Inside VG’s Sustainability & LEED Internship Program
By Shruti Narkar
Shruti Narkar is a Sustainability & LEED Intern at Verdical Group. She is currently a student at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) pursuing her Master of Arts in Design for Sustainability. Shruti is a LEED AP BD+C and Fitwel Ambassador, and embodies what it means to be “an inspired change-maker” in our industry. Shruti joins our team remotely from Brooklyn, NY as the COVID-19 pandemic has provided an exceptional opportunity for us to extend our team across the U.S.
Are you an inspired change-maker looking to kickstart your career in the dynamic fields of sustainability and green building? Rest assured, you have come to the right place.
The Sustainability and LEED internship at Verdical Group will prepare you to step into the world of green building and equip you with the tools, guidance, and inspiration you will need to build a net-zero future for all. Want the inside scoop? Here are five key takeaways from someone just finishing the program:
1. Learn beyond the LEED Reference Guide
Verdical Group’s internship program is based on practical, hands-on learning and rigorous training surrounding green building certifications, such as LEED certification. During the program, interns have the opportunity to attend multiple LEED Charrettes—extensive workshops in which various stakeholders and experts are brought together to discuss project goals and sustainability strategies early in the certification process.
The internship incorporates a weekly training session where Verdical Group’s Project Management team shares their best practices based on years of experience managing various projects and certifications. Week to week, synergy between various rating systems, like WELL and Fitwel, are discussed alongside associated project costs. These sessions prove invaluable in learning the ropes of the green building certification process and understanding the industry at a macro level.
2. Be in the same room as like-minded sustainability professionals
It’s no secret that internships are a great way to nurture your network. But one of the greatest benefits of interning at Verdical Group is the opportunity to make meaningful connections and meet like-minded people with whom you can share your passion for sustainability—both during and outside of office hours.
One of the best perks of the program includes attending the Net Zero Conference, which features great educational events, inspiring keynotes, and amazing networking opportunities with industry leaders.
3. Craft your dream internship tailored to your goals
Verdical Group internship programs are designed for proactive and passionate rising stars who can contribute to our team in the ways they are most passionate about. Interns can propose projects and tasks based on their interests. This type of adaptability and flexibility from the VG team provides a great opportunity to take a deep dive into a particular niche within the extensive field of green building design.
How do we calculate the carbon footprint of the company? Let’s find out.
4. Learn the art of business communication and time management
The fast-paced nature of green building projects requires excellent time management skills. As a sustainability and LEED intern at Verdical Group, experiencing project work flow alongside the Project Management Team, we often find ourselves working on multiple projects at once. We gain experience learning how to prioritize tasks, meet deadlines, and also find moments to slow down and enjoy accomplishing work that matters.
In addition, interns are encouraged to contribute their own articles to Verdical Group’s Newsroom. This creates a great opportunity for interns to get their work published and to practice sharing knowledge within the industry.
5. Lay a solid foundation for a career in the field
Drew Shula, Founder & CEO of Verdical Group, shares his vision for the internship program as follows, “I started working in the industry as an intern, learned a ton, and used that as a launch pad into my own career. Our internship program is all about mentorship and education, striving to provide students with valuable exposure to real world sustainability and green building projects. We ensure that our interns aren’t just ‘making coffee,’ but come away with real experience they can leverage as they start their own careers.”
A standout internship program prepares a candidate for what to expect in a real world job setting and gives them the confidence to create high-quality deliverables as they move on to the next step in their career. After all, this is the heart and soul of the internship concept. The Verdical Group team provides support toward an intern earning a professional credential while completing their internship, such as a LEED Green Associate or LEED Accredited Professional credential.
As a recent participant of the program, I’d encourage any student interested in a springboard from college into your career to apply. The Verdical Group internship program has set me up for success and provided me with a strong foundation for my career path ahead.