Sustainable business opportunity fuels Thunderbird grad’s entrepreneurial pursuits
Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2022 graduates.
“(Thunderbird) was one of the very few schools that integrated sustainability in business at its core,” the Mumbai, India, native said. “Irrespective of which part of the world and industry I end up working in, having a purposeful and impactful career was and will always be my highest priority. Thunderbird gave me the tools and network to realize my goals.”
Sawant took no time to make these goals a reality. As a Thunderbird Dean’s Fellow, she works as project and research coordinator for the Global Carbon Removal Partnership — a multistakeholder global partnership focused on scaling carbon-removal solutions for a sustainable future.
Sawant also created CarboHarvest, an innovative social impact startup focusing on biodiversity to benefit farmers, consumers and the planet.
“I discovered entrepreneurship could be the channel to realize my passion for sustainable environmental and social impact,” the SHARE Fellow said. “I believe in building resilient communities that otherwise face the challenges of meeting the basic daily needs due to volatile global markets. While these communities have hardly any part to play in causing war, pandemics or natural calamities, they get affected the most.”
She intends to build on these passions — and continue her Thunderbird experience — long after she graduates in May.
“Thunderbird has given me 100 million reasons to travel around and enrich my mind and soul,” she said. “I know my Thunderbird experience will continue even after I graduate because I will graduate not only with a degree, but also with the Thunderbird Mystique.”
Juily Sawant poses with friends in the new F. Francis and Dionne Najafi Thunderbird Global Headquarters.
Sawant with friends at a G100 event. G100 is a premier executive peer development and networking group.
Meeting fellow T-birds from around the world is one of Sawant's favorite memories.
Question: What do you love about being a T-bird?
Answer: I love Thunderbird for its people. T-birds are unique in approaching challenges, opportunities and life. They are lifelong learners and innovators. It was incredible to see it with my eyes when I met all the alumni during the 75th anniversary.
Q: What’s something you learned while at Thunderbird — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?
A: I learned the power of learning about cultures and languages. How it opens doors to an ocean of knowledge, and then there is no limit to how deep you can go. It also highlighted how different yet similar we all are irrespective of our place of origin, culture or language we speak.
Q: For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
A: I am most grateful for my parents, who give me confidence and inspire me to be the best version of myself; they walk the walk of helping others without expecting anything in return, spreading joy and love to everyone around, and being empathetic and respectful of everyone. I am grateful for my fiancé Tanaji, who supports and encourages me to do better every day. Last but not least, I am so grateful to SHARE and my friends, who are now family, and the entire T-bird community for making these two years the best years of my life.