that time Field was considering a career change, and an opportunity
arose through her philanthropic work as a member of the World
Wildlife Fund (WWF) national council. When a council peer
told her that the organization needed business experts at
the project level, Field found a new challenge and a WWF project
found an experienced champion.
chose to assist in Tanzania's Mafia Island Marine Park, traveling
there in March 2007. The park possesses East Africa's most
remarkable coral reefs and is a critical seed bank for marine
life. It also offers feeding, breeding and nesting grounds
for seabirds, sea turtles and dugongs (a marine mammal). Because
the island had long been a staple of the local economy, it
became overfished and lost value ecologically and financially.
there is to facilitate and develop economic activities that
reduce strain on the park's ecosystems by sustainably using
its other more abundant resources, such as oysters. Before
Field arrived, WWF had trained local fishermen to harvest
pearl oysters for jewelry, but the project lacked a leader
with business education. Fieldrevamped the jewelry's marketing,
sales and construction for sale in area craft fairs and tourist
sites. Soon, demand was twice the production.
on environmental projects was natural for Field, because the
importance of conservation became ingrained during family
trips to locales like the Galapagos Islands. "There aren't
a lot of places left in the world that are truly pristine
and beautiful," she says. "I learned the value of having those
places." She also adopted her parents' enthusiasm for philanthropy,
following in the footsteps of her relative, Marshall Field,
founder of the Chicago-based department store that bore his
environmental work, you have to make sure people can sustain
themselves before you can expect them to save the land and
animals," says Field, who saw this firsthand in Tanzania,
where the oyster farmers now earn more money than they did
fishing, and the marine life has a chance to repopulate.
addition to her WWF work, Field spent time in Tanzania assisting
the NGO Sea Sense. This organization protects sea turtles
and dugongs by educating the community about the animals'
significance. "We worked very hard to show that there is an
inherent value in the turtles," Field says. Besides being
a part of the natural food chain, the animals are tied strongly
Sea Sense, 99 percent of turtles that came ashore to nest
were poached, and of the eggs that were laid, only 1 percent
hatched. Over the past five years, though, 97 percent of hatched
turtles make it to the sea.
Field spent five months engaging part of the community
that had a nearly 100 percent poaching rate for the eggs and
turtles. She met with school groups, trained conservation
officers and collected data on which of the turtles and eggs
spent four years working at investment banking firm Donaldson
Lufkin & Jenerette before Kellogg, says the work she did
in Tanzania was challenging in a new way. "By going to Africa
and helping people who were literally dirt poor ... cultivate
the nature that they need to live on and help them earn money,
I really feel that I've substantially improved someone else's
in the United States, Field now merges her passion for conservation
and charity. She works at Arabella Advisors, a consulting
group that helps families set up foundations. She also serves
as co-chair for the Nature Conservancy of Illinois' capital
campaign. Field credits her success to her Kellogg MBA:
"It has really changed my perspective on how I look
have deepened her connections with the world. "One of my favorite
things is getting involved with whatever community I'm in."
She serves on the boards for Chicago's Field Museum and Lincoln
Park Zoo, and encourages others to do the same because it
allows them to have a say in what's going on around them.
lot of Kellogg alumni are successful; they are incredibly
smart, they work hard and do well," says Field. "But once
you've hit that success pinnacle, regardless of how you define
it, at some point in your life you think: What have I done
that is significant?"