My goal as a passionate young environmentalist is to one day be able to make a positive difference in the world. Unfortunately, the intensifying doom-and-gloom rhetoric surrounding climate in the media, politics, and even my education started to take its toll on my hope. It seemed like the trajectory of our planet was going straight into the ground and very little was being done to change that. By the end of my junior year at university, I had become a full-on pessimist. But, this summer when I became an intern at Mead & Hunt, my negative perspective took a miraculous 180° turnaround.
Interning at Mead & Hunt
When I was applying for internships this past winter, I was genuinely shocked to hear back from Mead & Hunt. What could an architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) firm want from an environmental sciences student such as myself? I had no experience with architecture, engineering, or construction! I quickly discovered that the folks at Mead & Hunt had the same goal as me: to change the world for the better.
My full position title is “Foresight + Innovation + Technology (FIT) Research Intern.” So basically, I am performing research on new technologies and information that is beneficial for Mead & Hunt to know about for decisions and projects in the future. Not only is my voice and environmental perspective heard, but it is also requested. I’ve been asked to research a variety of subjects related to sustainability. One example of a topic that I’ve had the opportunity to research is solutions and adaptations to preserve historic buildings in the wake of climate-driven natural disasters. It is refreshing to witness a company actively acknowledging the climate crisis and taking steps to adapt and overcome it.
A more sustainable future?
One of the most inspiring experiences I have had working within the FIT program is witnessing different groups in the company making their strategic plans for the next 5-10 years. From water to aviation, every group I’ve met with has made goals to improve sustainability and prepare for a changing planet. With more than 1,200 employees, and over 40 offices across the U.S., these goals will impact projects that stretch the entire country. The FIT program is a shining example of what every AEC firm should be doing. By taking the time to have discussions within the company and create these plans, Mead & Hunt is setting up the optimal future not only for the environment but for our clients, employees, and society alike.
The environmental stewardship I have witnessed at Mead & Hunt restored my optimism for the future. The AEC industry has significant power and influence on how our planet is treated and how well our infrastructure can withstand what Mother Nature has in store. Mead & Hunt is not taking a backseat and waiting to see how bad it gets; they are actively innovating and striving to improve as a company, ensuring that they are making ethical and responsible decisions along the way. Being a part of the Mead & Hunt team is an honor. Thanks to this internship, I am achieving my lifelong dream of making real and tangible differences for our planet.