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This past May, I graduated with a degree in communication and a minor in renewable energy policy. In my mind, this was the ideal duo of studies – I wanted to promote courses of action that help protect our planet’s vitality. Even though I was passionate about the idea, people frequently asked me, “what are you going to do with that?” and, “what can you do with that?” Before I graduated college I didn’t have the slightest clue. I tended to give people the most vague answer I could think of – “Anything, really.” Now, I realize that “anything” was actually the right response.

Just days after graduation, I was lucky enough to begin a marketing internship with the Department of Energy Resources (DOER). Over the course of the summer, I was given countless opportunities to explore the different aspects of clean energy careers. I was able to attend weekly lunches that featured guest speakers from various environmental professions. My supervisors, who also served as personal mentors, encouraged me to discover what dimension of clean energy truly interested me. As a result of their guidance, I am now absolutely certain that I want to focus on climate change.

photo of the Forestdale School receiving its NEEDAward

NEED Award Ceremony with DOER Commissioner Syliva and NEED Exec. Director Mary Spruill

During my internship, some of my responsibilities included reaching out to stakeholders, conducting case studies about clean energy projects, and writing energy-related posts that were published – like this one − on “Energy Smarts,” the blog site for all of Energy & Environmental Affairs, the “secretariat” in which DOER resides. I also attended the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Energy and Innovation Expo. I was introduced to different companies that are working to make transportation technology more efficient. My internship also gave me the opportunity to visit the State House  for the 2013 Massachusetts’ National Energy Education Development (NEED) award ceremony.

Every encounter and experience during my internship at DOER not only helped me strengthen my professional skills, but I also gained an understanding of where I want to focus my career. Whether your degree is in communication, economics, political science, engineering, legal studies, or just about anything, there is a place for you within the field of clean energy. The opportunities to become involved are everywhere, and sometimes we just need a little guidance to know where to look.

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Samantha Randall was an intern this summer for DOER’s Marketing and Stakeholder Engagement team. She is a recent graduate from the University of Maine. Samantha majored in Communication, with a double minor in Renewable Energy Policy and Economics. She is also a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and has a strong passion for environmental issues. Outside of the office, Samantha enjoys photography, writing, painting and following the local political ins and outs of her hometown, Kingston, Mass.

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