For MBA and MPA students interested in pursuing a career in energy efficiency, management or environmental sustainability, the Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) Climate Corps Fellows Program is an excellent way to jump start your career. Recently included in our Top 10 Summer Fellowships of 2013, the EDF Climate Corps Fellowship trains and places MBA and MPA students in leading companies, cities and universities to build business cases for energy efficiency. Since 2008, three hundred Climate Corps Fellows have developed case studies for dozens of high growth companies, including adidas, Bloomberg and Facebook, and have identified more than $1.2 billion in net operational cost savings while cutting 1.7 billion kilowatt hours of electricity use. The full list of companies and case studies is available here.
As impressive as the environmental gains identified by Fellows are the career paths of the Fellows. A recent article published by EDF Climate Corps titled EDF Climate Corps Fellow Today, Director of Sustainability Tomorrow provides a window into these careers. After their fellowships, some Fellows have gone on to forge careers at the companies where they performed their fellowships; others now work at leading startups, non-profits, local and state governments, and even the White House. For example, Emily Applegate (2011, Gaylord Entertainment) is now the Director of Sustainability at Energy Source Partners; Elizabeth Turnbull (2010, adidas Group) is now Sr. Manager of Environmental Affairs at adidas Group; Tom Fisher (2010, Staples) is now a Sustainability Analyst at Salesforce.com; and Anne Marie Pippin (2010, Bank of America) is now a Climate Change Adaptation Analyst at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
The organizations that host EDF Climate Corps Fellows also reap the benefits of this program:
“Our fellow had the ability to introduce us to some of the tools available to us that we weren’t aware of – tools that help us think about how we go about our work, how we think about energy and reducing energy usage for our restaurants.”
- Jerry Sus, Senior Director of Development & Strategic Technology, McDonald’s
Applications for the 2013 EDF Climate Corps Fellowship are currently open. The program is 10-12 weeks in length. Fellows receive a minimum salary of $1,250 per week and $2,500 for travel expenses. The application deadline for the 2013 summer fellowship is January 11, 2013. Click here to apply.
Part of what makes finding fellowships so difficult is that as fellowship seekers, we’re often too deep in the weeds. By this I mean, we’ve dedicated our academic study and careers to a specific discipline, and as a result, only look for fellowships in that discipline. This approach is fine if there are a slew of fellowships available to you, but what do you do if there isn’t? The answer isn’t to give up, it’s to broaden your horizons.
There are many fellowships that accept applications from a variety of disciplines, and give you the flexibility to propose projects that enable you to work on exactly what you want to work on. The problem is that they’re often classified under disciplines that are different from yours. Public policy fellowships are a great example of this.
Public policy fellowships typically seek candidates from a wide array of disciplines, and for good reason. Nearly every discipline, in some way, shape or form, has an impact on domestic or foreign policy. Fellowships such as the Asmus Policy Entrepreneurs Fellowship and Ian Axford (New Zealand) Fellowship in Public Policy accept applications from many disciplines, so long as the projects proposed have the potential to influence public policy. To see for yourself, check out the diverse backgrounds and projects of the Ian Axford Fellows by clicking here. Vicki’s project is there!
Other examples of fellowships that cross disciplines include teaching fellowships and international affairs fellowships. For example there are several teaching fellowships for people with a background in science, engineering and math. These fellowships may be categorized under the fellowship discipline “Education”. There are also many fellowships abroad for people working in creative arts, journalism, social entrepreneurship, community development, public health, environmental conservation and public policy, among others. These may be categorized under the fellowship discipline “International Affairs”.
Applying for fellowships outside of your discipline may require familiarizing yourself with current events in a particular industry, finding relevant host institutions and carefully crafting a project proposal that meets both your desires and the objectives of the fellowship organization. This may sound challenging, especially if you have no previous background in an industry. However, don’t worry. We’ve put together a step-by-step guide that can help you through the process.
The point here is that thinking outside of the box and exploring fellowships outside of your particular focus or discipline may help you uncover some amazing opportunities that you may otherwise miss. It takes additional effort, but it’s worth it.
For those participating in our beta, you can broaden your fellowship search by selecting the “Public Service”, “Education” and “International Affairs” fellowship disciplines.
If you’re not currently participating in our beta and would like to be, click here. Happy hunting!
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- Esteemed Fellows Dinner San Francisco: Networking Across Fellowship Programs
- New Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship in 11 Countries!
- New Fulbright Opportunities For Public Health Faculty And Professionals
Join the crowd
Our step-by-step guide for a competitive fellowship application
1. Create a plan
2. Project proposal ideas
3. Talk to current / former fellows
4. Prepare an effective resumé
5. Find a host institution
6. Write a compelling personal statement
7. Prepare a strong project proposal
8. Get great recommendation letters (P1)
9. Get great recommendation letters (P2)
10. Nail the individual and group interviews