Fall 2018 Scholarship Winner – Darian Williams

Nannette Don
Nannette Don
scholarship winner

Tell us about yourself:

I’m from Utah, USA, and earned a degree in Anthropology from Southern Utah University. I’m currently a graduate student of Global Environmental Studies at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan. I’m focusing my MA thesis on sustainability marketing, and currently have content marketing internships with American startup Alda Lifestyle and international organization Plastic-Free Tuesday. I also work part-time as an English teacher.

What has been your best experience in school?

During my second semester, I was able to go on a research trip to a small town called Karuizawa. While I didn’t directly learn anything about marketing, I gained hands-on experience with forest management. I also learned many traditional Japanese conservation methods that are unfortunately beginning to die out. On top of that, I was able to bond with my classmates and professors over good Japanese sake!

What influenced your choice in major?

During my undergraduate, I learned of primate endangerment in a biological anthropology course and decided to focus my senior thesis on the various dimensions of this problem. My findings from this thesis made me understand that conserving natural resources can’t be done from a one-dimensional perspective. As I approached grad school, I knew that I wanted to make sustainable living more doable for a greater number of people. Because of this, I decided to focus my MA thesis on how to increase sustainable consumption with marketing methods.

How do you envision yourself in 5 years?

I’d like to continue globe-hopping while working remotely as a sustainability marketer. Since I originally come from the countryside, which is quite homogeneous, I’m happy to experience different cultures. I also see this as an important educational and career skill in an increasingly globalized world. I’d like to be working on a diverse range of environmental problems and hope to see improvements in climate change, waste management, and biodiversity loss.

What do you hope to learn from your school experience?

I would like to gain a deeper understanding of human behavior because I see this as paramount to creating a sustainable future. This is something that was part of my undergraduate education, so it’s an extension of what I already know. Something that I missed during my undergrad, though, was any type of marketing or business knowledge. Although human behavior is important for sustainability, so are economic processes. I intend on melding these two elements in my final thesis as well as my career. What extracurricular activities do you enjoy? Most of the time that I don’t spend on my thesis is put towards two internships. One focuses on the general growth of a sustainable startup, in which I do everything from blogging to email marketing to Twitter growth. The other is more specific and focused because it’s for an organization that aims to decrease plastic waste with doable, everyday changes. I am currently working on revamping the organization’s Pinterest account in order to grow awareness about its mission.

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