Meet sustainability alum Jasmine Bolich

Woman smiling in dress sitting on marble building

School of Sustainabilty 2020 alum Jasmine Bolich is passionate about film production, and wants to make a positive impact in the industry through being an advocate for sustainability practices. In her Q&A below, Bolich explains how she came to study sustainability (hint: sustainability degrees are flexible and can be applied to any field!), her capstone project, and how her degree is opening up opportunities for her.

Question: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

Sometimes you have to wander before you find your path. I am 30 years old with a prior AA in nursing, and I was looking for a way to combine my interests in film production and sustainability. I had no idea how to combine these things or how to make them work for me. I needed something that was flexible and something that was going to challenge me.

I found the ASU online program through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan. I was a student that needed something that would allow for me to learn about the industries that I am looking to join and something that would work around my schedule. It was a perfect fit.

Q: Why did you choose the ASU School of Sustainability online program?

A: I had initially wanted to do the Bachelor’s in Film and Media Production but it was unavailable to the online learners (a requirement for the Starbucks College Achievement Plan). I pivoted. My plan formed around the School of Sustainability. I wanted to apply the knowledge from my courses and I wanted to help my field drastically change its environmentally damaging behavior.

I knew that SOS was a place where I could find the right questions and start to fine tune my industry interests. I focused the majority of my research and course selections around classes that could be applied to the film industry as well as my major. It was this flexibility that made my choice easy.

Q: What was your “aha” moment when you realized you wanted to study sustainability?

A: I have always been an advocate for living in an environmentally friendly way as someone raised in the Pacific Northwest. When I saw that this was an option I was blown away, it was like being on a detour and glimpsing the freeway. Previously, the majors I knew of were those related to environmental science or conservation and now I had something that combined my interests with an actionable future.

Woman with arms raised smiling in front of waterfall

Q: Can you tell us about your capstone project?

A: My capstone project was a research project on how sustainability fits in with the film production industry. I wanted to learn how to make a film more sustainable while remaining profitable. Each step that I took lead me to another small step being taken, and a set closer to the bigger picture. The film and TV industry is in dire need of help and people who have a more developed knowledge base.

Q: What have been your biggest learning experiences from participating in the research project?

A: I think that the biggest learning part of this experience was my interview with CEO and founder of Earth Angel, Emellie O’Brein. She was a great source that helped me see the practical applications of sustainable film production! She helped me to see what paths were open to me moving forward. Giving me a lot of possible places to work with and look to for more sustainable productions in the future, the interview was something that gave me more confidence in the path I had chosen.

Q: Do you have any general advice or tips for success for future sustainability interns?

A: My advice is to plan carefully. The time management for a self-paced project is key and I would allow yourself room for error. Murphy’s law will get you no matter how prepared you are, so make sure you have room for error. Life happens and 2020 was a doozy! Knowing that you will have something come up and planning to give yourself extra time is key!

Q: How do you envision applying sustainability to your future career?

A: I think that researching how to apply these practices to an industry and learning how they are trying to implement new standards helps me to see where more knowledge is needed. I think that this knowledge could be useful to any set that I work on and it could help to inform better choices for future regulation in the industry. I think that understanding how new technology can help and hinder is important to the sustainability challenge. Each new step moves us into a better future.

Q: What does sustainability mean to you?

A: I think that sustainability is something that requires us to think about how we create not just the finished result. I think that we need to create a norm around green processes and creation, and if we can master that we have a brighter future on the horizon. We need to make it normal to see green behavior in our media and in turn in our homes and communities. If we see it happening we can believe that it is possible. We need to show everyone that what we do now affects the world and if we treat it right and make better choices we cannot just solve problems but we can build a better future. We can be our own heroes and we can make something future generations can be proud of.