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Last Day

So today is my last day of interning with the Sierra Club. This summer really flew by and looking back, I can see that I really learned a lot. Not only did I learn about environmental issues specific to Massachusetts, but I also learned a lot about state politics and how an organization like the Sierra Club functions at the state level. I also developed better phone skills and was able to use my writing and researching skills in a non-school setting which was really cool because I’ve had to write several research papers at Dickinson and I enjoyed applying that in the real world.

On a non-school-related note, I really really enjoyed working in Boston everyday and I’m really going to miss it. Before this summer, I had gone into Boston occasionally, but after this I think I’m really going to miss it. I love how interesting and convenient the city is (when I say convenient, I mean you can buy any food anywhere!) and even though I have always disliked crowds, I did not dislike the crowdedness of the city.

When I think back to how I first got this position, I see how lucky I have been for it to be as successful as it was. By sending a last resort email to see if any positions had opened up, I was given an incredible opportunity to learn things I a confident could never have been taught in a classroom. I only recently started paying attention to politics (ie. when I started college and this fascinating presidential election began) and I still have a lot more to learn but I feel considerably more confident about my knowledge and I value that very highly.

This experience went above and beyond my expectations and I will be eternally grateful for this opportunity. Don’t be afraid to send that follow up email. 🙂

Before coming to the Sierra Club and commuting into downtown Boston everyday, I used to be very uncomfortable traveling in cities. Every time I came to town with my friends I would rely on their knowledge of how to get around and I would just follow. And the noise and crowds would always put me on edge. But after coming here everyday and getting used to riding the commuter rail, I’ve grown to really enjoy being in the city (I don’t know if I see myself living here, too much constant noise).

The environmental side of me loves how walkable everything is and Boston’s superb public transport system makes it easy to travel to other parts of the city (I was able to go to a couple concerts after work by taking the subway a couple nights this summer). I keep saying that this internship has been an incredible learning experience for me and that includes my newfound knowledge/comfort with navigating the city and subway system (not that I’m an expert, don’t ask me for directions!).

Commuting to Boston has taught me to be more independent and responsible. I’ve been able to practice my time management (although I’ve nearly missed my train on several occasions) as well as get comfortable navigating without someone telling me the way and I believe that these are valuable life skills.

Hello all, its been quite awhile. My day-to-day work has been pretty much the same as of late: I have been working with the Electric Vehicles Initiative (part of the national branch of the Club) so I’ve mostly been making phone calls to dealerships. I’d say I’m pretty uncomfortable when talking on the phone, but this assignment has definitely helped to improve my speaking skills and has helped me get more comfortable speaking to new people. I really appreciate the opportunities I get to step out of my comfort zone.

After a couple of weeks staying in the office, I’ve come to realize that I prefer a job where I can move location and don’t have the same schedule every day. Before this position, really my only other work experience I had was my 3 years of working at Second Nature Farm in Norton, MA (I worked summers part time). Here at the Sierra Club, some of my favorite days have been when we could go to the State House for a hearing or to Sandwich to collect signatures– basically the days where I didn’t have to sit at a desk for 7-8 hours (not saying that I didn’t mind those days, I sometimes enjoy phone calls or data entry, just not every day apparently). It has also been hard to get used to working every day full time, especially during the summer, a time I had always committed to relaxing after a school year, but I suppose I will have to get used to it eventually. And this job is so interesting that I sometimes don’t feel like I am even “working” because I enjoy it so much.

I only have two and a half weeks left here and it feels like its gone by so fast! I have really enjoyed my time here and I hope I have more opportunities to work with the Sierra Club again!

So yesterday Donald Trump actually came to Boston and the Mass Sierra Club once again planned to protest and this time so did everyone else. The crowd was amazing! There were several people with megaphones who were leading chants and numerous groups were there with signs at the ready. The energy was high and several media outlets were there asking people questions and filming. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay long because I had to work with the Electric Vehicles Initiative for a little bit. Currently I have been working on a document summarizing all state legislation relating to electric vehicles and I have been calling dealerships that received a high rating after our Rev Up EVs Campaign to ask them about the way they market their electric vehicles. For the Chapter, we have been focused on the Senate omnibus energy bill that recently had 107 amendments proposed! The other day we made calls to Senate offices asking senators to co-sponsor and support some amendments the Sierra Club supports. Today I am sitting inside the Senate Gallery in the State House listening to a debate for the omnibus energy bill. Every day at the Sierra Club is even more interesting than the last and I am always grateful for these opportunities.

Still Going Strong

Hi again! It’s been a little while since I’ve made a post. I’ve been really getting into the swing of things and its been really interesting. I am now mostly working on the Sierra Club’s Electric Vehicle campaign which has been really awesome because I didn’t know too much about EVs so its been really interesting. I’ve been given the task of media tracking so I follow EVs in the news and enter any articles in this really extensive spreadsheet with different categories by state. I am also still working on stuff for the MA chapter and I’m still involved with the divestment and carbon pricing campaigns. I’m learning a whole lot about the field of environmental lobbying as well as gaining office related skills. I’ve also had some opportunities to write for the Sierra Club, which I wasn’t expecting to do and you can check out my blog post for MassSC here: http://www.sierraclub.org/massachusetts/blog/2016/06/board-building-regulations-and-standards-bbrs-hearing 

I hope you enjoy that! And thanks for reading! 🙂

My First Protest

Last Friday, we got news that Donald Trump was coming to Boston. When the Mass Sierra Club found out, we immediately started to plan how we would address this since the national chapter had recently gone public with an endorsement to Hillary Clinton and a mission to “bury” Donald Trumps campaign. Waking up this morning, I found out that Trump canceled the fundraising event he had planned at the Langham hotel in Boston. But we didn’t let that stop us. We made posters and headed over to the hotel where some other protesters were already gathered and we spoke to whoever passed us on the sidewalk or across the street about why Donald Trump would be a terrible leader for America and the world. The Sierra Club stands against Trump’s hateful rhetoric and his ignorant claims about climate change being a “hoax”. This was my first protest (aside from the People’s Climate March in 2014) and it was very interesting to participate in (I’m not much for shouting or chanting, but I am absolutely in love with the power of a group gathered together against hate). Although there were several people who resorted to the insulting rhetoric of the man they support, the number of people who flashed us a thumbs-up or a smile as they walked by far outnumbered the “haters”. After the People’s Climate March in NYC I saw and felt the power of the people and I felt that again today which lifted my spirits especially in light of the tragedy in Orlando this weekend. Love is love.

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Today was my very first day as an intern at the Sierra Club in Boston and it was fantastic. Although my supervisor was not in the offices today, I had the chance to meet the other interns and employees. We all had the opportunity to attend the public Supreme Judicial Court hearing on the Global Warming Solutions Act in the State House which was very informative and very cool. I can tell that I have a lot to learn about what the Sierra Club does and how the legislative process works but I am so excited. Besides attending the hearing, I read several articles about what the Sierra Club stands for and what the political landscape of Massachusetts looks like for those issues. I am looking forward to day #2 tomorrow and what sort of projects I will have the chance to be involved in. Thanks for reading!

During winter break, I started to think about a summer internship. As an Environmental Studies and Policy Management double major, I needed either two internships on my notation or one that could fulfill the requirements of both majors. My ideal choice was to enter the field of environmental lobbying/advocacy and the Sierra Club became my top choice because I knew of it and it had a Boston location (I live in MA). I heard back from the Sierra Club first saying there were no positions left that would suit me. Come late February/early March I began to panic a little. I had been gradually applying to more and more environmental advocacy organizations but I had yet to hear back from any so I sent out a follow-up email and I decided to send one to the Sierra Club just in case… I received an email the next day with an offer from my soon to be supervisor for a position as her intern! With this opportunity, I will be able to attend meetings and events run by the organization as well as gain some experience in an office setting as well as observe the field of environmental advocacy in a non-profit. I am very excited for my first day at this internship (I start next Tuesday) and I look forward to writing about my experience at the Massachusetts Sierra Club.