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Ask me about Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise

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Ask me about Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise [#permalink] New post 23 Sep 2009, 20:17
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Hey folks! I wanted to put myself out as a resource for prospective Ross students. I'm a first year at Ross and am part of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, a 3-year MBA/MS in Environmental Science. It's an awesome program focused on environmental sustainability and arguably the best in the world. The students/administration are excellent and it's great to be part of such a strong and passionate community.

The way it works is you start at either the Ross School of Business or the School of Natural Resources. The following year you switch to the other school. The final year is a combo of the two. You have two internships and work on a year-long master's project. You need to apply separately to the two schools and if you're accepted into both, then you're in Erb.

Currently across the three years, there's about 100 students. In total, there's about 250 alums, so you can see that this program is growing rapidly. In the class of 2012, there are about 30 Erb students, though it's expected to get up to ~50 since current first year students in both Ross or SNRE can apply.

There's of course a lot more to Erb. If you want to learn more, do get in touch. Also, a great resource is Cyndy Cleveland, program coordinator at the Erb Institute. She is a great starting point and can point you to more resources than I can.

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Re: Ask me about Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2009, 12:53
Hey there,

Thanks for your post. I wanted to pick your brain on your decision to attend the Erb Institute. I've visited Michigan on two occasions now and will definitely apply in Round 1 this year. I'm also looking to apply to MIT,UPenn, and maybe Stanford. In terms of career path, I'm looking at entrepreneurship after my MBA (perhaps go back in consulting for two years to pay part of my tuition back). Moreover, I have a real interest in Cleantech and the concept of sustainable systems. However, given my background in business, I need to understand these concepts further in an educational environment. While I undoubtedly agree that the Erb Institute is the premier program for my interests (possibly Stanford), how did you choose going to Michigan in a 3 year program vs. going to an MIT/UPenn 2 year program with an emphasis in Sustainability? For entrepreneurship, I feel MIT / UPenn would open more doors (although Ross' dept is quite underrated) but Michigan would provide the foundation I seek in Environmental Management.

At your convenience, let me know your thoughts and any advice you can give from your experience.

Cheers.

Last edited by ColonelSanders on 06 Sep 2010, 13:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ask me about Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2009, 16:16
ColonelSanders wrote:
Hey there,

Thanks for your post. I wanted to pick your brain on your decision to attend the Erb Institute. I've visited Michigan on two occasions now and will definitely apply in Round 1 this year. I'm also looking to apply to MIT,UPenn, and maybe Stanford. In terms of career path, I'm looking at entrepreneurship after my MBA (perhaps go back in consulting for two years to pay part of my tuition back). Moreover, I have a real interest in Cleantech and the concept of sustainable systems. However, given my background in business, I need to understand these concepts further in an educational environment. While I undoubtedly agree that the Erb Institute is the premier program for my interests (possibly Stanford), how did you choose going to Michigan in a 3 year program vs. going to an MIT/UPenn 2 year program with an emphasis in Sustainability? For entrepreneurship, I feel MIT / UPenn would open more doors (although Ross' dept is quite underrated) but Michigan would provide the foundation I seek in Environmental Management.

At your convenience, let me know your thoughts and any advice you can give from your experience.

Cheers,

The Colonel


I don't know much about MIT or UPenn's programs in sustainability. I believe both are fairly new. I'd ruled out those two schools early for various reasons - including location. The other program I was deciding against was Berkeley, and probably for the same reasons you're considering MIT and UPenn. The other well established dual degree programs are Yale and Duke - Stanford's is also new.

I thought a lot about 2 versus 3 years and spoke to a current students and alums at Berkeley and Michigan. For me, it came down to the following:
- I have no background in environmental science so I wanted the formal education in it. I also wanted the MS to distinguish myself from other MBAs looking to do the same thing as me. More importantly, I felt it would be difficult to learn about cleantech, sustainability, social enterprise, etc. on my own while also doing schoolwork, club activities, case competitions... And I can tell you that as a student for about a month now, I'm totally overcommitted (but in a good way) and would not have had any time at all to do that research on my own. Recruiting starts immediately and there is no time for reflection on what you want to do with your life. With 3 years, I have two internships and a Master's project to really gain that experience and knowledge.
- The student, faculty, and alumni base are unbeatable. Erb is the largest dual degree program in terms of # of students who do it. It's the most well coordinated which is important if you're looking at dual degree programs elsewhere. It can be difficult to coordinate classes across two schools. Erb has faculty that are jointly appointed to SNRE and Ross and because there's 100+ students across the three years in Erb, it's easy to coordinate classes across the two schools. I can't say enough about being with a class of 30 students who are all motivated by the same cause - and also having the support and guidance of 70 other 2nd and 3rd years.
- Alumni base is important to me. While there's about 250 Erb alums, the community is tight. I spoke to several alums while I was deciding on Erb and they all set aside time to talk to me. Because we're a small community, we all support each other and they're going to be a valuable part of my job hunt - not to give me a job, but to help me learn about different career paths, industries, etc. The one disadvantage I could see from not being at Berkeley was networking with companies on the West Coast, but there are Erb alums out there and Erb students who have interned out there, so I don't think I'm at a disadvantage.
- There's the Erb Advisory Committee of folks in for-profit and non-profit who help shape the strategy of the Erb Institute. They are also a resource for students to contact and ask questions to.

So those were my main deciding factors. Plus I got some $$ from Ross which made the third year not so bad financially. Hope this helps!

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Re: Ask me about Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2009, 15:36
http://www.edf.org/page.cfm?tagID=42349

The Environmental Defense Fund has an internship program called Climate Corps. Via the website, "EDF embeds trained MBA students in companies to identify cost-effective energy efficiency improvements. Climate Corps Fellows spend up to three months identifying and analyzing savings opportunities. They also develop detailed investment and implementation plans that help businesses cut costs and reduce emissions. Their host companies in turn commit to opening up their financial and operational records, providing senior level support and sharing results."

This link has a list of last year's Climate Corp Fellows. Just to give you an idea of Michigan's presence, of the 26 Fellows, 6 are Erbers.

Here's the breakdown:
6 Michigan, all Erb students
2 UC Davis
2 UNC
2 Duke
2 Yale
1 Stanford
1 Penn
1 Cornell
1 Case Western
1 Rice
1 UPenn
1 CMU
1 Berkeley
1 Berkeley/Columbia
1 NYU
1 MIT
1 North Carolina Central University

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Re: Ask me about Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise [#permalink] New post 05 Oct 2009, 08:58
Thanks for your insight, much appreciated. I should have mentioned to you that, during the summer, I met with Cyndy Cleveland and she pretty much sold me on applying to Erb (I already had a strong interest at that point). Let's hope for the best.

Thanks again
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Re: Ask me about Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2009, 01:28
Hi,

I was so looking for such kinda program where I can progress my career into climate change and sustainable development.
Here is my profile:
Undergrad: Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay
GMAT: Yet to be given, but I am expecting 740
Work Experience: 3.5 years
Profile: I am into consulting in the field of climate change and sustainable development and want to progress in the same sector and probably enter into climate change policy and strategy formulation after an MA/MBA.

I am extremely interested in this dual degree program as you mentioned.
I have few queries from you:
1) How much chances are there of me getting through this dual degree program admit
2) How much approx. total cost comes out for this 3 year dual degree program
3) What are the various options of getting scholarship or fellowship or loan grant for this program

Thanks a ton. I would appreciate if you could guide me because getting into this dual degree program is my absolute sole dream of life. :-D
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Re: Ask me about Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise [#permalink] New post 10 Oct 2009, 11:33
psclimate wrote:
Hi,

I was so looking for such kinda program where I can progress my career into climate change and sustainable development.
Here is my profile:
Undergrad: Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay
GMAT: Yet to be given, but I am expecting 740
Work Experience: 3.5 years
Profile: I am into consulting in the field of climate change and sustainable development and want to progress in the same sector and probably enter into climate change policy and strategy formulation after an MA/MBA.

I am extremely interested in this dual degree program as you mentioned.
I have few queries from you:
1) How much chances are there of me getting through this dual degree program admit
2) How much approx. total cost comes out for this 3 year dual degree program
3) What are the various options of getting scholarship or fellowship or loan grant for this program

Thanks a ton. I would appreciate if you could guide me because getting into this dual degree program is my absolute sole dream of life. :-D


Glad you're excited about the program. The Energy Club has hosted a Carbon Symposium the past two years. Next year though I believe they're expanding it to an Environmental Markets Symposium. We've got a few Erb alums at BSR (Business for Social Responsibility), SustainAbility, Deloitte, and another who just started a company called Forest Carbon Offsets just to give you a sampling of what alums are up to.

To answer your questions...

1. You have to submit two applications. One to Ross and one to the School of Natural Resources and the Environment. There isn't an evaluation of prospective Erb candidates by the Erb Institute. It's done purely through the admissions department of the two separate schools. Ross is the more difficult of the two to get accepted of course. I don't know the stats for SNRE, but essentially for those who aren't accepted into ERB, it's because they were not accepted into Ross. Some students opt to start at SNRE and then reapply to Ross if that's their #1 program.

2. You pay for 3 semesters of Ross and 3 semesters of Rackham tuition. Rackham is cheaper (I don't remember the exact amount, but you can find it online).

3. All students who apply to Ross and SNRE are eligible for scholarships. There is no separate application for it. They give it based on the merits of your application. Through the Erb Institute, students are eligible for scholarships during your 3rd year. They're modifying the program a bit, but you can contact Cyndy Cleveland about it (and about anything related to Erb). There are also GSIs which are teaching assistant positions. They're competitive, but if you get one, your tuition and health insurance are fully covered and you get a stipend.

The toughest part about getting into Erb is getting into Ross. Good luck!

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Re: Ask me about Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2009, 14:54
I recently put together a list of sustainable enterprise resources at Ross for a prospective student, so thought I'd share the list here.


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Re: Ask me about Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise [#permalink] New post 11 Jan 2010, 22:30
Thanks so much for offering to answer questions about Erb! I'm glad to hear that the community is so tight knit.

I currently work at CB Richard Ellis (commercial real estate) and am interested in sustainable housing. In particular, my current interest is prefabricated, modular housing. I've been researching programs for the dual degree program. Michigan is at the top of my list because housing is one of the concentrations at Erb and Michigan is known for its social enterprise.

1. What were your thoughts on the dual degree programs at Yale and Duke given that they were Environmental Management (as opposed to a true M/S in Environmental Science)? Did that sway your decision to attend Michigan?

2. I'm a little concerned about my quant score on my GMAT. Total score was 700 (Q47 V41). Right now, my quant percentile is 78%. My UCLA undergrad GPA is very good and I minored in Accounting. However, I didn't take any true math classes, only Stats. Given that half of your life at Erb is doing a M/S, can you speak on the emphasis they place on quant? Do most Erb students come from science backgrounds? Was thinking about taking an extension class just to prove I can do it. Thoughts?

3. Did you meet with students and faculty at Erb prior to applying? Any suggestions on the best way and what time of the year to do this?

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Ask me about Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise [#permalink] New post 12 Jan 2010, 04:35
grantjt442 wrote:
Thanks so much for offering to answer questions about Erb! I'm glad to hear that the community is so tight knit.

I currently work at CB Richard Ellis (commercial real estate) and am interested in sustainable housing. In particular, my current interest is prefabricated, modular housing. I've been researching programs for the dual degree program. Michigan is at the top of my list because housing is one of the concentrations at Erb and Michigan is known for its social enterprise.

1. What were your thoughts on the dual degree programs at Yale and Duke given that they were Environmental Management (as opposed to a true M/S in Environmental Science)? Did that sway your decision to attend Michigan?

2. I'm a little concerned about my quant score on my GMAT. Total score was 700 (Q47 V41). Right now, my quant percentile is 78%. My UCLA undergrad GPA is very good and I minored in Accounting. However, I didn't take any true math classes, only Stats. Given that half of your life at Erb is doing a M/S, can you speak on the emphasis they place on quant? Do most Erb students come from science backgrounds? Was thinking about taking an extension class just to prove I can do it. Thought

3. Did you meet with students and faculty at Erb prior to applying? Any suggestions on the best way and what time of the year to do this?

Thanks in advance!


I'm happy to hear you're considering a career in sustainable housing! Responses below to your questions:

1. Short answer - no the MS didn't sway my focus so much as the network of students in the dual degree, the administrative support of the dual degree, and the strength of the MBA program.

I researched Yale and Duke's MBA programs along with several others, and in the end only applied to Michigan's of those 3. They were personal reasons and I also had to narrow down the number of schools I was applying to since I wasn't applying only to programs with a dual degree. I was basing it on the strength of the MBA program as well. Of all these reasons, I applied to only Michigan of the 3. I did meet a lot of folks who were weighing Michigan v Yale and fewer v Duke. Most decided to come to Michigan, but I'd suggest you reach out to current students at Yale and Duke and ask them the same questions you've posed here.

2. There is some quant work, but I'd be more concerned from the MBA perspective and not for the MS (at least at the SNRE - can't speak about FES or Duke's school). I wouldn't really be concerned about quant background when applying to SNRE. Erb students are fairly split in terms of science vs business backgrounds. Of the science background, I'd say some had technical backgrounds, but that doesn't necessarily mean it was quant, though it may have involved quant. If you think you need to beef of quant, it would be for the MBA portion of your application and not the MS.

3. I did speak to students and alums, but that was after I had my admission decisions and was figuring out where to go. I didn't speak to professors, but did speak to Cyndy Cleveland, program coordinator at Erb and as I've mentioned before, tremendous resource at Erb and keeper of all knowledge. She's a great person to talk to and someone you'd interact with a lot as a student, so definitely talk to her to help inform your decision. It's always helpful to talk to people before you write your application since it can help you decide whether or not to apply and help you tailor your application and say why Ross, or any other school, is right for you. Cyndy can also point you to more resources, so start with her if you have other questions.

Good luck!

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Re: Ask me about Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2010, 07:04
Thanks peaceyall for sharing these information.

I am currently thinking about my long-term career goals and how an MBA can help me achieve them. It looks like I share a couple of common interests with you (such as social enterprise, clean tech, & environmental sustainability) and your insights could be really helpful.
Here are a couple of questions that comes to my mind:

1. When taking the decision to go for three years instead of 2, how important was the age factor (From my understanding you will graduate at around 31)? Do you think that your age might be a drawback when applying to a job in your new domain (companies will certainly ask for experience in their industry in addition to the internships & projects)? Or have you had previous extra professional activities in the domain?

2. Do you know if social/environmental opportunities are open to international students in the US? Have you met a lot of international students enrolled in the dual degree?

3. Do you know where I can find ressources related to employment statistics for people in the dual degree?

Thanks a lot in advance for your help.
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Re: Ask me about Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise [#permalink] New post 10 Feb 2010, 19:21
megabuck wrote:
Thanks peaceyall for sharing these information.

I am currently thinking about my long-term career goals and how an MBA can help me achieve them. It looks like I share a couple of common interests with you (such as social enterprise, clean tech, & environmental sustainability) and your insights could be really helpful.
Here are a couple of questions that comes to my mind:

1. When taking the decision to go for three years instead of 2, how important was the age factor (From my understanding you will graduate at around 31)? Do you think that your age might be a drawback when applying to a job in your new domain (companies will certainly ask for experience in their industry in addition to the internships & projects)? Or have you had previous extra professional activities in the domain?

2. Do you know if social/environmental opportunities are open to international students in the US? Have you met a lot of international students enrolled in the dual degree?

3. Do you know where I can find ressources related to employment statistics for people in the dual degree?

Thanks a lot in advance for your help.


1. I didn't think about age and don't think it'll impact my career prospects. I decided to be a part of Erb because I felt that if I wanted to switch into a sustainability role without any related career experience, I'd have to take a few steps back in my career progress. With an MBA/MS, I can get a general management foundation as well as environment/energy experience through classes, projects, internships, and plenty of on-campus resources - stuff that would be really difficult to accomplish on my own. Though I'm switching career focus, I haven't yet decided on an industry or function. One year really should not make a difference in my mind. Lots of people graduate when they're 30, 31, 32 so I wouldn't worry about this.

2. I don't know much about international students' situations. I do know that it's generally tougher for internationals, especially in a down economy. Sorry that I can't help here.

3. Erb doesn't have stats published, though we're in the process of collecting it. You could contact Cyndy Cleveland directly about this (and about #2). She knows everything about Erb!

Good luck with the application process!

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Re: Ask me about Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2010, 12:24
I'm also happy to answer any questions people may have about the Erb Institute MBA/MS program.

peaceyall wrote:
http://www.edf.org/page.cfm?tagID=42349

The Environmental Defense Fund has an internship program called Climate Corps. Via the website, "EDF embeds trained MBA students in companies to identify cost-effective energy efficiency improvements. Climate Corps Fellows spend up to three months identifying and analyzing savings opportunities. They also develop detailed investment and implementation plans that help businesses cut costs and reduce emissions. Their host companies in turn commit to opening up their financial and operational records, providing senior level support and sharing results."

This link has a list of last year's Climate Corp Fellows. Just to give you an idea of Michigan's presence, of the 26 Fellows, 6 are Erbers.

Also, a little update on the EDF Climate Corps Fellowship. This year the program has expanded to nearly 50 companies across the nation. I'll be one of the 5 interns from Erb who will be working one of these projects this summer.

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Re: Ask me about Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise [#permalink] New post 06 Sep 2010, 12:52
How does recruiting for most Erb students work (through Erb, through Ross, or self-directed)? Do they compete much with MBA-only students for positions?
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Re: Ask me about Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise [#permalink] New post 06 Sep 2010, 13:36
mc wrote:
How does recruiting for most Erb students work (through Erb, through Ross, or self-directed)? Do they compete much with MBA-only students for positions?


The short answer is, this really depends on the students' career interest. Some compete with other MBAs and some don't because they're not interested in the positions that come through on-campus recruiting. It really depends on the individual.

To give a longer answer...
In the first year, Erb students (and most dual degree students) are generally not competing with MBA-only students for internships. One reason is because companies use internships to recruit for full-time positions and since dual degree students aren't graduating for another two years, it's risky to give an offer since a lot can happen in two years. Another is that with two internships, the first is a great opportunity to explore an area or company that may or may not be a place they want to work in after graduating.

In the second and third years, Erb students will go through the same recruiting process as a typical MBA student if they're going through on-campus recruiting. Some companies do look for students with a sustainability or energy related background and being an Erb student can help. For example, Piper Jaffray took two interns this past summer for their clean tech portfolio and both were Erb students.

For students who aren't interested in on-campus recruiting, there are a lot of internships and full-time positions that come through Erb. A few internships from this past summer include Dow, Johnson Controls, Ford, and DTE.

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Re: Ask me about Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise [#permalink] New post 08 Sep 2010, 04:39
peaceyall wrote:
mc wrote:
How does recruiting for most Erb students work (through Erb, through Ross, or self-directed)? Do they compete much with MBA-only students for positions?


The short answer is, this really depends on the students' career interest. Some compete with other MBAs and some don't because they're not interested in the positions that come through on-campus recruiting. It really depends on the individual.

To give a longer answer...
In the first year, Erb students (and most dual degree students) are generally not competing with MBA-only students for internships. One reason is because companies use internships to recruit for full-time positions and since dual degree students aren't graduating for another two years, it's risky to give an offer since a lot can happen in two years. Another is that with two internships, the first is a great opportunity to explore an area or company that may or may not be a place they want to work in after graduating.

In the second and third years, Erb students will go through the same recruiting process as a typical MBA student if they're going through on-campus recruiting. Some companies do look for students with a sustainability or energy related background and being an Erb student can help. For example, Piper Jaffray took two interns this past summer for their clean tech portfolio and both were Erb students.

For students who aren't interested in on-campus recruiting, there are a lot of internships and full-time positions that come through Erb. A few internships from this past summer include Dow, Johnson Controls, Ford, and DTE.


Thanks for your reply...it's kind of weird, but the Erb Institute draws me to Michigan and turns me away at the same time. I'm interested in renewable energy, but I really can't do the three year program and it seems like everyone at Ross with similar interests is an Erb student. Come recruiting time, I'm worried that I will have to compete with someone with an Erb student and their extra degree for every position I'm interested in.

Am I off base here?
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Re: Ask me about Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise [#permalink] New post 08 Sep 2010, 06:46
mc wrote:
peaceyall wrote:
mc wrote:
How does recruiting for most Erb students work (through Erb, through Ross, or self-directed)? Do they compete much with MBA-only students for positions?


The short answer is, this really depends on the students' career interest. Some compete with other MBAs and some don't because they're not interested in the positions that come through on-campus recruiting. It really depends on the individual.

To give a longer answer...
In the first year, Erb students (and most dual degree students) are generally not competing with MBA-only students for internships. One reason is because companies use internships to recruit for full-time positions and since dual degree students aren't graduating for another two years, it's risky to give an offer since a lot can happen in two years. Another is that with two internships, the first is a great opportunity to explore an area or company that may or may not be a place they want to work in after graduating.

In the second and third years, Erb students will go through the same recruiting process as a typical MBA student if they're going through on-campus recruiting. Some companies do look for students with a sustainability or energy related background and being an Erb student can help. For example, Piper Jaffray took two interns this past summer for their clean tech portfolio and both were Erb students.

For students who aren't interested in on-campus recruiting, there are a lot of internships and full-time positions that come through Erb. A few internships from this past summer include Dow, Johnson Controls, Ford, and DTE.


Thanks for your reply...it's kind of weird, but the Erb Institute draws me to Michigan and turns me away at the same time. I'm interested in renewable energy, but I really can't do the three year program and it seems like everyone at Ross with similar interests is an Erb student. Come recruiting time, I'm worried that I will have to compete with someone with an Erb student and their extra degree for every position I'm interested in.

Am I off base here?


Yes - if you're interested in renewables and cleantech, you would end up competing with both Erb and non-Erb students. There are some positions that come through
OCD (GE Renewable Energy Leadership Program, PGE, DTE, Duke Energy), but most are self-directed or come through the Erb Institute or Erb alums.

That doesn't mean you can't apply to those positions. It just means that those companies know Erb has a student body that allows them to effectively target students with the background/experience/interests they're looking for.

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Re: Ask me about Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise   [#permalink] 08 Sep 2010, 06:46
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