Through the Jackson Fellowship I am interning at the Great Plains Institute, a Minneapolis based non-profit working across the Midwest to accelerate our transition to a sustainable, low-carbon economy. We convene diverse leaders and stakeholders on energy issues with the purpose of finding common solutions. I am currently doing communications work for a sustainable cities program called GreenStep Cities, researching various energy efficiency finance tools, and doing logistical planning for a Midwestern Smart Grid conference.
My involvement in this program has given me the opportunity to cultivate my leadership and professional skills which in turn now allows me to more effectively contribute to the common good. Interacting with the individuals I have at my work site has given me a much better understanding of the multi-faceted complicated nature of energy issues, and I now have more confidence in my ability to tackle these issues.
I have increased my professional network through this fellowship and also have a better sense of the career opportunities out there and where I can best fit into that. I plan to travel after graduating and this fellowship will increase my chances of finding work in transmission/clean energy development abroad.
One of Great Plains Institute’s specialties is getting different, sometimes opposing personalities working together. So I have gained insight into the psychology of different types of professionals and how they operate. This is valuable in any field. I have also learned a lot about the financing side of projects through my research.