Where Are They Now!?
by Max Frost - Sustainability Assistant
Over the years, many interns have walked in and out of The Office of Campus Sustainability doors. These interns have made major contributions and impacts that have marked successful milestones for the Office of Campus Sustainability. We wanted to know what these interns have been up to and how the work they did as an intern has impacted their lives. Therefore, we started the newsletter series- “Where Are They Now?!”
In this month’s feature, the Office of Campus Sustainability reconnected with former intern Carina Weed.
Carina received her B.S. in Environmental Science with a specialization in Sustainable Management from BGSU in 2017. After her time at BGSU, she has since enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Findlay. Currently, Carina is pursuing her Master’s in Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Management and expects to graduate this upcoming summer. To gain EHS experience as a graduate student, Carina also works as an intern with American Plastics, a manufacturer of plastic injection-molded products. In her new internship, Carina looks for opportunities to improve employees’ health and safety in an industrial setting while ensuring American Plastics complies with applicable environmental regulations.
Giving an example of her new responsibilities, Carina says, “As an intern, I am assigned several EHS projects. A current project of mine includes making sure all Safety Data Sheets are available to employees for chemicals used at work.”
Outside of work and class, Carina says she enjoys playing board games, going on hikes, cooking, and re-watching The Office for the 15th time in a row. To quote Dunder Mifflin’s favorite boss, Michael Scott, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. –Wayne Gretzky.” Clearly Carina has taken the shots in life to achieve her goals and her hard work is paying off!
Carina Weed │ WYMO Coordinator – Spring 2016 & 2017
Carina worked as the student WYMO coordinator for Dr. Hennessy, the Sustainability Manager, in the Spring of 2016 and 2017. Her main responsibilities included marketing and facilitating the Office of Campus Sustainability’s “When You Move Out, Don’t Throw It Out” (WYMO) program, a campus-wide reuse and waste-reduction initiative. WYMO collects still usable, but unwanted, items from students as they move out of their residence halls to prevent these items from getting sent to the landfill. These items are then donated to local nonprofits and charities. In recent years there has also been a sale of some of the items to raise money for sustainable projects.
As Campus Sustainability’s WYMO coordinator, Carina was responsible for everything ranging from community outreach and spreading awareness of the WYMO program to leading WYMO volunteers and coordinating deliveries of donations to local nonprofits. Her time with the WYMO program has given her some good memories, unique experiences, and new perspectives on waste reduction. Reflecting on one experience in particular, Carina says, “The craziest donation I remember was when Dr. Nick and I were going around setting up collection boxes in the residence halls, and just before we entered Centennial, we watched a student go up and place a king size crocheted blanket in the trash can outside Centennial. This blanket was beautiful and looked like someone’s grandmother had spent a lot of time on it. I ended up washing it and taking it home, and it’s still my favorite blanket to this day! It’s crazy to know what some people will just throw away without a second thought.”
Carina says her favorite part of the internship was the local impacts her program made.
“Connecting with local charities was absolutely my favorite part of the WYMO process as the WYMO donations make such a huge difference annually in the BG community,” Carina recalls. “I was able to see the significant impact that WYMO has on BGSU’s annual waste reduction goals after I took inventory of all donations.”
In addition to the WYMO program, Carina also helped the Office of Campus Sustainability by organizing Campus ReStore events to find homes for remaining WYMO donations and connected with BGSU’s recycling programs to maximize the amount of waste diverted from landfills!
Carina Weed │ On Advice for Students Interested in Environmental Careers
For those interested in careers related to the environment and sustainability, Carina encourages students and interns to consider a career in Environmental, Health and Safety! EHS is a growing job market and an increasing number of companies are searching for EHS professionals to ensure that their workplace follows EPA, OSHA, and other applicable government regulations.
“[EHS] allows you to combine a passion for environmental protection and keeping employees safe and healthy,” Carina says, “Regardless of your major or interests, I encourage you all to really explore and understand your career options before you graduate. Look at current openings to find out what the salary may be like, how competitive the job openings may be, if the career choice growth rate is on the rise or slowing down, where you may need to relocate to find a particular job opening, etc.”
She goes on to stress the importance of using available resources like BGSU’s Career Center and LinkedIn to gain information from professionals in a student’s field of interest.
Carina finished our interview by saying, “Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn! I would love for BG students to use me as a resource. I was in your shoes at one point and can understand some of the struggles you may be going through!”
Do you have any special memories of Campus Sustainability interns? Let us know at Greenbg@bgsu.edu.