One day I would like to be a video editor for a small production company, but my next step is looking for a multimedia role with an environmentally-focused organization/company. I have a lot left to learn before I can become a full-time editor, but I feel that the skills that I have learned during my internship have prepared me for the transition into a full-time job. I’m definitely nervous about my next steps, but I am also excited and am looking forward to continuing my job search within the clean energy industry!
Reflection: Intern Brooke McKelvey's time with CEEM
Why i applied
I originally applied for this internship to learn more about clean energy markets and infrastructure in the US. While studying abroad in 2020, I climbed to the top of a wind turbine with a Danish farmer. This experience piqued my interest and I started to wonder if a similar clean energy industry existed in the US. Since then, I have associated clean energy with wind turbines, but never the work that goes into constructing them or monitoring them. During this internship, I have learned a lot about the countless number of individuals that make up a clean energy economy, from early-stage planning to ensuring equitable energy distribution.
Beginning work with the 2021 Roadshows
Last fall, the start of my internship coincided with the launch of the 2021 roadshow series. I missed the opportunity to meet with our panelists in person, but the online format of the roadshows allowed me to experiment with different forms of digital storytelling. After re-watching the recorded webinars, I would import the file into Premiere and trim them into 5-10 minute clips. I was familiar with Premiere prior to this internship, so I focused more on determining which information would engage audiences rather than learning software during this process.
Along with editing both long-form and short-form videos, I wrote accompanying blog recaps for each roadshow. I was introduced to WordPress about five years ago, but I did not feel very confident about using the newer version prior to this internship. Uploading blogs for the roadshows introduced me to WordPress’ block system and I went on to learn about its SEO and social capabilities as well.
Assisting with report rollouts
A lot of the Minnesota-specific information that I will take away from this internship came from working with CEEM’s various reports, such as the Factsheet and the Clean Jobs Midwest Report. My draw to the clean energy industry has been my evolving passion for protecting and preserving the environment, so, for me a clean energy transition has always been a logical solution to increasing energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Reviewing Minnesota’s statistics about the industry’s economic benefits, however, opened my eyes to a new way to advocate for a clean energy transition.
One of my ongoing projects as an intern was to create content for and maintain CEEM’s various social media channels. Creating social media posts about CEEM’s various reports pushed me to become more familiar with the data. I had to go beyond just reading and comprehending the numbers, and instead synthesize the information into concise and engaging blurbs and videos. During this process, I was introduced and quickly became familiar with Sprout. I really liked that Sprout is very user-friendly, and I did not feel that I had to spend too much time learning the platform.
Gaining confidence with new skills and tools
At first, I found it to be a bit daunting to find articles to share across our social platforms. I think that I was a little unsure of CEEM’s “voice” at the beginning of my internship, and I was nervous to create posts in case I misinterpreted an angle or misspoke. By the end of my internship, though, I came to enjoy creating posts for social. I especially enjoyed working in Canva to create posts. I had used Canva once or twice before this internship, but it was overall a platform that I was fairly unfamiliar with. Graphic design is definitely an area that I want to further explore in the future, and I found that working in Canva was an easy way for me to experiment with and gain a basic understanding of aesthetic approaches.
Mailchimp was also a software that I was unfamiliar with coming into this internship. Again, I had heard of it and used it maybe once, but I was definitely not confident enough to login and create a newsletter on my own nine months ago. I appreciated the chance to draft up the newsletters because it introduced me to another way to share information across larger audiences. I also found that gathering the monthly analytics helped me better understand Mailchimp. I think that a lot of the work that I do with filmmaking is so focused on the visual presentation of material that I often overlook the backend and performance monitoring tools.