The EcoFellow Experience: Aliza Heeren
Hello from Northampton! My name is Aliza, I am the current Marketing and High Performance Building Fellow.
I recently graduated from Brandeis University where I majored in Environmental Studies and minored in Social Justice and Social Policy. Leaving school, I knew that I wanted to work for an environmental organization, but wasn’t quite sure where to start. My interests ran across the environmental board, from education to food justice to climate change policy; I was excited to try everything! Much to my dismay, I knew that upon graduation I needed to choose one direction and find a job. But then in walked the Center for EcoTechnology to my college career fair. I was thrilled to have found a position that was in the environmental field, would build my repertoire of hard skills, and would not limit my exposure to one specific piece of the environmental puzzle.
Five months in, I have learned a tremendous amount, and expect to learn just as much in the next five months before I leave. Here are a few highlights of my fellowship so far:
Part of my job as a marketing fellow is to make a weekly video advertisement highlighting new items at our EcoBuilding Bargains store. This has been a really fun way to learn how to use the video editing program, Final Cut Pro, and gain skills in professional video editing.
New Construction Case Studies:
As the high performance building fellow, I get to create case studies throughout the year to showcase various exciting projects that the high performance building team has worked on. I take information from our building scientists, the developers, the architect, and sometimes the residents themselves, and synthesize it into a case study. For one of my case studies I even got to shadow John, the home energy rater on the project! This is one of my favorite parts of my job because it involves a lot of moving parts, and is constantly presenting me with new challenges.
Passive House Tour:
As part of the fellowship, we are provided with many opportunities for professional development. We have met with local experts in the environmental field, toured a composting farm, the local recycling facility, an aerobic digester, and a wind turbine, but my favorite was getting to tour a passive house! As the high performance building fellow, I’ve learned a lot about building science and the art of building an efficient home, so it was really exciting to tour a passive house and get to ask the home owner and designer of the house about the process and challenges of the project.
Collaborating with other fellows:
One of the best parts of my job is that I am part of a marketing team, and constantly collaborating with Chiara, the other marketing fellow. Being part of a team provides a lot of support, which I really appreciate, and it also makes everything we do so much fun! One project that Chiara and I work closely together on is the EcoBuilding Bargains Instagram, which we launched in the fall. It’s a really fun way to interact with our customers and share our favorite vintage items and upcycling projects that we make with items from the store.