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Clara Carrera's Ph.D. Journey: An Exploration into Sustainable Operations and the Impact on Business Practices

Clara Carrera, 4th-year Ph.D. student
Clara Carrera, 4th-year Ph.D. student

Clara Carrera, a 4th-year Ph.D. student in the Technology and Operations Management department at INSEAD, stands as a testament to the school's focus on sustainability. Her decision to pursue a Ph.D. at INSEAD was driven by the school's renowned expertise in sustainable operations, with influential figures like her advisors, Professors Atalay Atasu and Luk Van Wassenhove, playing a pivotal role in solidifying her decision to choose INSEAD from amongst the other top-tier schools who had offered her a position.  

INSEAD's unwavering support for Clara's research is multifaceted, spanning both financial and academic realms. The provision of a 5-year scholarship for all admitted Ph.D. students exemplifies the school's commitment to fostering a conducive research environment. This financial backing enables Clara, and other PhD students, to dedicate their time and energy to their research without the distraction of seeking additional employment. 

Currently involved in two mature projects, Clara's research delves into critical issues in the field of sustainable operations. The first project scrutinises the trade-offs in the recycling and sourcing of scarce materials essential for transitioning to clean energy technologies. She explores alternatives, including research and development for metal substitution and investing in proper recycling methods. 

In her second project, Clara examines the impact of leasing models, as opposed to traditional sales, on the refurbishment possibilities and overall profitability for manufacturers of electronic products. Recognising the challenge posed by the obsolescence of new devices, she aims to strategically design lease terms and contracts to maximise refurbishment potential. 

The ethos of INSEAD, particularly its dedication to providing resources for sustainable operations researchers, has significantly influenced Clara's research journey. The Technology and Operations Management department at INSEAD, coupled with supportive advisors, provides Clara with a robust academic foundation. Access to specialised courses, seminars, and conferences, contribute to a broader understanding of sustainability issues and inspire researchers like Clara to address real-world challenges.  Looking ahead, Clara envisions a future in academia as a business professor, where she can continue her advocacy for sustainable operations. She observes a growing interest in sustainable business practices among the newer generation of business students at INSEAD, indicating a positive shift towards a more balanced approach to business and sustainability objectives. 

Clara Carrera's doctoral journey at INSEAD illustrates the interplay between the school's commitment to sustainability and the role of research to create positive change in the world. As INSEAD continues to nurture such talents, the impact on sustainable business practices is poised to extend far beyond the academic realm. 

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