your particular major prepared you for working in the sustainability field?

Majoring in english helped me become a more effective communicator, which has been great because communicating is a large aspect of my job. Minoring in environmental studies provided me with a broader understanding of climate issues and the need for change in how we approach sustainable practices.

Q: In what ways do you think a liberal arts education has benefited you in your career? In what ways has it (if any) impeded you?

Overall, I think a liberal arts education is the best way to become a well-rounded professional upon graduating. I do wish that there was more emphasis on learning about the tangible effects of climate change during my time at Holy Cross, such as the effects of climate change on farming and the economy. I think that integrating more social justice and humanities based information into the curriculum would be beneficial.

Q: How would you define the term “sustainability?” Has your understanding of what sustainability means changed throughout the course of your career?

I think that a liberal arts education has helped me to look at the bigger picture, which is important in sustainability. It is not the consumer’s responsibility to fix climate change through individual action, which is an emerging idea in sustainability that has become more accepted recently.

Q: How do you see sustainability impacting your daily life?

While individual action can only go so far, I still try to do my best to buy less from places like Amazon and watch my utility usage in my apartment. The best thing an individual can really do to positively impact sustainability is support the right policies that make you feel good and watch where your money is being invested (some banks and large corporations support fossil fuels). That’s where I see sustainability most impacting my day to day life.

Interview paraphrased and blog post written by Anne Kiernan ’23.