Can you brief us about your scope of work during this internship?
This summer, I worked on understanding the rapidly changing ESG landscape, particularly as it pertains to utilities and other energy companies. ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance and is a set of criteria that investors and customers are increasingly using to determine which companies they want to do business with. Given the relationship between energy production and its potential environmental impact, ESG tracking and reporting is especially important for utilities and other energy producers. I researched many of the challenges that companies currently face when it comes to collecting the required data and generating the ESG report and have worked with others at ANB Systems to try and come up with ways in which ANB can help solve some of these challenges.
What were your key roles & responsibilities, and how did you work towards achieving them?
I largely started this project from scratch, so one of my initial key tasks was to come up with a general outline of the project, describing what needed to be done and where it was headed. I then began doing a lot of background research into ESG. I held discussions with folks who worked on creating ESG reports and read reports that offered guidance on creating ESG reports. I learned calculation methodologies for emissions data and understood which types of emissions sources needed to be tracked. I helped come with strategies for how ANB Systems can offer an ESG tracking and reporting solution and helped prepare presentations to show our solution to potential clients. Towards the end of the internship, I also worked on the marketing strategy for ANB’s ESG tracking initiative.
Among your many tasks, what is the one that you liked working on the most?
I enjoyed learning about how emissions were calculated from different energy production sources. I hope to work in the energy production industry one day, so learning about all the emissions released from energy production and different mitigation strategies was very interesting to me.
What was the biggest challenge you came across, and how did you overcome it?
One of the biggest challenges for me was conceptualizing the project. I started from scratch and did not have a good idea or understanding of where this project would eventually head. Fortunately, throughout the internship, I was able to work closely with our CEO, President, and other ANB employees, who gave me feedback on my work and helped guide me as I went down various different paths.
What new skillsets and/or knowledge did you gain during your time with ANB?
Given that ESG reporting was the focus of my project, I learned a lot about ESG and what all goes into it. It is a rapidly growing phenomenon and could be seen as being on the same level as financial reporting and disclosure within the next several years. ESG reporting will likely be very relevant, especially in the energy industry where I hope to have a career in so it was very beneficial to be able to learn in-depth about this process.
What do you feel are the highlights of working at a smaller tech company?
For me, the highlight of working at a smaller tech company was definitely being able to interact and work with the CEO and President on a regular basis. They provided me with a lot of feedback on my work, and I learned a lot from them throughout the internship. I got to know how they thought about things from a leadership and decision-making perspective.
What are the key takeaways from your exposure to the energy efficiency industry?
Energy efficiency is a critically important industry nowadays, and I was very excited to be able to work and gain some experience in this industry. I have more of a policy background than a tech background, so it was interesting to learn how technology and software solutions can work alongside changing policy initiatives to enhance energy efficiency.
How did you find our company culture and the support you received from your colleagues?
Everyone at ANB Systems was incredibly welcoming and a pleasure to work with. There are some very talented and intelligent people working at ANB Systems, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know and learn from some of them. Everyone was always willing to meet with me, answer any questions I may have, and offer any suggestions that they thought of for my project. The company culture creates an atmosphere of collaboration where everyone is driven to do well.
How easy/challenging was it to collaborate remotely with COVID-19 restrictions in place?
Working remotely was one of the more challenging aspects of the internship for me. I like to work with people as a part of a team, and I think that seeing people and collaborating with them in person helps create that team environment. While I certainly missed working with people in person, everyone at ANB Systems was always very responsive and communicative, which helped make the virtual collaboration a little easier.
How much did the internship match your expectations?
Since I was starting this project from scratch, I did not exactly have many pre-set expectations. I figured that I would have to learn on the go, which ended up being the case. The ability to work closely and learn from the leadership team at ANB Systems is something that exceeded my expectations.
How much do you feel your internship will help you in your career going forward?
I think that this internship will greatly help my career path going forward. I want to work in the energy industry, and this was the first substantial work experience I was able to have in this field. I will also be starting graduate school in the fall, and I think the knowledge I learned this summer has helped prepare me for that as well. In addition to the knowledge and skills I developed this summer related to energy, it was also a good experience to work full-time in a professional environment and learn from many talented and smart individuals.