For the first time this summer, we hosted four Lime Energy interns in our corporate office. The interns contributed across a variety of business units: marketing, engineering, technology, and business development. To put a bow on their first professional experience, we asked them to reflect on their time at Lime Energy.
The responses from the Lime Energy interns fit into a few consistent patterns. All four entered the Lime office hoping to gain professional experience both in a corporate environment and in a discipline they are considering for a career. All four commented about how much they learned in both regards. While they all learned slightly different things about energy efficiency, each is more knowledgeable about Lime’s industry than they were a few months ago. Lastly, when asked about the biggest surprise, they discussed the warm and supportive community that Lime has created. Here are their answers in more depth:
Bryan (Engineering): I wanted to get my feet wet with some real experience in my field and I wanted to experience a real working environment.
Jess (Marketing): I wanted to learn about the different components of what it means to work in marketing and I hoped I could use that information to help me know what to do in the future.
Gary (Business Development): I hoped for business experience and to learn how to work in a corporate setting. I was interested to see how different people work together to build something.
Mo (Technology): Experience and new skills. I wanted to learn from colleagues here in Newark and at Lime’s other locations, to learn as much as possible from those who were here before me.
Bryan: Lots about lights and data tracking. I’ve learned about how detailed engineering data can get and how you can use that detailed data. I’ve also seen how much you can learn from continuous metering even at a single site.
Jess: The biggest thing was getting experience with new tools like InDesign and Photoshop. I also learned how many different components there are to a marketing team: design, communications, and the many different ways that we share our message with our customers.
Gary: I’ve noticed the importance of working with other companies and organizations. In business development, it is important not to underestimate the value of relationships.
Mo: So far, I’ve learned a ton of skills. From helping new hires set of their equipment to troubleshooting and resolving technology issues, I have learned a lot that will be useful.
Bryan: I knew basically nothing before I started, just about the physics of circuits essentially. Since I started at Lime, I’ve learned about energy services and about utilities. I’ve also learned about the role of peak costs and peak hours and the benefits of peak load reduction.
Jess: I knew that efficiency was a good thing that people were trying but that’s about it. Now, not only do I know more about Lime and what the company does, but I also know that efficiency is about a lot more than just lights. There are some many things that can be categorized as efficient. But I still don’t know everything.
Gary: My major is Energy Business Finance, so I knew about the markets for energy resources, But I learned the importance of tracking energy usage, especially for businesses, because more efficient lighting can really save a lot of money at the individual level.
Mo: While working with Lime’s Energy Service Representatives, I learned about how technology can support the delivery of energy services. There are many apps that support the success of a company like Lime.
Bryan: The composition of the whole company. I was surprised to see that it was more of a sales and service company than I expected. Lighting is second. I was also surprised by the importance of relationships with our customers, our contractors, and with equipment manufacturers.
Jess: I didn’t know if I would have the freedom to create. I was pleasantly surprised to have a hands-on opportunity to apply what I have learned, to be about to make something from scratch and know that it is mine.
Gary: Everybody works together. The collaboration is surprising. Everybody gets along.
Mo: I was surprised by the office vibe. Everyone is helpful and nice.
Bryan: I am going back to school. I will be working on my senior mechanical engineering project. From there, I don’t know. I want to get some more experience to determine my professional interests.
Jess: After I graduate, I want to look for a marketing or PR role. I will take what I learned about digital communication and apply it in a new role.
Gary: I graduate next summer. I want to either start working in the energy field because it is such a growing industry or go back to school to get my master’s degree.
Mo: When I graduate in December, I will be looking to go to graduate school for cybersecurity.
Bryan: Proximity matters. A short commute helps. But sitting next to your boss helps too. You can learn from them and have them close by to learn from.
Jess: Don’t be afraid to put your own touch on things. Be willing to add your own flair to your work.
Gary: Because there is no big intern program at Lime, it helps to find a big project that will last the entire summer and give you a sense of accomplishment when completed.
Mo: Ask as many questions as possible. Get involved. Ask for work whenever possible because that is how you learn.