Hear from our alumni Jules Rouvillois

Have a look at a recent interview we had with Jules, BEM graduate who is currently enrolled in the MSc Climate Change at Imperial College.

Jules is currently enrolled in the MSc Climate Change, Management and Finance at Imperial College, with a strong emphasis on Sustainable and Climate Finance. The below interview is a fascinating read, especially for anyone interested in following a similar career path!

1. Can you briefly introduce yourself and recap your background since high school?

My name is Jules Rouvillois, I am 24 and I graduated from the Bachelor’s in Economics and Management, spending my first two years at Dauphine London – PSL and my third year in Seoul, South Korea as an exchange student. I then joined the Master 1 Finance at Université Paris Dauphine – PSL. As I wanted to link my financial and economics skills with sustainable development, I focused my searches for internship positions in Responsible Investment. After a year at ODDO BHF and AXA respectively as a Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Analyst Intern and Climate Finance Intern, I chose to deepen my focus in this area by continuing my studies at Imperial College Business School with the MSc in Climate Change, Management and Finance.

I am now nearing the end of the program and have gained a strong foundational understanding of climate change mitigation and adaptation needs and processes, along with in-depth studies in Corporate Climate Finance, Quantitative Methods and Financial Risk Management methods. During the programme, I have also been working for a small startup called Giaronamo, aiming to scale permaculture through the use of AI throughout Europe.

2. What are your future career aspirations after your master?

Currently, I have accepted an offer from the Green Finance team at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), but I also have a couple of other opportunities that I would like to explore. I really enjoyed my experience in the private sector as you can be on the front line to tackle Climate Change risks and opportunities. However, my long-term goal (which is changing everyday) is to combine the reach of the public sector with the impact of the private sector by working in the UN Green Climate Fund.

3. What is sustainable finance and how important is it to the modern world?

Sustainable Finance or Green Finance is any structured financial activity, qualitative or quantitative, aiming to create a better environmental outcome. It is important as it promotes and supports the flow of financial instruments and related services towards the development and implementation of sustainable business models, investments, trade, economics and policies.

Green Finance is no longer a separate niche area in the world of finance, but rather become a central identity to the sector, as the world starts to appreciate the climate need to invest sustainably, the important risk mitigating benefit of doing so, and the real potential for financial returns generated alongside larger environmental and social returns. I believe this is the future and the whole finance sector will be defined by it in a few years, as we see new innovative sustainable financial mechanisms developed and more widespread support of investments with positive externalities.

4. How has sustainable finance and investment developed over recent years?

Green Finance is blossoming. Increasingly, investors are seeing both the financial and social imperative for sustainable investing. Green bonds are booming (51% improvement in 2019) and in the end of 2020, $45tn in assets under management were adhering to sustainable practices. In a pandemic perspective, investors flocked to sustainable-focused funds despite the loss of confidence in financial markets which is a really good sign.

5. Are there any changes you have made yourself to live more sustainably and/or help protect the environment?

I deeply believe that we will all have a role to play at some point to help limit global warming. I am limiting my own carbon footprint as much as I can through a lower consumption of meat and fish and prioritise low-carbon mobility. There is no right way to do this though, and every small action taken to change our behaviours towards more sustainable actions is a step in the right direction. People may feel sometimes that their own small actions are unlikely to have a large impact, but I think we must remember that our actions contribute towards creating a social opinion, sending a wider message around us that the climate crisis is a real thing.

6. What advice would you give for graduating third year students who would like to pursue a similar master?

Go for it! There is a growing interest from universities, firms and governmental bodies to find people interested on tackling such issues, so the door is wide open for people who are interested to enter. I have learnt that there is no preferable path to be involved in Climate Change, and even within my MSc, which has a strong emphasis on Finance, a lot of my peers are coming from completely different backgrounds (from theological to engineering to ecological studies).

If you would like to have any further advice, do not hesitate to contact me on my LinkedIn!