It’s been almost two months since I started my fellowship, and all I can say is…wow. It’s definitely been a convoluted process at times, with so many things having changed last minute and my overall work taking a completely unpredicted route than what I expected, but at the same time things so far have been so incredibly rewarding. Looking back, I definitely have grown a little, and my perspectives on the energy industry have shifted a bit, growing and becoming a bit more multidisciplinary.
The biggest growth I personally have seen from this internship is learning to better hold myself accountable as an individual and becoming better at working alone. I always was a good team player (I love meeting new people and working with others), but sometimes I struggle at tackling solo tasks or jobs that do not involve working with others. Due to the nature of my research, a lot of my work was remotely done in Detroit and I was the sole one in charge of a lot of things that shaped how my work developed. It was a bit unnerving at first, but I gradually saw myself growing into this role of self control and self work, and embracing it. This is not to say I did everything by myself – I definitely did not. But I did manage myself properly and was the major force behind how my project turned out, and I can say I am glad at the growth I saw in myself this summer with regards to this.
I knew the energy sector was complicated before starting this fellowship. What I did not truly realize or embrace was how multidisciplinary this sector was becoming, and how this sector will influence, and in turn be influenced by, various other sectors and industries in the world, from public health to public policy to finance to tech development. Through my work (again, the NDA), I see a lot of connections and overlaps, and realize the importance of considering multidisciplinary perspectives when working in the energy sector, and how it will impact other sectors. This is something I will try to take back with me to my daily life – the aspect of thinking through different lenses and backgrounds, and realizing that you often need a multidisciplinary approach in today’s world to make lasting change.