Alliance Green Campus Program: Pathway to Green Careers
More than four-fifths of the college student interns who participate in the Alliance’s Green Campus Program go on to get jobs that support sustainability. In fact, 83% of Green Campus graduates currently hold a “green job,” defined as work that contributes substantially to preserving or restoring environmental quality. Furthermore, 98% of Green Campus alumni continue to support sustainability after graduating from the program.
The results are based on a survey of nearly 70 Green Campus alumni who graduated from 2005 through 2010; the Green Campus program works with about 75 student interns per year.
Preparing Students for the Workforce
Green Campus helps students build pathways to green careers by empowering them to lead energy-saving initiatives on their campuses. Interns and other students who participate in Green Campus trainings, classes, and volunteer opportunities enter the green workforce well versed in technical energy concepts, along with project management, writing, and presentation skills.
“Hands-on project management experience gives program graduates a leg up on other emerging professionals because they work on practical energy efficiency solutions outside of the classroom,” said Senior Director of Education Jo Tiffany.
“Green Campus really gave me a head start,” confirmed Desirae Early, who served as a Green Campus intern while studying at UC Berkeley, and is now an accounts manager at Pacific Gas & Electric. “Rather than coming into my current job not knowing what to do, I was able to use my experience from Green Campus to really dive right in and move forward quickly.”
Becoming Energy Efficiency Leaders
Green Campus gives college students like Early experience that helps them become tomorrow’s energy leaders – whether that’s working abroad or starting energy-saving companies at home.
“As a Green Campus intern at Humboldt State University, I learned how to bring diverse groups together to save energy. I now use this experience in my current job,” said Kale Roberts, an environment volunteer with the Peace Corps in Thailand. Roberts uses his Green Campus leadership skills every day to work with students, rural school administrators, village leaders and community members on sustainability projects in Buri Ram, Thailand.
“Green Campus is about teamwork; a team of students, administrators and leaders working together to bring about change, whether through an energy competition, classroom lighting motion sensors, or lighting upgrades for an entire sports stadium,” Roberts added.
Roberts is in good company. Heather Poiry, who participated in the Alliance’s K-12 Green Schools Program in high school and in the first Green Campus program at UC Merced, is currently running her own solar energy company and nearing completion of a masters in engineering. Poiry feels like the program mentored her through her academic career, noting that “I am now ready to give back to the world!”