How do you want to leave your impact on the world?
The global opinion on climate change is very alarming to me. Many people still believe that it is a hoax and continue to reject the idea of using renewable energy. I would like to change people's opinion of using renewable energy and spread the word about the benefits of renewable energy. I saw first-hand the beneficial effects of renewable energy while I was in Iceland and would like everyone to see these effects. Persuading companies to cut down on fossil fuel use and switching to renewable energy is the first step in making our planet a more habitable place to live.
What is your story? What doesn't your resume tell us about you?
I love facing my challenges and fears head on because that is the best way you can grow and develop as a person. A prime example of this would be when I was 18. My friend had asked me to go skydiving and my immediate response was no because of my fear of heights. However, he eventually persuaded me and after landing on the ground I realized that I faced a challenge head on and conquered my fear. Conquering my biggest fear helped me develop as a person because I am more eager to face my challenges and fears head on. I am a person who enjoys experiencing new things and taking risks. When I traveled to Iceland, it was the first time I was traveling outside of the United States by myself. I was meeting an entire group of people that I had never met before in a country I had never been to. However, I had heard nothing but great things about the GREEN Program and wanted to see for myself just how amazing it was. It did not disappoint and I learned so much about sustainability and myself.
Describe your dream job or career.
The renewable energy and sustainability field is extremely alluring to me. I would love to work in this industry and be able to see how energy use develops throughout my lifetime. As a statistics minor I would like to be able to work as a data analyst to see how renewable energy use has helped different companies financial positions as well as how it has affected their carbon output. Being able to test how different companies are affected by renewable energy use would be extremely interesting to me because I would be able to see the impact I am having on people. However, I would not want to be stuck in an office all day. I would like to be able to visit these companies and discuss my findings to show them how their energy use is affecting their day-to-day operations.
Tell us about your leadership experiences.
I am involved in many clubs at Penn State and outside of school in which I was required to take a leadership role. While completing my Capstone project in Iceland I was one of the members of my group who took charge in coming up with an idea and giving people different facets of the business model to research. I was also in charge of researching ways to create revenue for our project and finding potential partnerships. As a member of the Penn State Energy Marketing Association I am required to research and forecast the prices for a certain energy commodity over a two-week period. During one forecasting period, as a senior member of the club, I was asked to be a leader for a group. I helped hand out responsibilities for each member of the group, helped create deadlines for the research, and helped organize the data that would eventually be published in our newsletter.
Describe a personal experience that has directly or indirectly influenced your career path.
When I was in high school I took an Environmental Science class as a senior. Before taking this I had a very small interest in the environment and in sustainability. However, learning about the detrimental effects we have on the environment, and the ways people are attempting to reverse these effects peaked my interest. I began researching different ways people have been creating a more sustainable world to live in. Taking this class jump-started my path towards a career in sustainability.
What is the biggest take-away and/or favorite part of your GREEN Program experience?
Being able to visit all of the natural wonders of Iceland was unforgettable experience. From the waterfalls I visited to hiking mountains to bathing in geothermal pools, every natural wonder was better than the next. Visiting a country unaffected by pollution or urban buildings is something I have never experienced before. I loved being able to live in a country where I could nothing but natural resources for miles as well as visit the energy plants responsible for this clean atmosphere.
Tell us about your Capstone project experience and your journey, your team, the ideation and implementation.
For my group's Capstone project, we decided to create a theoretical website that would provide passive reporting on utility bills that utility companies did not provide. An example would be a change in rates or a broken water pipe. My original idea was to create a website that could help forecast energy bills for consumers and explain to the consumers why their energy bills were so high or low. After 3 people came over to my table we discussed the specifics of the idea and eventually changed it to a theoretical, reporting website. I was one of the leaders of the group and helped another one of my members hand out responsibilities for each member. I was also in charge of finding ways to create revenue and identifying potential partnerships. I enjoyed working with my group because although we were consistently working hard, we also had a great time getting to know each other. Being able to sit down every day and work on our project together helped develop chemistry within our group, which helped make our project the best it could be.
Where and when would you go in a time machine? Why?
I would go back to the end of the 1970's or beginning of the 1980's because my both my parents were alive during that time and said it was the best time of their lives. Life was much simpler during that time, but the United States was still thriving. Also, people were much more open to experiencing new events and ideas.