Specialization: Sustainability in Business
Graduation: December, 2018
Internship: Energy and Sustainability Intern at Extended Stay America Hotels in Charlotte, NC
Duration: May-August 2017
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I spent a large portion of the internship on energy related projects for Extended Stay’s 620+ hotels. The internship was very facilities based as I worked on countless lighting and water usage related projects aimed at reducing energy and water consumption. This involved a lot of contact with the managers at the individual hotels, troubleshooting and problem solving, survey collection, and inventorying current products in place. All of this work ultimately aimed at installing high efficiency toilets and bulbs in order to reduce utilities costs.
Throughout the internship I worked on developing a sustainability report and strategy for the company. This is something that Extended Stay had not previously looked into. I started by inventorying current sustainable practices that Extended Stay already does. There were a lot more than expected. This was also a great way for me to learn more about the hospitality industry, how it functions, and what possible changes could be made. I compiled my research into a report. The report began by aligning a sustainability strategy with Extended Stay America’s core values. It then went on to explain all of the sustainable practices Extended Stay already participates in. Following that I identified some potential room for improvement. I also created a short 10 page document that was intended to kick-off the sustainability initiative/strategy internally. This document addresses employees and explains the importance of a sustainability strategy, the pillars of that strategy, and the current initiative Extended Stay has already taken. This new sustainability strategy will eventually be featured on the company website as part of the new Community Relations portal.
I learned how to work across departments in a company and communicate with a wide range of professionals. I also learned more about communicating sustainability strategy to people who may be unfamiliar with the term or associated practices. Additionally, I learned about energy management and purchasing.
I found this internship on LinkedIn. I think having a finished LinkedIn profile and using the job search feature has helped me get a lot of internship interviews.