Laura María Calderón Cuevas
Brua | bruapodcasts.com
Our guest, Inge Jacobs, is currently leading sustainability for Mars Food, focusing both on human rights and livelihoods as well as climate and water use in Mars Food supply chains. In her job, she uses not only the lenses of human rights but also the ones from sustainability, gender and ecology.
Curiosity is the red thread throughout her career. She keeps looking at new opportunities and networks, and kept on learning, adding a master in public health to her Master in Human Rights. The master gave her the theoretical framework and knowledge, and the opportunity to study with people from different countries and different backgrounds.
What she wishes she had known when she graduated: there are so many different possibilities to work on human rights. “I would like to do the Master again, now with all the experience that I have from my professional life, because I would look at it in a very different way.”
Inge has 3 main pieces of advice for graduates interested in working for the private sector:
Be curious! Being curious is what helps Inge stay energized and learn new things.
Connect with people and build your network! Building your network is critical not only for accessing different roles, but also for learning new things and learning about innovations. “If you build your network and you connect with people, I think it will really help you broaden your scope and your view on what is possible and what could be done.”
Be flexible and adaptable! Do not be afraid to change! Do not be afraid to try different things. If it doesn't work, you just do something else.
Two main activities keep her grounded: walking (she blocks time in her calendar every day for her walks) and reading. What she is reading at the moment and recommending is: The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander. The book is about how can you see possibility in everyone and in every situation.
Connect with people and build your network!
Inge Jacobs has an academic background in law, with master’s degrees both in human rights and public health. She has 15 years of experience in NGOs as well as 8 years in the private sector working for Mars. Her work has focused on child protection, community development and gender programs in rural communities of Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Peru and Honduras.
In her role at Mars, she worked on sustainability topics in the cocoa supply chain for Mars Wrigley, developing and implementing strategies to contribute to ensuring human rights are protected and farmers achieve a decent standard of living in Mars’ cocoa supply chain. She recently switched roles and is now leading sustainability for Mars Food, focusing both on human rights and livelihoods as well as climate and water use in Mars Food supply chains.
Inge is currently based in Chicago.