Chris Magalhaes ’14 Outlines the ‘Math’ of Choosing to Work at a Green Bank

In an essay published in Greenbiz on June 6, Chris Magalhaes ’14 describes why he chose to work at a green bank after graduating from Yale SOM, and what his choice means for others building their careers.

Magalhaes, a joint degree graduate of Yale SOM and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, is assistant director for clean energy finance at the Connecticut Green Bank, which helps finance clean energy projects. He makes less money than he would have had he accepted a position that he was offered at a hedge fund, he notes, but there are several factors that made his current role the right choice.

Working on a small team allows Magalhaes to learn a wider variety of skills than he would at a larger organization, he writes. He enjoys his job, which changes the equation when considering the value of compensation—and may even allow him to live longer. 

Finally, Magalhaes writes, his job allows him to have a positive impact on the world, which is an important factor for those of his generation. He cites a Global Network for Advanced Management survey showing that many business students would accept lower salaries to work at companies with a positive environmental impact. 

He concludes: “I make less in salary and bonus than I could have. Yes, my current job, in name, may carry less prestige. But salary and bonus are just two among many job-related considerations, and the prestige of a single job should not be confused with the success of a career. My current position is an investment, and so far the returns have been beyond my wildest expectation.”

Read the essay.