CME Foundation Scholar George Campau sets his sights on a sustainable future
George Campau ('21) has a clear goal: he will use his Quinlan studies to lead a more sustainable future.
Inspired by his father’s example of socially responsible business leadership and his studies in Vietnam and the Midwest, Campau plans to launch a career in renewable energy after graduation.
The finance and information systems double major moved closer to his goal when he was selected to be a CME Group Foundation Scholar in 2019. The scholars program supports underrepresented students with a variety of majors in finance and technology. More about this program →
Below, Campau reflects on his history and his plans for building a better future.
Why did you pick Quinlan?
I grew up in a small town west of Detroit. I knew that I wanted to study in a bigger city while remaining close to my family, that I wanted to study business, and that I wanted my studies to have some sort of focus on sustainability.
Loyola was the perfect place to do all of these things. Furthermore, with each passing year I find that the University’s values and my own are increasingly in alignment in terms of a dedication to social responsibility and service.
Why finance and information systems?
I look forward to leading a career in renewable energy, and believe the best way to ensure a sustainable future is through responsible private sector investment. That's where finance comes in.
On the other hand, I study information systems because I see the increasingly important role that data is playing in the energy industry. I am interested in smart grids and think that analytics and cloud computing will play a big part in their widespread development.
Businesses can work both for profit and for good, and they offer one of the most efficient paths to meeting sustainable development goals. Business leaders’ values can have impact beyond measure. Is a leader’s goal to merely put a check in his or her own bank account? Or is it to add value to both a personal account and the world's account?
I was raised around a small manufacturing business. Watching my dad sacrifice margin for the well-being of his employees showed me that you can simultaneously do good business and take care of your environment. I would like to take that lesson and put it on a global scale.
How does finance allow social justice?
Many of the world’s largest companies and financial institutions have considerable indirect influence over our lives. Though inherently oriented toward maximizing the bottom line, if these major corporations carve out a place in their income statements to promote social justice, whether that be in the form of the environment or service, they can be the catalysts for very significant change.
Quinlan prioritizes teaching responsible business practices and instills the importance of bettering communities through business. One thing that I've really enjoyed at Quinlan is the strong focus on business impact and ethics. These topics are featured either directly or tangentially in nearly every class, whether it be finance, accounting, information systems, management, etc.
What does this scholarship enable you to do?
This scholarship enables me to graduate with my business degrees debt-free, which will be huge when launching my career after school. I would certainly like to thank both the CME Group Foundation and the University for the opportunity to study in this way.
Tell me about your goals.
I've had the privilege to gain experience in a few different facets of the renewable energy industry. Last year, I studied business and environment topics in Vietnam, and saw wind and solar projects coming online in a booming energy market. This past summer, I interned for a Midwestern solar company and gained invaluable technical knowledge. Going forward, I would like to build on these experiences and contribute them to a new position in the area of renewables development and asset management.
Favorite Quinlan experience?
Studying abroad in Vietnam has to be my favorite. Through a cooperative internship with a clean energy private equity group, I was able to learn a ton about Southeast Asian markets and the renewable energy financing world. The experience was altogether exotic and thrilling, and I was able to learn and form great relationships along the way.
Advice for students?
Do your reading! Reading is always pushed off. If you can't get it all done, read something so you can contribute in the classroom. It will make your classroom experience so much more fulfilling, and your engagement will definitely result in better test scores.
Describe Quinlan in 10 words.
Quinlan perfectly combines business education, community network, and social justice.