Student Internship Stories: Anna Yingst (CAS’22) Environment Colorado

CCD: Tell us about your experience. What were your responsibilities?

During the fall semester of 2020, I worked as a campaign assistant with Environment Colorado Research and Policy Center. Environment Colorado’s mission is to make the world a greener and healthier place for all, with help from people who care deeply about the environment and are ready to make a change. Through campaigns, events, and assisting the state director, I was able to contribute to the organization’s mission.

While this internship was interesting due to its remote and out-of-state nature, I was still involved with a variety of projects and tasks throughout the semester that furthered my interest in the environmental/political fields. As a campaign assistant my tasks varied greatly each week and reflected the workload of the state director. I prepared social media posts, drafted press releases, press advisories, and professional emails for several zoom events. I also devised cohesive media plans, researched materials for events, wrote LTE’s, created Canva graphics, and pitched reporters on Environment Colorado events.

CCD: How did you get the opportunity? What resources at BU or elsewhere did you use?

I used the Yawkey Nonprofit internship program to fund my experience at Environment Colorado.

CCD: What was the best thing about the experience? What was the worst?

My favorite part of this internship was writing letter-to-the-editor stories that were published in two Colorado newspapers. They were on the news surrounding the Paris Climate Agreement in reference to the election. It was great to see my own ideas and thoughts about a subject put into a physical paper that others could read. I chose this internship so I could dive further into these issues and see the different possibilities this field holds from working in a nonprofit to becoming an aide to a legislator. This information was one of the most rewarding aspects about my internship. While I’ve learned about environmentalism and politics through some of my Boston University courses, I hadn’t yet experienced them in an immersive setting, where I could interact with other interns, professionals, and even politicians in the same field.

The main challenges I faced were juggling multiple projects at a time and self-motivation. Due to the nature of the pandemic and my independent work, it was sometimes difficult to motivate myself, even though the work I was doing was engaging. Being inside for most of the day diminishes the in-person collaborative energy that an internship usually has. Therefore, I had to work harder to stay organized with both my school and internship work and immerse myself in the space. In the beginning, I wasn’t fully aware of the rewards and challenges I would face. But through managing the challenges effectively, I appreciated the rewardsand opportunities that developed through this internship.

CCD: What was the most memorable moment of your experience?

Through working in the environmental/political field, I discovered the inner workings of a nonprofit and the role it plays among big corporations. I spoke to grassroots organizers, other nonprofits, and politicians looking to make a change. While everyone had a different method, they all had the same drive/passion to make the earth a cleaner greener space. I learned the importance of talking to others in the field about their organizations rather than just researching online. By meeting with potential speakers for events, I got a deeper understanding of their organizations mission and the unique work being done. I saw how multi-faceted environmental work is and how it spans multiple careers and fields. After this internship I want to explore these different facets to see which one could be a possible future career. After talking to people doing incredibly innovative work, I gained more insight into how important and relevant it is today.

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