From the Executive Suite to Saving the Planet

March 29, 2023 | Hamilton, ON
Contributed by Izabela Shubair, DeGroote Contributor
Lindsay Hampson (EMBA '22), founder of ThisRock, a consulting firm focused on saving the planet and adopting sustainability practices, standing on the staircase in front of a building on the McMaster University campus.

Lindsay Hampson (EMBA ‘22) combined her love of the environment and tech knowledge to find her passion and pivot her career. After quitting her corporate job, she’s saving the planet by helping businesses become more sustainable.

Lindsay Hampson remembers sitting on the edge of her seat and taking what felt like 1,000 notes. She was in the digital entrepreneurship class of DeGroote’s Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) program, buzzing with excitement. The full-body feeling was the confirmation the self-proclaimed business-minded tree hugger needed to make a lifechanging decision. Hampson decided to pivot her career by quitting her corporate job and launching her own environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy advisory firm. In fact, her company was born right in the EMBA program.

“When my class was in Silicon Valley for a two-week residency, we had to present a business pitch,” Hampson remembers.

I stood in front of my colleagues and I said, ‘While some plan to retire on Mars, we’re betting on this rock.’ Then I talked about helping small businesses be greener. The next month, I had a paper due on entrepreneurship, so I created the plan for the same company. I submitted it at 11 pm and stayed up until 2 am creating the website. I launched the next day.”

Betting on this rock

Lindsay Hampson (EMBA '22), and her Executive MBA 2022 cohort meeting outdoors together in Silicon Valley, California. Lindsay's passion for saving the planet combined with her business pitch in the program during this program residency.Aptly called ThisRock, Hampson’s consulting firm helps businesses save money and generate new revenue by incorporating green practices and becoming more socially-conscious. But her professional vision and mission weren’t always as clear. After 15 years as a marketing executive within the business-to-business software-as-a-service realm, Hampson entered the EMBA program wanting to determine her next career step.

“I was hoping I’d be able to do everything: continue my corporate job, take the EMBA, ensure my kids made it to baseball and hockey and soccer,” says Hampson. “I quickly realized there’s no way. You only get one go round, so why not try something you really love? It was a good moment to prioritize what I cared about the most: school and my kids. I also wanted to show my two daughters, who are 8 and 10-years-old, that you can follow your dream even half way through your career. It was cool for them to see that I can prioritize my own goals and they can too.”

More than just Digital Transformation

The decision to bet on herself set off a series of transformative experiences. Hampson, who was initially drawn to the offering’s digital transformation focus, says the combination of emerging and baseline topics along with the EMBA’s self-reflection pieces were all gamechangers that led to launching ThisRock.

“I took a transformative coaching and leadership course and it actually allowed me to figure out who I am, which sounds corny but it’s true,” she says. “It broke me down and built me back up with self and peer reviews of weak spots, blind spots, and strengths.

“And courses such as Information Systems helped me to discover that I could take my experience in tech and apply it to something I am passionate about: the environment. I have a lot of friends who are thinking of taking the EMBA, and I tell them it’s really how I discovered my passion.”

Saving the Planet with ThisRock

Lindsay Hampson (EMBA '22) celebrating a toast with her peers in the Executive MBA program at the DeGroote School of Business.Since incorporating her business last August and completing the EMBA in September, Hampson has hit the ground running. She works with small and mid-sized businesses to assess ESG practices and build measurable action plans.

“My only regret is I wish I had done it sooner,” she says. “You get to this point as a worker where you forget education is so fun and vital. It was cool to get back the love of learning and learn about all the emerging topics DeGroote has incorporated into its EMBA program. It not only helped me to discover my passion and launch my company, but it impacted how I think and feel.”

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies are vital for organizations to do their part in saving the planet. Learn more about how ESG strategies can lead businesses towards other sustainable solutions.


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