During my Junior year at Wheaton, I participated in a term-time internship for Manomet, as a Sustainable Economies Intern. During the fall semester, the internship consisted of several team workshops with our supervisor, learning about the different aspects of environmental, economic, and social sustainability in small businesses. Upon completion of these workshops, we were able to create a leads list of 100 small businesses, utilizing our personal networks, and area of study, to contact the businesses to take Manomet’s sustainability survey, measuring their sustainability practices as a business. The daily duties were general outreach to businesses, conducting interviews both in person and over the phone. In this, it was important to recognize that we were representing Manomet, and it was necessary to conduct oneself in a professional manner. From this, I was able to interview small businesses across the nation. Being able to interview business from Texas, Florida, California, and the Northeast was by far the most interesting aspect of the internship. I would never have imagined I’d be interviewing small business owners from across the country.
In the spring semester, the task was to focus on an industry, I chose the Recreation industry, and created a new leads list of businesses across the country in that industry. While initial outreach was much more difficult, I learned that in an outreach position, you are the most successful acting from a “you get out what you put in” mentality. The more effort I put forth, the more responses I got. After keying in on our industry, and completing a certain amount of interviews, our final project was picking 1 business from the whole year to create a Sustainability Action Plan for. I chose a Farm in the Northeast, with the goal of best to improve their sustainability in the threat of climate change. This was a challenging task as I was unfamiliar with environmental aspects before this internship. Overall, I learned so much in the internship, thanks to my supervisor and my fellow interns.