Greening NYC—From the eyes of an Intern

It is hard to believe that my internship with Global Green Coalition for Resource Recovery is complete!  The Coalition for Resource Recovery (CoRR) is an industry-working group working to find ways to recover the value of waste that make sense in the corporate framework and is replicable and scalable throughout the country.  CoRR works actively with their member companies to create solutions for current waste management issues.  The Coalition has been focused on conducting on the ground pilot programs, specifically looking at the accommodation, foodservice and retail sectors.   Reflecting back on how much I have grown in the 6th months I have been working at CoRR, it is exciting to see how much I was able to draw from my Bard experience and my coursework to continue on my personal growth.

I would not have felt as successful at this internship had I not come from a year of strong academics.  This internship demanded a lot of “outside of the box” thinking where I was looking at the value chain of waste management from new angles and needing to write and edit papers on all aspects of the waste industry.  Bard prepared me for this type of fast paced environment with thoughtfully planned modular classes, linked projects, and a heavy workload.  I was asked to write numerous internal memos and a literature review.  I conducted research for my bosses—as well as do research for my own projects.  Gautam and Monique’s classes were particularly helpful in laying the groundwork for initial understanding of the material of my internship and allowed me to quickly settle in to my new environment and to forge ahead and eat up new material.

This internship taught me a lot about professional time management.  I had three bosses who would continually swing by my cubical and assign me new projects or would ask for assistance with their work which would be piled on top of my own.  It was quite a lot to juggle but with careful note taking on exactly what they wanted and expected from me and jotting down exactly when< they needed it returned to them, I was able to find a system of recording all information in a detailed planner.  I kept a digital copy on my computer and in my notebook. This way I could keep track of all projects I was working on and I was able to deliver all of my projects back to the right boss on time.  Problems would occur because my bosses would not talk to each other about all the work that they would assign to me so they did not understand that I would be working on many projects at once.  Each boss was under the impression that I was working exclusively on their projects, which was not the case.

The most important thing I am taking away from my experience with CoRR is to be more assertive and confident in the office environment.  In the future it is my goal to request more meetings with my head boss and to not get discouraged if my meeting gets moved or canceled which tends to happen in a adaptable non-profit atmosphere operating an unpredictable and sometimes explosive corporate environment.  In my final meeting with my boss she told me to persevere in scheduling appointments and to take everything I can out of an experience and to make myself heard more often.  Excellent advice for my future endeavors.

About Jaime D.