Rachel Rymaszewski ‘20

Protecting the Environment Through Responsible Investing
UNH Environmental Conservation and Sustainability major Rachel Rymaszewski ‘20

Rachel Rymaszewski ’20 is majoring in Environmental Conservation and Sustainability with minors in Business Administration and Geospatial Analysis. She is one of a handful of UNH students selected to participate in the Social Innovation Internship this summer. Rymaszewski is interning at Prime Buchholz LLC, an investment consulting firm for clients seeking to align their mission and values with investment goals. She is assisting members of the firm’s Mission-Aligned Investment Committee with the portfolios of clients who wish to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria into their investments.

COLSA: Why did you apply for the Social Innovation Internship?

Rachel Rymaszewski: The Social Innovation Internship seeks students who have a drive to integrate sustainability into the business industry, and I was interested in learning about sustainable investing. Sustainability is becoming a growing field in the world of investing, and I would like to be a part in pushing this trend.

In addition to the internship itself, I was interested in learning from other business professionals and companies about their perspectives on integrating sustainability into their industry. I applied to Prime Buchholz because I was unaware that ESG can be a major consideration for investors, and I’m interested to learn more about what managers are doing to meet this demand.

COLSA: Please describe your internship (company, title, responsibilities).

Rymaszewski: I am interning at Prime Buchholz LLC, an investment consulting firm in Portsmouth, NH. I am on the client services team working with investment managers on collecting, monitoring, and organizing information about companies’ ESG policies. This information is used primarily by consultants for clients who wish to invest in companies with a certain ESG rating.

"With emerging environmental stressors around the globe, it will become increasingly important to invest in higher-scoring ESG managers whose mission goes beyond benefiting its shareholders."

COLSA: What are you hoping to accomplish during your internship?

Rymaszewski: During my internship I hope to get a better understanding of responsible investing and how sustainability plays a role when clients decide to invest in funds. I am very curious to see how the market will be impacted by a growing number of managers who integrate ESG policies more deeply into their portfolios. With emerging environmental stressors around the globe, it will become increasingly important to invest in higher-scoring ESG managers whose mission goes beyond benefiting its shareholders.

Regardless of what I learn, I hope to do my best and accomplish the most I can during my nine weeks here. The project I am working on is so important to me because I believe scoring managers on ESG will be a gateway for investors to put their capital towards deserving funds who aim to better their community.

COLSA: How do you think this experience will impact you?

Rymaszewski: I have never had experience in the investment industry, so gaining exposure before my college career ends will potentially open the door to working in investments in the future. Over the past few years I have had experience in multiple fields including environmental policy, data analysis, GIS, and business sustainability, so I am very excited to integrate the skills I've gained and apply them to an unfamiliar field.

I am working for an amazing team who knows that I do not have an in-depth understanding of investments and they have been making every effort to teach me different elements to the industry, so I think I will walk away from this internship with a wealth of knowledge and a long-lasting relationship with my coworkers. One very important skill I believe this internship will teach me is how to learn about an industry I have little to no experience in while also sharing what I know with my coworkers who are not familiar with my field, environmental conservation and sustainability.

COLSA: What do the words "social innovation" mean to you?

Rymaszewski: To me, social innovation means developing innovative ways to address the problems of society from an environmental and social standpoint. I include the environment in my definition because innovation in relation to bettering the lives of humans must always address our surrounding environment.

COLSA: Other than your internship, how is UNH preparing you for a career that prioritizes sustainable social and environmental good?

Rymaszewski: Throughout my college career thus far, I have participated in many programs and internships centered around bettering our local community from an environmental and social standpoint. Through the Sustainability Institute, I have collected and analyzed data for the calculation of UNH's carbon and nitrogen footprints and presented reduction scenarios for a formal university-wide nitrogen reduction goal. This has allowed me to positively contribute to my UNH community, which I am extremely proud of. 

Additionally, through Manomet's U360 program which I applied to through UNH, I had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with small business owners about their sustainability practices and get insight into their struggles and successes. Throughout my time at UNH so far, I have seen an increase in opportunities spanning multiple industries that focus on becoming more environmentally-conscious and socially aware.

COLSA: Tell us one unique or interesting thing about yourself.

Rymaszewski: My favorite food in the entire world is chicken parm!!

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