At the Intersection of Finance and Sustainability: Grad Co-op Profile

Tori Yanco is a second year graduate student in the Masters program for Environmental Science and Policy at Northeastern University. After recently completing a co-op at the Liberty Mutual Insurance Sustainability, Strategy, & Planning office, Tori was offered a full-time position at another consulting firm after graduation. We reached out to hear her Northeastern experience.

Could you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Tori Yanco, a second year grad in Environmental Science and policy. I did my undergrad at UCSB, where I was an Environmental Studies & Communications double major.  I moved all the way from southern California to attend Northeastern and am so happy with my decision as I’ve made some of my best friends and gained valuable skills in my field. I am also a Northeastern ‘legacy’ – both my grandfather and father attended the university. As part of my grad program I completed a co-op in Sustainability Strategy & Planning at Liberty Mutual Insurance.

What does a regular day at work look like for you?

A regular day for me consists of working on projects related to sustainability communications and corporate responsibility disclosures, or climate related financial disclosure frameworks & methodologies. I typically engage in a few meetings to discuss strategy plans throughout the day and either create deliverables for the team in the form of slide decks, research reports, and at times, carbon related calculations.

How has COVID-19 impacted your work?

Due to the current global health crisis, I was unable to go into the office during my co-op period at all. This was disappointing to me since the Liberty Mutual Boston Headquarters are an iconic part of the Boston skyline, and I wanted to experience what working in a large company office was like. However, the remote onboarding process was easy, and the team has really helped me feel incorporated into the group. Overall, I cannot say the pandemic has hindered my experience, other than preventing me from seeing the office from the inside!

What were your work expectations and how has that changed over time?

I was unsure what to expect at first, given this is my first time working in the financial sector. Initially, I had to learn a lot about the industry and how large insurers function in relation to banks and investments firms. Now that I am a few months in, I love the industry and find myself asking for increasingly technical work so I can continue to learn and bolster my skills. At first I was conducting mostly desk-research for the group and synthesizing findings. Now I have the opportunity to contribute to the future plans of the group’s sustainability strategy since I’ve gained a better baseline understanding of the financial services sector.

Can you talk about one thing you’ve learned that sticks out for you?

I have had the opportunity to learn about so many interesting topics, but perhaps the item that sticks out to me the most is my own personal discovery of how diverse and interesting the financial services sector is. I feel like I have only just scratched the surface regarding how my passion for climate resiliency can be embodied in my work at a place like Liberty Mutual. The opportunities are endless for most fields of study, as the industry truly does touch every aspect of the world and has the power to influence change on a large scale. I find that revelation exciting, as it inspires me to pursue this path further.

How do you think this experience is going to help your plans for the future?

Like I mentioned before, I have been inspired by the work I have had the opportunity to assist with at Liberty Mutual. I would like to continue on a career path that allows me to explore the intersection of environmental issues with economic progress, and ultimately become a leader in the world’s transition to a lower carbon economy. I am lucky and grateful to say that my experience at Liberty Mutual as a co-op has assisted me in landing a full-time position after I graduate with the management consulting firm, PA Consulting. At PA I will be aligned to the Economic & Investment Strategy capability, within the Energy & Utilities group, and will be located at the firm’s Denver office. Here, I will assist in M&A strategy and risk assessment for energy & utility companies as the economic and regulatory landscape shifts due to the emerging energy transition.

What’s your favorite part of co-op? Do you have a favorite memory?

My favorite part of co-op was meeting leaders in the field that I once would be starstruck to speak to, that I can now call my colleagues, and even friends. I have learned so much from this group and truly have fun everyday working on the topics I am most passionate about, while contributing to a goal that is much greater than anything I could have previously imagined myself being a part of. I cannot pick out a favorite memory, as almost everyday is equally as exciting and fun for me! Liberty Mutual is truly a wonderful place to work. I am so thankful for the opportunity provided to me by the Northeastern co-op program, and for the career guidance from my advisor, Patricia Coorigan.

Marine and Environmental Sciences