February 19, 2020
By Rachael Blaine '21
Alumni Tyler Shields ’15 and Kevin Zuidervliet ’13 encouraged students to mind the “triple bottom line” when pursuing a career in sustainability.
Shields and Zuidervliet led Making Green: Green Jobs and Careers in Sustainability at this year’s Break Through conference.
A new business term gaining traction, “triple bottom line” refers to the financial, social and environmental effects a business influences, and it is more commonly becoming a focus.
“What’s good for the environment is good for people is good for business,” Shields said.
Shields and Zuidervliet also shared their career paths and the "green” initiatives they have helped enforce.
After completing his master’s degree in aquatic and organic chemistry, Shields found work as the quality, health, safety and environmental director at Bingaman and Son Lumber in Middleburg, Pennsylvania. One of his roles is to ensure the company complies with Sustainable Forestry Initiatives and the Forest Stewardship Council.
After graduating from Susquehanna, Zuidervliet attended a two-year professional horticulture program before finding work at a variety of local nurseries. Today, he is a nursery horticulturist at Longwood Gardens in Christiana, Pennsylvania.
“Longwood aspires to be beautiful while also being sustainable,” he explained. The company keeps records to find alternatives for invasive species and also ensure that Longwood plants more trees than they take away.
Zuidervliet also discussed the importance of finding a job that is not only sustainable for the environment, but also suitable for one’s lifestyle. He also offered valuable advice for any student soon to be seeking employment by urging them to pay attention to both the salary and benefits of future jobs, like medical insurance, which he explained can be just as important as salary.
Attendees appreciated the candor of the panelists.
“It was good to hear about realistic jobs, pay and benefits,” said Edwing Aparicio ‘22.
About Break Through
Break Through helps Susquehanna students to network and develop contacts with alumni and other professionals in their chosen fields. Each year in February, alumni converge on campus for the student-alumni networking conference. Alumni offer career-specific panel discussions, money management advice, résumé tips, online branding and more. Break Through is organized by Susquehanna’s Career Development Center.