Jenny Jiwon Hyun, a Master of Environmental Management student, spent her summer as a Sustainability Intern at Genesys as part of the EDF Climate Corps program.

Each year, Nicholas School of the Environment students complete internships with organizations around the world. These internships provide valuable opportunities to gain career-related experience and build a professional network. 

Duke Environment recently caught up with Jenny to learn more about his experience.

What did you do at your internship and how did you use the skills you learned at the Nicholas School?

During my summer internship at Genesys, I found myself exactly where my education at the Nicholas School had prepared me to be. Tasked with conducting the company's first Climate Scenario Analysis, every step of the project allowed me to apply and refine the skills I'd honed at school. 

The core of the project immersed me in the world of numbers, where the challenge lay in translating identified climate risks into tangible monetary values. My academic foundation in financial principles and accounting was invaluable here, particularly when it came to assessing the financial impacts of potential climate-related scenarios. Additionally, the insights I gained from my Carbon Accounting class provided a unique advantage in working with the company's carbon emissions inventory, adding an extra layer of depth to the analysis. 

How did the Nicholas School help you during your internship search?

The Nicholas School has been instrumental in my entire internship search process, from crafting a compelling resume and cover letter to navigating interviews and finally securing acceptance. As an international student without prior work experience in the United States, juggling interviews with multiple companies and communicating effectively with potential employers proved to be a tricky part of the recruiting process. But I wasn't alone. The Career & Professional Development Center (CPDC) was a tremendous support, guiding me through the nuances of professional communication and helping me find my footing.

Additionally, the MEM alumni network was an invaluable resource. When industry or job-specific questions arose during my internship search, I knew I could turn to them. For instance, my summer internship with EDF Climate Corps, a fellowship program that pairs top-tier graduate students with companies and organizations to advance sustainability goals, came to my attention through a conversation with second-year MEM students. Their insight and encouragement were vital, supporting me throughout the entire application process.

How will this experience help you in your career?

Looking back on my internship, I see it as more than just an exciting project or a chance to learn. It was a real-life test of everything I had studied at the Nicholas School, bringing together what I'd learned in the classroom with what I needed to do on the job. Every challenge, every task, was like a stepping stone on the path of my career, showing me what I can do and where I am headed.

I also can't overlook the amazing support from the Nicholas School's resources, CPDC and the MEM community. They helped me every step of the way, from finding the internship to understanding how things work in the professional world here in the United States. It was not just about getting a great internship. They helped me grow and learn in ways I had not expected.

I am deeply grateful for this entire experience. It has not only showcased the strength of the MEM community but also infused me with enthusiasm and anticipation for the next exciting phase of my career in sustainability.