An Intern’s Perspective: My First Month with USGBC

Published on: 
13 Sep 2012
Brittany Ireland

Smiles, speed and skill pretty much sums up the beginning of my internship at the U.S. Green Building Council.

Smiles. On my first day, I am willing to bet that every single person greeted me with a warm grin. Fresh to the team, I immediately noticed the culture of this great non-profit. If the staff being a pleasure wasn’t enough, the workspace in its own way was also inviting. A lover of interior design and architecture, I took a tour of the entire LEED Platinum office. Who knew that Italian wool and recycled bark could look so good! From the atmosphere to the people to the company mission, USGBC is somewhere I can really see myself pursuing a career.

Speed. After my first week my thoughts led me to believe that my internship would be an easy, non-challenge and smooth experience. I was wrong. The first week was simply getting into the swing of things. The second week brought much more responsibility, which was great since I love being busy. The thing I have enjoyed most is that even as an intern, there are tons of tasks I can bounce between. If I am finished drafting social media content, I can shift and work on the Green Apple Day of Service outreach. If I don’t want to sit at my desk to work, I can hop in a big, comfy chair in the kitchen or upstairs in the café. I love the engaging and creative work space, and the flexibility it provides. Overall, the employees at USGBC wear many hats and often step outside of their job title and description. The marketing & communications team is exceptionally efficient and hard working, and being here has motivated me to observe how the team operates on a daily basis and take some of these lessons with me to my next position.

Skill. As a graduating senior from Howard University, I hope to work somewhere where my skills will be enhanced and I can obtain a true feel for what it is like to work in the public relations and communications industry. My internship at USGBC has enormously helped me to get some of that real-world experience. My two supervisors, Mallory and Marisa, are great at guiding me and are constantly working with me to help refine my skills. “How is the workload? What are you working on this week? What are some of your goals? How can we help you reach them?” are all questions I hear just about daily. It is clear to me why universities recommend getting internship experience. I had a general knowledge of the world of communications and public relations, but after working in the field for just a month, I am learning things that the classroom simply cannot teach.

I'm very much looking forward to continuing into my second month at USGBC.