Deep Dive into Responsible Corporate Governance

Summer Internship: Environmental, Social, Corporate Governance (ESG) Research Analyst, Parnassus Investments
Oregon MBA Affiliation: Center for Sustainable Business Practices, Financial and Securities Analysis Center

I worked as an Environmental, Social, Corporate Governance (ESG) Research Analyst at Parnassus Investments this summer. ESG is a refreshing approach to investing. Traditional valuation focuses primarily on a potential investment’s return (e.g. profit). However, some asset managers, like Parnassus Investments, integrate ESG factors into their investment philosophy and risk evaluation process. Every investment company has a different investment philosophy and success rate; I chose Parnassus Investments for my summer internship because of its strong track record.

I had the privilege of working on several fascinating projects, backed up by an incredible team of smart and supportive thinkers. I enjoyed my work, which was diverse and challenging. Some days I researched the ESG performance of public companies. Other days I analyzed proxy voting policies and records. My executive compensation literature review was another stimulating project; modern executive compensation packages are quite complex and hard to gauge.

I feel privileged to have done great work, with great people, at a great company. It was meaningful for me to live and work my values. I came to business school with the belief that despite the recent news coverage against business, there are new ways of doing business that are a part of the solution rather than part of the problem contributing to society’s problems. I support the idea of triple bottom line businesses (people, planet, profit) instead of a narrow-minded focus on only profit, and this internship gave me the opportunity to put this attitude into action. It was a rich experience to be part of the ESG and socially responsible investing movement and be part of a company that deeply cherishes doing business the right way.

— Grace Chang, Center for Sustainable Business Practices, Class of 2013

Written by UO Business

The UO Lundquist College of Business empowers an engaged community of students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders who create, apply, and disseminate knowledge that contributes significantly to their professions, communities, and society. The college delivers a dynamic learning environment where world-class professors engage and get to know students, where students work on real projects for real companies, and where alumni go on to high-powered jobs worldwide.