My Experience as a Summer Intern at ENERGY STAR

Yohana Merho

By: Yohana Merho

For many college students summer is a time to take a well-deserved break from all-nighters, term papers and exam week stress, to go out and find something they are interested in. And if they are lucky, they may find something they could be passionate about as a career. I am a college student in my sophomore year at the University of Maryland, College Park studying Environmental Policy and Spanish. I am fortunate enough to really love my major, but I also know that I am not alone in that I am still unclear of how I want my education to translate in to my life post-grad. So, like most others in my position, I decided to take on an internship for the summer in hopes of learning about the many different roles and professions in the environmental sector that I might find appealing.

After several applications and emails I landed a sweet internship at ENERGY STAR. On my first day I was shown to my personal cubicle with my very own computer, phone and email. This whole ‘taking a sneak peak of the work force’ thing was beginning to feel a little like a reality now! Before I knew it I was going to meetings, working on assignments, doing research and feeling completely immersed in the ENERGY STAR work-culture.

One of my first and most interesting assignments was to prepare for a Congressional Expo that ENERGY STAR was to participate in. We were celebrating our 20th anniversary and my job was to make sure that our signs and posters reflected that through our statistics and general language. Soon after, I was told I was to work at the booth the day of the Expo, talking to other environmentalists about energy efficiency and other environmental issues. I was nervous, but very excited. I got to meet a lot of people, all working to better the environment through their individual professions, and I learned a lot from them.

My entire experience at ENERGY STAR has been a great learning experience. It was interesting to see and be a part of an entire office working independently as well as collectively to make a real difference in the fight against climate change. I had a chance to talk with several employees about their background and how they got to where they are now. I can say that I got exactly what I was hoping to get out of interning at EPA and much more. Who knows, maybe after I graduate I can help ENERGY STAR celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Yohana Merho is a college student in her sophomore year at the University of Maryland College Park. She is double majoring in Environmental Policy and Spanish and spent her 2012 summer interning at EPA’s ENERGY STAR.

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