IE Alumni – Clara Bütow

Full name:
Clara Bütow

IE program studied and graduation year:

Current position:
Head of Campaigns & PR at soulbottles AND Founder at Impact Revolution

Proudest achievement:
The Traveling Trash Tour – my 2000km bike ride against plastic waste

Careers Tip:
Dare to follow those crazy and unconventional dreams – they are the ones that will make the most difference in your life!

Favorite quote, or your own (please state author):
Use your power for purpose

Fondest memory from your time at IE:
There are many beautiful memories from my five years at IE, and of course the best ones include wonderful people I’ve met while studying there. I will never forget our hiking adventures in the sierra de Madrid, the endless nighttime study sessions, the fun dancing and exploring the city and the day I was invited to give my first TEDx talk about my big passion for environmental issues.

What are your aspirations for the future?:
Since I was little, I wanted to change the world for the better and have a true impact through the work I do. I want to keep using my skills in business and international relations to create win-win situations at the triple bottom line, that do not only create company profits but also improve the situation of people and the planet. Currently, I am working on campaigns against plastic pollution and water security at a German B Corp, and promoting a modern, inclusive workplace. Simultaneously, my organisation Impact Revolution will continue to raise public awareness of environmental issues and hopefully reshape the way we deal with limited resources and emissions in our globalised economy.

How did IE make an impact on your life?:
IE has helped me gain the toolkit needed to understand the way both business and international affairs work. I think it is critical to know how our economy functions, and which way of thinking you need to interact with policymakers and businesspeople alike – and my classes at IE have certainly taught me that. But it is not only gaining technical knowledge: all those hundreds of presentations, debates and papers have trained for those soft skills that are incredibly important on the job market nowadays. I have learned to work in intercultural teams, manage my stress, workload and time, to lead better negotiations and to start embracing every opportunity to get on stage and talk about my passions. With simple student clubs and support for conferences, entrepreneurial activities and events, IE has fortified my go-to attitude and reconfirmed me in starting my own initiatives.

What did you like most about Madrid?:
Madrid is very vibrant and cultural city, filled with creativity and a great joy of life. I have experienced it as easy-going and active at the same time, and love the blend of different nationalities and mindsets that you can find there. There are great art expeditions, a slowly but surely growing network of social entrepreneurs, beautiful architecture and great parties to dance all night long. And besides that, I especially enjoyed Retiro, as well as the proximity to the mountains for weekend adventures.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced, and how did you tackle it?:
When graduation was getting closer, I became more certain every day that I did not want to follow the “conventional” path of IE graduates and take a great job at a major company, international organisation or consultancy. Instead, I had a dream of doing a huge environmental campaign against plastic waste, and bike 2000 km through Europe with a massive sculpture made from plastic. The only problem? I had neither the money nor the skills to do any of this, and my time frame from committing to my dream of starting the trip was limited to just 3 months of preparation. With zero background in crowdfunding but some education in marketing and experiences in business pitches, I managed to exceed my funding goal in just three weeks. I had never built a sculpture before, and yet, my flamingo made from recycled plastic only broke a few times on the way. I learned to swap perfectionism with flexibility and get rid of the fear of leaving my comfort zone and doing things for the first time. If you open your mouth and go for those things you’re passionate about, there is no dream too crazy to be chased! So go out and realise those crazy ideas that have been in your head for months, talk about them and commit – you will find supporters and followers in the most unexpected places, and there is nothing that will make you grow as much and feel as much inflow every single day as working on your own initiative. It’s true that we all have a chance to change the world every single time we wake up!

Song which reminds you of your time at IE:
La flaca – Jarabe de Palo
Keep the Fire Burning – Gwen McCrae
Liquid Spirit – Gregory Porter & Clapstone

What gets you out of bed in the morning?:
I believe that every one of us has the chance to make a difference – just the fact that we live, breathe and take thousands of decisions every day makes each of us shapers of the world we live in. I decided that I want to dedicate my life to improve the conditions of the planet we live in, and use my own power for purpose. I see business as an incredibly powerful way to do so, and firmly believe in social entrepreneurship and shared value business models. With my organisation Impact Revolution as well as my job at Soulbottles, I want to inspire more people to realise the power of their own impact, spread the joy of sustainable lifestyles and inform the public how we can – and must – transition to a more just and sustainable economy. And you have no idea how grateful it makes me to know that my work contributes at least a bit to making such an economy a reality.

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