The EcoFellowship Experience: Becky Kalish

Hello! My name is Becky Kalish and I am a Communications EcoFellow at the Center for EcoTechnology. I graduated last May from Oberlin College with degrees in Environmental Studies and Viola Performance. I have loved living in Northampton and being surrounded by people both passionate about the environment as well as music and the arts! The EcoFellowship has allowed me to explore the role of marketing in an environmental setting, and work on the best ways to communicate our messages to a public audience. From attending press conference events in Rhode Island, to appearing on live television, to creating promotional graphics and flyers, every day at work is different and I never stop gaining new skills. It is exciting to continue learning how the environment connects to so many other aspects of life—hotels realizing how food waste diversion both helps the environment and results in smoother business operations, homeowners incorporating upcycled building materials into their home, and so much more. 

My role as an EcoFellow

One of my roles as a Communications EcoFellow is managing the social media accounts—promoting the EcoBuilding Bargains products through Instagram and Facebook, and making the store items look and sound appealing to customers. I also created a plan for CET’s annual Giving Tuesday donation day—making fundraising goals, creating graphics and video content for the campaign, and writing blog content and social media messages for the campaign. I have developed skills in Adobe Photoshop and InDesign and used these skills to create a variety of presentations, posters, and brochures on everything from sustainable gift wrap ideas to promoting a presentation at Bay State Deaf Seniors home. I also have learned how to generate video content using Final Cut Pro, something I did not know anything about before coming here!

What skills have you learned during your EcoFellowship that will help you in future professional endeavors? 

One of the great things about the EcoFellowship is the variety of work we get to do with various teams at CET day to day. I have learned a lot about how effective it is to combine efforts, skills, and interests from a variety of teams in order to accomplish one common goal. I love how collaborative the work we do is at CET—one day I could be working with a program specialist from the waste reduction team on how to effectively write a food waste reduction blog, and another day I could be working with a sales manager to find more solar hot water business leads. Successful collaborative team work is a skill I will certainly carry on into my future professional endeavors. Through both my communications work and outreach work at tabling events, I have also learned how to turn complex environmental messages into understandable ones that anyone could comprehend and hopefully be inspired by.

What is your favorite project you have worked on?

One of my favorite projects that I have worked on so far was the creation of two solar hot water case study posters. I found the project both challenging and fun, as I had to take written content on two solar hot water installations and turn that content into beautifully designed posters full of writing, photos, and design embellishments. It was fun to collaborate with the program specialist who works with solar hot water programs as well as my mentor who helped me along in the process and gave me helpful advice from a design standpoint. In the end it was very rewarding to take a step back, view all the work I had done, and know that these posters would be put to use for informative and useful purposes.  












What has been your favorite professional development opportunity?

One of my favorite professional development opportunities so far was the Bard College C2C Conference. The conference offers college students and recent college graduates the opportunity to learn about various sustainability pathways and careers, practice coming up with ideas and pitching them to an audience, and network with other young, passionate, environmental professionals. A lot of the workshops in this three day conference weekend pushed me to think on the spot, act outside of my comfort zone, and think deeply about the many pathways there are in the environmental field. I was very thankful to CET for allowing me the opportunity to attend this event as it allowed me to continue thinking about the countless and creative ways to engage in environmental work.

Why is this EcoFellowship a unique experience?

Coming right out of college, I think it is unusual to find a job where you are involved in such a wide variety of work experiences, and where your goals and interests are so closely paid attention to. As an EcoFellow, you are paired with a mentor who is great at listening to the skills and experiences you would like to gain and then works to find projects that meet those needs. The EcoFellowship is a wonderful transition between college and career, and we are given a perfect combination of guidance and individual ownership of the work we do. Everyone at CET really cares about our growth both as environmentalists and human beings, and I am excited to see what the next 6 months bring about and how I will continue growing and learning!

If you’re interested, click here to apply! 


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