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Resident Spotlight: Sasha Potter (Scotland)

Meet International House resident Alexandra “Sasha” Potter, who joins our community from Scotland. Sasha is a graduate student in the Climate and Society Masters Program at Columbia University, where she also holds a graduate research assistantship at the National Centre for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP) exploring the economic value of disaster resilience.

Attendees of our recent event featuring sustainability experts Jeffrey D. Sachs and Andy Darrell will be familiar with Sasha already, as she served as the moderator of this very important discussion on sustainable development entitled, “Why We Should Have Hope: Sustainability through the Lens of Politics, Business, and Civic Engagement.”

We asked Sasha to share about her professional goals and experience at I-House.

Where are you from, and what are you studying?
I am from a small village in Scotland, and I am studying for the MA in Climate and Society at Columbia.

How did you hear of us? What made you decide to live here?
I first became aware of I-House on the Columbia graduate student housing website. As I looked into it, I learned that I-House was so much more than just a place to live, but a community.

What do you enjoy most about living here?
I love the conversations I get to have with people from around the world. Their perspectives and experience are so much more varied, thought-provoking and enriching. I am surprised by the fact that, despite differences, people are very similar. Once you get people laughing all the cultural barriers disappear. My experience so far has been very much in line with I-House values of respect and empathy, as well as friendship.

What’s next for you?
After Columbia I am planning to work in ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance). I would love to work to integrate sustainability into business and strategy in a way that does not compromise the core business model. I think there is a lot of potential to take what is great about business (innovation, expertise, resources) and deploy these qualities for the good of society as a whole, as well as the firm. I will be doing an internship in New York this summer that I hope will do exactly that, working on Sustainability and ESG.

Do you think your experience living at I-House will help you accomplish your goals?
I-House provides an incredible home base and community to rely on, which is integral to anyone’s success. I love coming home to my friends and the supportive environment at I-House. That security helps me focus on my work and I am certain it will play a huge role in helping me accomplish my goals. Not to mention all the expertise and knowledge the residents of I-House provide. I can ask an engineer, a finance professional or an academic (not an exhaustive list!) about their field, or their take on current events, and I have access to a wealth of knowledge and experience right here in I-House.

What is your favorite spot at I-House?
The Dining Hall! I love talking to everyone there and the conversation and experience everyone brings is always great fun. The staff are lovely and whoever I sit with, I always have a great time over some food.

Thank you, Sasha! We are so glad to have you as a part of our community!