The EcoFellow Experience: Shelby Kuenzli

Hello! My name is Shelby Kuenzli and I am an EcoFellow at the Center for EcoTechnology.  My primary focus is helping the marketing team but I have also gained a lot of experience and knowledge in other facets of the organization, such as community outreach, commercial and residential energy efficiency programs and food waste diversion. I have loved working at CET for these past 6 months and I hope you’ll consider applying!

I am originally from Wisconsin and I graduated in May 2017 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I received a bachelor’s degree in Life Sciences Communication and a bachelor’s degree in Zoology. Throughout college, I worked as a communications assistant for a simulation-engineering lab and was the marketing director for the Journal of Undergraduate Science and Technology. I also conducted animal research and volunteered for the Undergraduate Zoological Society. I am passionate about sustainability and conservation and I want to communicate and connect these scientific topics to the general public and other audiences. This is one of the reasons I chose to apply to the EcoFellowship as it gave me the perfect opportunity to advance those skills and learn new ones!

How I Spend My Time

Most of my time is spent working on communication strategies. This usually takes the form of managing CET’s and EcoBuilding Bargains’s (our reused building materials store) Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, writing weekly informational blogs and filming weekly promotional videos. Since I’ve joined CET I’ve also learned how to create fundraising campaigns on social media and how to use Adobe Photoshop and InDesign to create promotional materials. The great thing about CET is that we are also allowed to explore interests outside of the role we usually perform. I have also had the opportunity to assist in grant writing and I will have the opportunity to explore the uses of Salesforce, a customer relationship management platform, for our marketing team. Our mentors are great at listening to what skills and experiences we would like to have and looking for projects that meet those needs!

My Favorite Project

One of my favorite projects has been shooting and editing promotional videos for EcoBuilding Bargains. We are given free rein to come up with the theme for each week’s video. We were first shown how to film different types of products. Working with the store staff has given us insight into retail trends and what customers like to see. One of our biggest successes was our Halloween-themed video that had some fun play-on-words as well as strategic edits made in Final Cut Pro. Creating different ways to reach our audience has been rewarding!

Professional Development

Another great aspect about CET and the EcoFellowship is the opportunity for career exploration and advancement. We are encouraged to network at the outreach events we attend and we have the chance to attend conferences and workshops. I have participated in the C2C Sustainability Leadership Workshop at Bard College in New York, where we learned about potential sustainability career paths and networked with other young environmental professionals. I also attended tours of the Living Buildings at the Hitchcock Center and Hampshire College, which are among the   most sustainable building designs in the world. I also really enjoyed going to a non-profit networking event at the Springfield Public Library. There are many other professional experiences that I’ve loved and more to come. Each EcoFellow has the opportunity to find their own as well!

Overall, these past few months have been encouraging, enlightening and most of all, fun! The staff at CET is passionate about the environment and care about us and our experience. The EcoFellowship has proven itself to be a key stepping stone in my career and I look forward to what the rest of the EcoFellowship brings!

Applications for the EcoFellowship class of 2018-2019 are open now! Apply today!

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