What if you want to work?

About the MA Program

There has been a lot of talk of burnout lately. The compounding traumas and tragedies brought about by the Trump presidency, the murder of George Floyd, the endless floods and fires, and the pandemic (to mention some of the big ones) has sent many to the edge, and some over it. Those of us who have not lost our job, lost our home, or lost a loved one feel survivor’s guilt and are exhausted.

Some people, women in particular, have chosen to quit their jobs and/or seek work with purpose, work that aligns with their passions and values.

But what if you can’t afford to be unemployed or to turn your hobby or passion project into a business? What if you want to work?

One suggestion in this article by Whizy Kim is to put less emphasis on the role that our jobs play in our lives and personal identities. 

“If the old career adage promised that as long as you do what you love, you’d never work a day in your life, the new one is simply: Work is just work. And life is too short and important to be wholly dedicated to it.”

The corollary to de-emphasizing work is to rediscover and put new energy into your non-work, non-consumer self. You might develop new creative outlets, learn something new, or spend more time outdoors

But what if you actually love what you do and you want your work to matter?

Now might be a good time to consider going back to school for an advanced degree in sustainability. If you love business, you might consider a green MBA. If you’re an architect, engineer, or urban planner, you might consider an MS in Sustainable Design. 

If you’re a creative, a designer, an innovator — or an educator, business person, communicator, or biologist — AND you love being creative, love learning, and love spending time outside, you might consider our fully online Master of Arts in Sustainable Design.  

We understand that you may not be able to quit your job or move to get your master’s. Our program is designed for working professionals, including working parents.

We understand that you may not know much about sustainability — most people don’t. Our program will give you the breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding that you need.

We understand that you may not know what you want to do next with your career. Our courses are project-based and allow you to explore different topics, or go deep into one that you care about.

We understand that you may want to work with others. Our program is small and you get plenty of opportunities to engage with other students, our faculty, and our wonderful and growing network.

If you’re facing burnout, please do take a break and take care of yourself!  When you’re ready to be hopeful and be part of the change you want to see in the world, we invite you to explore our program.

Our next informational webinar is Thursday October 7 at 1:00pmCT.  Go ahead and register even if you think you can’t attend — we’ll send you the recording and get you on our mailing list.

Denise DeLuca / Director

Denise DeLuca is the Director of MCAD’s Sustainable Design program. She was co-founder of BCI: Biomimicry Creative for Innovation, a network of creative professional change agents driving ecological thinking for radical transformation. Denise is author of the book Re-Aligning with Nature: Ecological Thinking for Radical Transformation, which was illustrated by MASD alum Stephanie Koehler. She also teaches with the Amani Institute.

Denise’s previous roles include Education Director for the International Living Future Institute, Project Manager for Swedish Biomimetics 3000, and Outreach Director for The Biomimicry Institute. Denise is a licensed civil engineer (PE) and holds a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering with a focus on modeling landscape-scale surface and groundwater interactions.  In addition, Denise is a Biomimicry Fellow and a member of the Advisory Council of The Biomimicry InstituteBoard Member of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP), on the editorial board of the Journal of Bionic Engineering, and an Expert with Katerva. Denise is based in Oregon.

contact:  [email protected]