Melissa Whellams, M.A. (and CSR consultant)

Today’s blog entry is an unusual one.

I’m blogging today not about a news story, but about a terrific student of mine who has just graduated and is now on the job market.

Regular readers of this blog will recall Melissa Whellams’ name. She’s co-authored articles with me on GM Foods and Greenwashing. Junior grad students don’t normally do much publishing. But Melissa is unusually smart and mature and a very good writer.

Melissa just completed her M.A. in International Development Studies, and I had the honour of supervising her thesis. Her thesis was on Corporate Social Responsibility in the South American Mining Industry. In particular, it was about whether the CSR efforts of mining companies can contribute to sustainable development in local communities. To answer the question, Melissa spent 3 months in Peru and Bolivia this summer, studying the CSR initiatives of Newmont Mining. She conducted semi-structured interviews with a wide range of informants, from corporate executives to local farmers, and with NGO’s that are supportive of and NGO’s that are critical of Newmont’s efforts. She came back with a treasure trove of insights into a very complicated set of problems.

I’ve already told Melissa that portions of her thesis are suitable for publication in scholarly journals, but (any publishers out there?) her thesis would work even better as the core of a short book. It’s a fascinating topic, and one that she handles with a combination of optimism and clear-headedness.

Anyway, the point is that she’s out of school, and looking for work in the realm of CSR consulting.
(Melissa’s undergrad degree is in Business, and she worked for several years in the oil industry before going back to school to get her M.A.) So, if anyone out there knows of relevant job opportunities, email Melissa. The company that snaps her up will be very lucky to have her.

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