More Internship Highlights

Joel Cesare: Trial by Fire in London

Joel Cesare returned from his summer internship with a message for Bren students: “You can learn anything you have to.”

Harry Vickers (right) introduces Joel Cesare to British culture. Vickers also did an internship in his native London. (See below.)

He had to learn plenty during his ten weeks at Dalen Strategies, a startup green-building consultancy in London. The unpaid position came with an iPhone, a laptop, an “Oyster Pass” for public transportation in the city – and all the responsibilities of a project manager.

Before Cesare arrived, Dalen had won an important job for a high-profile client that wanted LEED Gold certification for a new building.

 “There are not many LEED Accredited Professionals [AP] in London,” says Cesare, whose Bren specialization is Economics and Politics of the Environment. “I am a LEED AP, so I was brought in as ‘the U.S. expert on LEED.’ The architect and the engineer wanted my recommendations for achieving LEED Gold, but I had never been on a design team in my life. It was trial by fire, but that was my boss’s management style; he wanted employees who were entrepreneurial and took the initiative”

Cesare’s Bren training helped. “It gave me the confidence to be able to tackle any kind of challenge I came across,” he says. “I was brought in as an expert, and with my experience in research and being able to take on multiple disciplines, I was able to work my butt off and become that expert. It was intimidating, but by the end, I had a pretty good feel for working with a construction team and LEED.”

He stayed with classmate Harry Vickers’ parents, and says he got a kick out of being “a thirty-year-old having to explain to Harry’s mom why I was out late the night before or why my attire might not be appropriate for a certain meeting.”

“It was amazing to gain environmental-business experience outside the U.S.,” he says. “Companies in Europe are forward thinking, and they can clearly thrive within cap-and-trade regulations. They don’t see it as a hindrance; they see it as necessary. A company like mine exists and employs multiple people because of the system.”

Here are notes about a few other recent master's internships.

Marina Feraud – Marina spent a month in Lake Tahoe and another in the Lake Baikal watershed in Mongolia and Russia as part of her work with the Tahoe-Baikal Institute Summer Exchange Program. She met with scientists and policy makers, participated in research projects, and conducted ecological restoration work.

Kurt Heinze (left)– Kurt’s multifaceted duties during three months with the Environmental and Natural Resource Programme at the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, an NGO in Geneva, Switzerland, included researching and writing about fishing and energy and attending international conferences.

Andrew (Andy) Prosser – Andy spent his two months working with the Coral Reef Advisory Group in Pago Pago, American Samoa. His primary focus was a project studying how ocean currents affect coral bleaching. (The view from a hike to the highest point on the island appears at right.)

Ariadne Reynolds – During her eight weeks as an aquaculture intern at the Cape Eleuthera Institute in the Bahamas, Ariadne’s duties included helping to run a solar-powered hatchery and wet lab, and performing underwater testing and maintenance at an offshore aquaculture cage.

Harry Vickers – Harry was in London for six weeks conducting research for WHEB Partners, Europe's largest clean-tech venture capital fund. He then spent a month with the Yawanawa tribe in Brazil’s Amazon region, in consideration of a possible forestry carbon project.

Lindsey Kaplan (right) – Her first stop was South Africa’s Kruger National Park, where she assessed animal populations. She then joined her Group Project team in Chile.

Edward Walsh – Ed completed a twelve-week internship in the Chemicals Branch of the UN Environment Programme in Geneva, Switzerland. His work supported preparations for a global mercury treaty in 2013.

Qiong Wu – During eleven weeks with the Green Economy Initiative for the Economics and Trade Branch of the UN Environmental Programme in Geneva, Qiong wrote summary reports and researched green-economy development in developing countries, especially China.