For Lissy Kettleson, business represents much more than an opportunity to establish her career.
It’s an opportunity to make the world a better place.
The issue particularly close to Lissy’s heart is environmental sustainability. She is determined to use her business background to help companies decrease their footprint and create a more circular economy.
“As a generation, if we want change to happen, sustainability is something that we all have to take an interest in and really push businesses to focus on,” she says.
Lissy’s path to business began after her sophomore year of high school when she joined the Business Emerging Leaders (BEL) Program, a college preparatory program for students from diverse backgrounds who have strong academic records and leadership skills. Through BEL, she was directly admitted to the Wisconsin School of Business. Today, Lissy is a senior studying supply chain management and marketing with a certificate in sustainability.
Because of the holistic nature of supply chain—encompassing material procurement all the way through the end of a product’s life cycle—Lissy believes this field may be the key to unlocking better sustainability practices in business.
“I know that, at least in some companies, there are chances for me to have really substantial impacts in their realm of supply chain,” she says. “I could potentially change a whole process, whether that’s to use less water in production or use less packaging in shipment, things like that. Those are really obtainable metrics that I could help achieve.”
Through her internship at the Trek Bicycle Corporation, Lissy has been able to witness firsthand how a company can use its platform to create positive change. When she expressed her interest in sustainability to her employer, she was given the opportunity to speak to the company’s head of sustainability, who shared some of Trek’s initiatives with her.
“I have been able to see the potential and the growth that have definitely been taking place,” she says of her time with Trek. “And that’s made me really excited to step into a future role.”
Lissy believes doing good in the world is not only an opportunity for businesses, but also a responsibility.
“It’s really hard to separate business from community because businesses are innately part of the community that they’re in,” Lissy says. “Something that our generation has been moving more towards societally is making an expectation that businesses should take a stand and impact what’s around them, which has made more of them refocus. I think that’s a great thing for me to be stepping into environmental-wise, and I’m really excited to try to help.”
Who inspires you?
My mom. Her mom immigrated here from Mexico, so my mom was the first person in her family to go to college, and then she got her graduate degree. She’s just worked so hard.
What do you like to do for fun?
Painting, roller skating, Lego-building nights with friends, and going dancing.
How would your friends describe you?
Optimistic, loud, and exciting, hopefully.