Shifting paths: From economics to eco-career

Let your degree enhance what you do, not dictate it, says Huron University graduate

Dylan Lamaca, who works in the environmental sustainability sector, stands in the backyard of his Toronto home on May 30, 2024. (Faryat Tabassum/Toronto Observer) 

Students are often taught that securing a job requires completing 12 years of school, identifying a career passion at 18, and earning a four-year bachelor’s degree in that field. But what if the path to employment isn’t always straightforward?

Dylan Lamaca, a 24-year-old Huron University graduate, proves that career journeys can take unexpected turns.

Despite his studies in finance and economics, Lamaca found his true calling in an entirely different field: environmental sustainability. His story illustrates how embracing change and pursuing diverse experiences can lead to a fulfilling career.

Lamaca is currently a sales development associate for EcoVadis.

“We help companies across the globe gain visibility on their supply chain practices through validated assessments, eventually guiding companies to a sustainable world,” said Lamaca.

From economics and finance to environmental sales

Lamaca isn’t alone in exploring passions outside his studies. “Your degree is not supposed to dictate what you do; it’s meant to enhance what you want to pursue,” he said. American research indicates that 1 in 5 grads are employed at jobs unrelated to their major.

During his academic journey, Lamaca found passions and values that help him in his career today, such as prioritizing leadership and making the world a better place. Although he may not have known it at the time, those skills are useful in his sales position. 

Navigating goals in adolescence

Lamaca’s girlfriend, 23-year-old Angela Fasciano says over the past year of their relationship, she has seen remarkable growth in his professional life. “He has gained valuable insights from his colleagues at EcoVadis and has adeptly tackled challenges as they arise,” she said.

Fasciano, a second-year teacher candidate at York University, works with high school students and has “observed significant shifts in the social dynamics” since she was in her teens. 

“Students have adapted to a changing social landscape, heavily mediated by social media, but it’s also evident that our adult perspectives and attitudes have evolved,” she said.

Lamaca said if he could go back to his high school days, he would remind himself that life isn’t always a linear path.

“An ongoing change in my life has been the continuous improvement and constant learning that comes with sales. You’re always looking to create new learning opportunities.”

Dylan Lamaca prepares for upcoming tasks in the backyard of his Toronto home on May 30, 2024. In his role at EcoVadis, Lamaca is dedicated to making companies more environmentally sustainable and is passionate about making a difference. (Faryat Tabassum/Toronto Observer)

Finding passion in environmental sustainability

Lamaca stresses the importance of finding value in what you do and clarifying your intentions. “People want to know how you got here and why you want to be in that specific space.”

Although he didn’t study sales in school, his experiences at university grew his interest in the industry. “I did a lot of external experiences and internships close to sales, so it was something I wanted to pursue.”

He also initiated coffee chats as a way to network and build valuable connections. These chats allowed him to assess what he needed to do to be an attractive candidate to employers. 

Lamaca started working for EcoVadis after he was found by online recruiters.

“LinkedIn was my best friend,” he said. When recruiters saw that Lamaca had experience in B2B sales (business-to-business) and SaaS (software as a service), they asked if he would consider working in sustainability sales. 

“As soon as I took my first interview with my hiring manager, I fell in love with the company’s mission,” he said.

Lamaca is grateful for his experiences at EcoVadis and he said he is proud to work with clients and companies to help improve their sustainability practices that are designed to help make the world a cleaner place in the long run.

Learning to embrace risk

Ben Lamaca, Dylan’s 21-year-old brother, said the best advice he’s received from his brother is to “not be afraid to take risks,” a concept Dylan embraces during his career journey. 

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions to people in your dream industry, knock down doors,” said Dylan. “Once you find your purpose, it just unlocks so much for you. So, tell your story and just have fun with it.”

Lamaca’s pivot from finance and economics to environmental sales highlights the importance of exploring diverse career paths and embracing continuous learning. His advice to others — embrace risks, ask questions, and find your purpose — serves as an inspiring reminder that navigating change is essential to career success and personal fulfillment.

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Posted: Jun 18 2024 10:00 am
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