A headshot of Aneil, wearing a suit with a green tie and smiling at the camera.Impact Fellow, MIT Climate & Sustainability Consortium

Can you describe your career path and how it has led to your current work?

While my career has been predominantly based in academic institutions, as I did at Brandeis during my PhD in economic anthropology, I have continued to use my positions in academia to produce applied work to support climate action in financial markets.  I defended my dissertation for my PhD in December 2020, and immediately continued into another academic role as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bologna. However, while in this position, I continued to discuss my research with practitioners active in developing climate finance markets as a form of climate action. My current postdoctoral position as an impact fellow at the MIT Climate & Sustainability Consortium continues to provide me with the space between academia and industry to work on evolving climate finance mechanisms and climate action strategies.

What skills from your Brandeis degree have you found most valuable in your current work?

Being able to hold applied work positions in climate finance while I was conducting my fieldwork and research has been instrumental in supporting my career development. My current position is centered on working with sustainability teams at corporations to build collaborations between them and MIT research groups.

What advice do you have for current students as they embark on their job search?

Job searches vary tremendously based on your discipline, skillset, and the types of jobs that you might be interested in. I think that the best advice is that if you find people who are doing the type of work you want to do, reach out and ask them how they got to their position and how you can end up in a similar role. I'd recommend students to really think about what are the topics, or what are the kinds of skills that you want to be working on and using in your job on a day-to-day basis? And then realizing that, think about if you want to work in civil society, the public sector, or in corporations.

Is there anything you wish you had done differently as a graduate student that may have made the transition to your career easier?

I think I did a lot of good work trying to get jobs and positions that allowed me to do the applied work that I wanted to do as a graduate student. One of the biggest constraints in having faculty and advisors that are willing to support cross-disciplinary work that also extends outside of academia. I am very grateful for the support of my PhD advisors, Professors Elizabeth Ferry and Jonathan Anjaria. They assisted me to be unconventional in my research focus and method. This gave me the network that has been instrumental in my research and in my career development.