Andrew Schmelzer

Intern name: Andrew Schmelzer

Major(s)/Minor(s): Math Major, and Environmental Studies and Computer Science minors

Title/place of internship/fellowship, etc.: Intern at the Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light with the Summer Leadership Fellows

How did you find out about your internship/fellowship/etc.? My dad told me about one of the organizations that he used to subscribe us to a solar garden, and I reached out to them and they took me on board. 

What were your responsibilities at your internship/fellowship/etc.? I was involved with a whole slew of different projects, from solar outreach to developing letters to state officials to video editing.

What was the most beneficial aspect of your experience? I underwent leadership training for organizing and that really equipped me to be an activist for the environment. I intend to organize a St Cloud climate network with MNIPL throughout this coming school year.

What was the most surprising thing you experienced or learned during your internship/fellowship/etc.? A lot of the work that MNIPL does comes from 1-1 relationships, and through those networks of who knows who, they bring about real change in the world.

How can you apply what you experienced at your internship/fellowship/etc. in the future? I intend to organize in St Cloud in the near term, and I also intend to do some city planning organizing known as Tactical Urbanism. I feel that what I have learned in this fellowship really has equipped me to involve others in the work that I'm passionate about.

What advice would you offer to future students interested in this experience? Be prepared to do all kinds of things. I thought I would be deeply involved with the solar program MNIPL offers, but as it turns out I was more interested in the organizing and letter writing aspects of the work.