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ASU alumna has more than luck to credit for her success

Lucky ASU alumna worked hard for her success.
Lucky Sharma talks about how ASU prepared her for a sustainable career.
November 5, 2015

Editor's note: Leading up to Homecoming, we'll be running several stories a week on ASU alumni. Find more alumni stories here.

Having only graduated with her master’s degree from the School of Sustainability in 2012, Lucky Sharma has already had the opportunity to work with Fortune 500 companies like Apple and US Airways.

And though her name may suggest otherwise, luck had nothing to do with her success.

Sharma, pictured above, participated in interdisciplinary research and also worked as a teaching assistant to help offset the cost of her education — something she says would have been “almost impossible” to obtain without the financial support it provided her.

Sharma has since moved on from Apple to launch a stealth start-up, currently code-named “Project C,” which she co-founded.

Though the San Franciso resident — who recently took a job with Tesla Motors as a commodity manager — couldn’t share any details about Project C, the committed sustainability scientist opened up to ASU Now about her passion for a greener future and how ASU’s emphasis on interdisciplinary study helped her get where she is today.

Question: Why did you choose to pursue a career in sustainability?

Answer: While working as a product manager for a company measuring real-time automobile emissions, I realized my calling to make this world greener. My research to convert the change in driving habits through a dashboard feedback to corresponding carbon-footprint reduction played a key role in uncovering my passion for sustainability. It was the first time I had used math and data-interpretation skills to quantify a miniscule, yet sure step toward a greener future. This realization was incredibly empowering. I was motivated more than ever to learn more about sustainability concepts and how to affect positive change for our generation and the ones to come after us.

Q: How did ASU help get you there?

A: The flexibility in structuring my courses allowed me to choose topics of interest that were aligned with my professional experience and future aspirations. My experience as a teaching assistant was a great lesson in delivering sustainability pedagogy, both from a researcher's perspective and an industry professional's point of view. It helped me in effective articulation of the sustainability practices during my work after graduation. ASU also provides a unique opportunity for interdisciplinary research and collaboration. This allowed me to tap into the powerhouse of supply-chain expertise at the business school and marry it with cutting-edge sustainability research at the School of Sustainability. This rare combination helped me land jobs at Fortune 500 companies like Apple and US Airways.

Q: What was it like to work for such high-profile companies?

A: Working for Apple had its perks, especially as a sustainability scientist. I worked in the direct procurement group, which was responsible for the products that are mostly sold to the consumer. This position provided me with the opportunity to influence sourcing decisions and vendor selection. I was thus able to directly and/or indirectly affect the product/vendor selection with sustainability as one of the key metrics to rate one product/vendor over the other. This apart from many other reasons kept my job interesting. 

Q: What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a career in sustainability?

A: Know your key strengths, develop a core skill set and keep yourself abreast of all the best sustainability practices in your industry. Then you can align your professional expectations with your core skill set and incorporate sustainability practices into the job you seek. And get relevant experience under your belt.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?

A: ASU is a great place to jump-start a sustainability career. I am deeply thankful to my School of Sustainability alumni and professors who believed in me. Without the financial support which was given as part of being a teaching assistant, it would have been almost impossible for an international student like me to graduate as a Sun Devil, which I am super proud to be.

Emma Greguska

Reporter , ASU Now

(480) 965-9657

ASU Alumni Association honors Sun Devil leaders with 2015 Homecoming Awards


November 5, 2015

The ASU Alumni Association will honor Sun Devil alumni leadership at halftime during the upcoming Nov. 14 Homecoming game, which will pit ASU against the University of Washington Huskies. The Alumni Association will recognize Los Angeles television news anchor Christine Devine ’87 B.A. with its Alumni Service Award, and Win Holden, publisher of Arizona Highways Magazine, with its Alumni Appreciation Award.

Bob Boschee ’83 B.S., ’85 M.B.A., who was the 2014-15 chair of the organization’s board of directors and National Alumni Council, also will be honored for his service to the organization. Download Full Image

Alumni Service Award: Christine Devine ’87 B.A.

Christine Devine works as a news anchor on Fox News 11 (KTTV) in Los Angeles. She has won 16 Emmys and a number of other awards for her work as a broadcaster. She has been honored for her journalism and community contributions by the Los Angeles City Council, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. “Wednesday’s Child,” her weekly TV adoption segment, has helped hundreds of children from foster care in the Los Angeles area find forever families.

Devine frequently serves as emcee for various ASU-related events and organizations and has acted as a spokeswoman for the university’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions. She is an inductee into the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s Alumni Hall of Fame. She has been a member of the ASU Alumni Association’s National Alumni Council, and provided major support for the Cronkite School’s new facility when it moved to the Downtown Phoenix campus in 2008.

Alumni Appreciation Award: Win Holden

Win Holden became publisher of Arizona Highways in 2000, and is credited with turning the magazine, which is produced by the Arizona Department of Transportation, into a powerful engine for promoting tourism and travel within the state. In addition to his work with Arizona Highways, Holden also was a director of the Fiesta Bowl for 26 years and has been named a life director, and ran the publishing and Internet groups for the family-owned multi-media conglomerate MAC America Communications.

He is an active supporter of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, currently serving on the Executive Committee of the school’s Cronkite Endowment Board of Trustees, and previously has served two terms as president of the endowment board. Holden has played a key role in raising funds to support the Cronkite Public Relations Lab by creating a conglomerate with the Downtown Phoenix Partnership.

Past Chair’s Award: Bob Boschee ’83 B.S., ’85 M.B.A.

Bob Boschee is a principal partner with Merrill Lynch’s Ashley & Boschee Group. Boschee worked while he was a student as a technical supervisor for ASU Public Events, overseeing events at ASU Gammage, Wells Fargo Arena and Sun Devil Stadium. In addition to his leadership role with the ASU Alumni Association, he has served as a liaison to the Arizona State University Foundation for A New American University's investment committee.

Boschee is a past president of the Phoenix Chartered Financial Analyst Society. He serves on the City of Phoenix Pedestrian and Biking Ad Hoc Task Force, and is a member of Class 32 of the Valley Leadership Institute. Boschee lives in north central Phoenix with his wife, Lynne, and their sons, Jack and Ben.

For more information on all Homecoming-related activities sponsored by the Alumni Association, visit http://alumni.asu.edu/events/homecoming.