By Kenny Mack (Class of 2017)
One of the first challenges I faced entering the internship was understanding the expectation of my employer, and what my role in the development of the Barbara George Learning Center would be. Now obviously this was a barrier I needed to get over quickly if I
wanted to be a productive member of Marin Clean Energy. I made it clear to my team at our first meeting for the Learning Center that I wanted to be given tasks right away. As soon as I got the role to work on the timeline display, I felt included in the group and understood what the expectation for me where. One lesson I have learned in my internship so far is to take up tasks as I go. Not all tasks take the same amount of time to complete. For example I was assigned to email an outside partner to set up a meeting at MCE. This took much longer than I anticipated, spanning over multiple work days to coordinate dates with all the members, I had other tasks to work on but was unable to get to them because I was too busy with the meeting. On the other side of the spectrum however, I have been assigned tasks that only take me 20 to 30 minutes to complete. When this happened I end up feeling somewhat useless until I pick up new tasks during the next weekly meeting. Sometimes it is not obvious how long researching, communicating, or planning will take, and that’s why I now take on tasks as I go.
Through my internship work and experience, one skill I am currently improving is communication. There are a lot of moving parts and people involved in the development of the Barbara George Learning Center, and MCE expects of me, just like they expect of all their employees, that everyone is on the same page. This means we share our information online via our google spreadsheet and shared folder, as well as during our weekly meetings. I also have to check my emails to communicate with members who might not be in the office that day, or for responses from our community partners. I receive and respond to emails more frequently than I ever have in my entire life. The environment can sometimes seem overwhelming at least in comparison to the level of exchanging information I do outside of MCE, but that is why communication is such a valuable skill for this internship.