Thomas Hair completed his Environment & Sustainability BDP with an internship at Colorado River Alliance, where he worked with the organization’s communications and social media as well as led environmental education sessions for middle schoolers in Austin ISD.
How did you find your internship?
I first heard about the Colorado River Alliance when Program Director Geoff Hensgen came as a guest speaker to an environmental service club on campus. A year later, I saw an internship there listed on the BDP Opportunities Blog and thought it would be a great fit.
Describe the work you did in your internship.
My work was twofold. Half of my time was spent supporting the Alliance’s public communications, such as social media, e-newsletters, fundraising campaigns, news releases, and website content, while the other half was spent teaching. As part of the innovative Mobile River program, I got to visit a different AISD middle school each week and guide 7th graders through a number of interactive games and exhibits about water science and water use in Austin.
What was the most rewarding aspect of your Connecting Experience?
Seeing engagement with the Colorado River Alliance on social media grow since I started leading their Instagram and Facebook content has been the most rewarding. It is nice to make a difference promoting issues I care about like water conservation and education. Talking with kids from a wide range of different backgrounds in the Mobile River about how these issues affect them is also highly rewarding.
In what ways has this Connecting Experience shaped your plans for the future?
It has shown me what it could look like to forge a career in the intersection of my PR/Communication major and my Environment & Sustainability BDP. There is a real need for people who can communicate effectively to layman publics, like AISD kids, about pressing scientific issues. I’ve also learned how big of a role businesses will play in the environmental arena in the future.