As we welcome the 2022 class of EDICT interns, we caught up with one of last summer’s interns, Shreeya Gautam, to talk about how the program helped shape her career trajectory. Born and raised near the Himalayas in Nepal, Shreeya has had firsthand experiences of the effects of the changing climate, which is why she hopes to be part of innovative, inclusive and global solutions in the energy and climate space.
We’re also happy to report that Shreeya landed a full-time role at Clean Energy Buyers Association (CEBA) following her EDICT internship there in 2021. And what’s more, CEBA found the EDICT experience to be so valuable that they are hosting two more interns this summer.
Jumpstarting a Career with EDICT
“As a recent graduate, the climate space was intriguing because it aligned with my major in environmental studies. However, I didn’t have any direct working experience that would help me jumpstart my career in the sector. I was really grateful that EDICT helped me land an internship at CEBA and gain knowledge in the weekly ‘Green Workshops.’ CEBA was very understanding that not everyone — especially interns — has deep knowledge about the clean energy space, which can be intimidating. They were very willing to train, welcome different perspectives, and make it more accessible for people who may not have the skills yet, but who are eager to learn.
It felt like, OK I’m not alone, we’re all going into this together.
The Value of the Cohort Experience
“As someone from Nepal, EDICT also helped me navigate a new work environment and overcome my impostor syndrome around adjusting to life and work in the U.S., and in the clean energy space in particular. In our cohort, we had interns majoring in design who were now working in clean tech. It’s so different — being open to a person’s enthusiasm rather than just how their work experience looks on a piece of paper. I really appreciated the chance to connect with so many people from diverse backgrounds who weren’t used to seeing others like them. It felt like, OK I’m not alone, we’re all going into this together and sharing similar experiences.”
From Skeptic to Champion
“I come from Nepal, which is developing and rapidly growing. When I was young we had extreme power outages for up to 20 hours a day and I spent a lot of time growing up studying under candlelight. Our main source of electricity was hydropower, which people blamed for causing the power problems and not being reliable. So I didn’t have a very good impression of renewable energy, because at that time, I didn’t realize that there were other reasons like improper management and corrupt policies that could have lead to those outages. Now I have a much different perspective from my work, and even got to talk to different hydropower leaders at a recent conference. I feel like that’s one of the biggest jumps for me, and honestly, a very unexpected one.”
The Road Ahead
“This experience has been a decisive moment in my career, and I definitely want to continue to work in this space and eventually get a master’s degree in the future specializing in energy management. And eventually I want to go back to Nepal. While the clean energy transition and adaptation and mitigation are being talked about in the Western world, it’s not a topic that gets much attention in the developing world. I want to gather as many ideas and skills and networks as I can, and take it back. I will always be thankful for EDICT and all the experiences and knowledge I gained.”
• • •
Empowering Diverse Climate Talent (EDICT) is designed to create a diverse pipeline of talent for the climate sector, to empower climate organizations in creating inclusive cultures, and to support the skill and network development of rising leaders from traditionally excluded groups. Learn more on how you can get involved or support EDICT.