Green Building Alliance

Communications & Development Intern

May - November 2017 • Pittsburgh, PA

What I liked

GBA is a small organization, so everyone essentially holds a Director position. That being said, they are all super smart and talented at what they do. It's been a great learning experience working with them. I liked that I worked with multiple people in the organization, and they always made sure I was included in all the meetings and events. One big project I completed were the staff bios for the website. Though I never got to see them published on the website, I did get to know every staff member. I also liked that I was heavily involved in the Emerald Evening materials and was super happy to see my designs displayed everywhere at the event. One of my bosses also made sure I was a team player in the projects and he would actually let me make changes and tell me everything every step of the way so the completed project was actually what we did together. The office is also very casual. You can come in whatever time you like and leave whenever you want as long as you work the full hours. It's also okay to work from home and take vacations. I also loved the events. Overall, my bosses were also very caring and one of them always made sure I had a ride home after events or if it was pouring outside.

What I wish was different

Sometimes as an intern, you get different directions from each boss, so I wish they communicated with each other more on what the intern should do. Also, some of the projects I finished never came to an end. I would do my part, but once submitted to my bosses, they would sometimes never appear on the website or the changes would never be made (like my blog post and the staff bios). Sometimes I would see some of my projects changed drastically even though I initially got good feedback on them, so that would leave me confused. One of my bosses particularly liked to tell me I did a good job, but once I saw the final product, it didn't even look like what I made. Other times, I wouldn't be given feedback and my project would just be changed. I also wish I was paid a bit more because it was a struggle paying rent with this pay, so I had to work 2 jobs. My second job even paid more than this internship even though it was only a receptionist job.


Be vocal about what you want to learn and what you want to do. By the last several months of your internship, evaluate what skills you want to gain and what types of jobs you want to do in the future and tell your bosses. Your job is to learn; not to work as another staff member. I had to speak up about learning Google Analytics and social media management and though my boss did not want to teach me everything step-by-step, at least he had an idea of what I wanted. Also, stay humble. Understand that you are just a small potato in the company, so your voice may not be as effective as the other staff. Your work WILL be changed drastically and that's just something to accept in the real world.
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