Why Should We Care about Chocolate?

Meet environmental studies major Andrew Her.

September 22, 2022

Hometown: Saint Paul, Minnesota

Thesis adviser: Noelwah Netusil [economics]

Thesis: “Think Green, Think Chocolate: A Case Study of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability in the Chocolate Industry”

What it’s about: My thesis explores themes of corporate social responsibility, supply chain resiliency, and industry-wide sustainability in the chocolate industry. Through a case study approach, I analyze four different chocolate-producing firms on their perspectives on supply chain management and sustainability given current industry trends.

What it’s really about: Why people should care more about chocolate and how firms are approaching sustainability when crafting these delectable confectionary treats.

Influential book: Erika Lee’s America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States underscores the importance of immigration and migration history in the United States and how the nation still suffers from irrational fear and hostility towards immigrants.

Concept that blew my mind: Jacob Lawrence’s use of color and social realism in his 60 panels from The Migration Series taught me about the importance of every brush stroke.

Cool stuff: I worked with the admission office, participated in the Reed Financial Services Fellowship, hosted KRRC shows, interned at Goldman Sachs, and learned how to play squash, do yoga, ski, and use a map and compass through the PE program.

Help along the way: Being a first-generation Hmong American, I had limited financial resources, and I am so grateful to have been able to attend Reed thanks to the generosity of Reed donors. I hope I can inspire students to reach for the stars, no matter what the sticker price says.

Challenges faced: Thanks to my humanities conference leader, Prof. Nathalia King, I was able to learn how to find my voice in the classroom, which gave me confidence outside of the classroom as well.

How Reed changed me: Reed has taught me to take a step back, look at the bigger picture, and to look at things from various perspectives.

What’s next: Moving to Salt Lake City, Utah, and working as an analyst at Goldman Sachs.