Malkie Wall, a Master of Environmental Management student, spent her summer as an Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Climate Corps Fellow at Boston Scientific.
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 Wall to learn more about her experience.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING AT YOUR INTERNSHIP AND HOW ARE YOU USING THE SKILLS YOU'VE LEARNED AT THE NICHOLAS SCHOOL?
"I am an EDF Climate Corps fellow at Boston Scientific Corporation (BSC), a global medical device manufacturer. Climate Corps is a fellowship program run by the Environmental Defense Fund that aims to train and build a network of climate leaders by pairing graduate students with companies and public institutions to work on their climate and energy goals.
BSC enlisted me to make strategic recommendations and create implementation guides to drive progress on renewable energy and carbon neutrality commitments across their global manufacturing and key distribution sites. One of my projects was to develop a plan to credibly account for grid delivered renewable energy at several sites. I interviewed industry professionals, reviewed technical guidance, and assessed data availability to recommend individualized methodologies for 11 sites. Having an understanding of renewable energy credits (RECs) and how the electrical grid functions – both of which I got through my energy classes at the Nic School – was really helpful for this.
In addition, I designed an awards program to incentivize energy efficiency and scope 1 emissions reductions across BSC’s manufacturing and distribution sites. My favorite part of this project was creating an Excel tool that ranked energy projects based on their emissions reductions, energy efficiency, and financial criteria because I got to apply the spreadsheet management and Excel VBA skills I learned in Dalia Patino-Echeverri’s energy modeling and power markets classes!"
HOW DID THE NICHOLAS SCHOOL HELP YOU DURING YOUR INTERNSHIP SEARCH?
"Coming from a background in public policy research, I was interested in testing out the private sector, and I also wanted to gain more project management experience. A couple people suggested that I check out the Climate Corps program, so I attended an information session. Allison Besch at the Career and Professional Development Center was a huge help in reviewing my materials and helping me to prep for the interviews. My Nic School alumni mentor had previously done Climate Corps too, so I was able to get her advice as well."
HOW WILL THIS EXPERIENCE HELP YOU IN YOUR CAREER?
"It’s given me real-world insights into corporate sustainability that would have been difficult to obtain in a classroom setting. For example, I was able to sit in on renewable energy procurement negotiations, and I learned about some of the challenges of industrial electrification. I also got valuable experience with managing projects and presenting my findings. And the Climate Corps network has also been great. We had a Whatsapp group where fellows could pose questions about their respective projects, and I learned a lot just by reading through those. Finally, internships can help you discern what you DON’T want to do in a full-time job – and I got a bit of that too."