Reflecting On My Internship Experience with Ecomingling

Interning with Ecomingling helped me achieve academic, career, and personal goals. Before the start of my internship, I outlined some of the goals I had hoped to accomplish throughout the course of the summer. These goals included enhancing my environmental knowledge, constructing a clearer understanding of the types of organizations and occupations that exist in the environmental sector, and honing my written and verbal communication skills. I feel proud and grateful to have satisfied each of these goals throughout the course of my internship!

My internship definitely allowed me to clarify my career interests. As previously stated, one of my pre-defined goals was to broaden my understanding of the environmental field as a whole. Ecomingling’s central project currently is the establishment and development of Israel’s first and only anti-plastic coalition, consisting of 10 Israeli NGOs, organizations, and businesses. Forming relationships with and learning about each of these members furthered my understanding of the environmental sector as a whole, and thus, helped me to clarify potential career interests. 

Each of these coalition members are vital to the well-being and growth of the coalition as a whole. Therefore, a lot of my internship duties required me to be in communication with each of these coalition members. Through this communication, I spoke with various environmental leaders in Israel and  was able to establish professional relationships with many interesting people and organizations. In addition to communicating with the coalition board members, I also connected with the various social media campaign managers of each coalition member organization. The relationships I formed with the other social media campaign managers taught me a lot- not only about social media management, but also about the different moving pieces of the entire environmental sector in Israel! 

Just a couple days ago, I was lucky enough to virtually meet with an incoming intern who will take over my role with Ecomingling. Speaking with him felt very significant because I conceptualized and verbalized everything that I learned this summer. After explaining the general internship duties, I also gave him a small piece of advice: ensure that you are genuinely interested in the “why” of Ecomingling. I explained to him that I believed my internship was so successful because I cared deeply about the “why” of Ecomingling- its mission to accelerate sustainability across the globe. I told him that being empowered by the larger picture propelled me in my work and motivated me to do it well. He agreed with me and explained that he felt the same way, which made me feel both comfortable and excited to leave my job in the hands of such a capable and enthusiastic newcomer. 

I am very proud of so much of the work I accomplished this summer: creating Facebook pages, drafting and publishing thoughtful and interesting posts, researching how differing national plastic policies affect those nations’ marine debris, researching where Ecomingling should expand internationally, communicating well and learning from various individuals in the environmental sector, establishing positive relationships with other Ecomingling employees, and so much more. However, I am most proud of one thing: working for an organization that helps make the world a better place. Ecomingling strives to make the earth sustainable and healthy for all living things and I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to contribute to their mission. 

Here is an image of a post I made to a Facebook group with over 270,000 people. It received 25 comments! 

Here is an image of the spreadsheet I use to plan out the posts I make to Facebook. 

Click here for a link to the Ecomingling facebook page!

Click here for a link to the Israeli Plastic Pollution Prevention Coalition Facebook page, which is the coalition created and developed by Ecomingling!

Interning Amidst COVID-19

The global pandemic is affecting everyone’s lives in deep and personal ways. One of the many ways in which COVID-19 has influenced my life is through my summer internship, which was originally set to be in person. However, along with so many other facets of life, virtual became the new normal and my new expectation. 

Overall, I am really enjoying my internship with Ecomingling. I have learned integral personal, communicative, and environmental skills, I have (virtually) met some very inspiring people, and I have furthered my understanding and relationship to the environmental sector as a whole. On top of all of that, I feel very grateful that I have a summer internship at all, given today’s current climate. 

That being said, there is something missing from a fully remote experience. There is something so distinct and human and gratifying about sitting side-by-side, making eye contact, and conversing with people who are in the same physical room as you. This is something that is missing from my internship. This is something that is missing from so much of our daily lives today. 

However, given that this aspect of our lives is currently non-negotiable, I am so happy to have the opportunity to intern with Ecomingling this summer! Being a part of the World of Work is quite different from typical university life. One particular difference I have noticed between the two is the expectations that exist surrounding work. In typical academic life, there is a predetermined number and type of assignments, often made clear and accessible to me and the other students at the start of the semester. Often, these assignments come with detailed instructions, expected deadlines are set, and grades are given by the professor once the work has been submitted. 

However, my internship work is much more flexible than this. It bends and shifts based on Ecomingling’s constantly and rapidly changing needs. I was not given a list at the start of my internship with all the assignments to complete by the end of the three months. Also, I am not given a letter grade based off of my work; rather, my supervisor provides me with tailored, constant feedback. The shifting work of my internship reflects the busy and complex nature of existing in the “real world” with “real people”. 

My internship with Ecomingling has helped me build many skills that will be transferable to other aspects of my life. For instance, my internship has given me a taste of what the “real world” looks like. By gaining experience with this start-up, I have learned about the necessity to have a drive and a passion for whatever you are involved with. I have learned that although teamwork and collaboration are sometimes challenging, the overall output is much higher when working with others. I have learned that running a start-up is messy and complicated, but that is precisely what makes it exciting and worthwhile.

Furthermore, I have enhanced my written and verbal communication skills, I have bolstered my social media and digital marketing literacy, I have increased my ability to do meaningful research, and most importantly, I have furthered my environmental awareness, knowledge, and passion. I am learning all of these skills and more with Ecomingling. I know these skills will be valuable to me throughout the rest of my life- in the academic world, in my future career(s), and beyond. 

Click here to view the Israeli Plastic Pollution Prevention Coalition Facebook page I created and have been managing (a coalition created and managed by Ecomingling)!

Click here to view the Ecomingling Facebook page I have been managing!

Here is an example of an image I used as the graphic for a Facebook post, in which I provided a link to download a brochure about plastic!

Post 1: My Internship at Ecomingling

Eco:Mingling, the non-profit start-up organization I am interning for this summer, is a Sustainability Accelerator. This means that the organization both creates and cultivates environmentally-focused coalitions. These coalitions are formed by uniting environmentally-driven businesses, organizations, grass-roots movements, educational facilities, municipalities, and academics by focusing them all on one collective sustainable initiative. By uniting stakeholders from different backgrounds, Ecomingling is able to create the right conditions for sustainable change. Located in Tel Aviv, Israel, but rapidly expanding to the rest of the country, Ecomingling encourages connection and interactivity in a way that makes Israel’s sustainability sector much greater than the sum of its parts. Click here to visit the Ecomingling website!

Ecomingling’s current project is the creation and maintenance of Israel’s first and only anti-plastic coalition, called the Israeli Plastic Pollution Prevention Coalition (IPPPC). Because Ecomingling is a start-up and the establishment of this coalition is Ecomingling’s first major project, there is endless work that needs to be done. My principal responsibility has been creating and upholding all social media for both Ecomingling and the coalition itself. Click here to visit the Israeli Plastic Pollution Prevention Coalition website!

My largest project thus far has been creating and working on two separate Facebook pages: one for Ecomingling and the other for the Israeli Plastic Pollution Prevention Coalition. One aspect of this task is organizing the layouts of each page. This aspect of the job includes, but is not limited to, the creation and publication of cover photos and profile pictures, choosing which tabs to display and filling in the relevant information, drafting and posting the “About” sections, linking “Call to Action” buttons on each pages’ home screens, and much more. 

Another responsibility of managing the social media campaigns for both Ecomingling and the coalition is researching, drafting, and posting all content that is published on both pages. One aspect of this job is choosing the correct graphic to include in each post. Here are some images that I have included in the posts/ have helped to create:

I have created many Excel Spreadsheets to organize the schedules and information regarding both pages. For instance, I have a spreadsheet schedule for each Facebook page that includes the date, time, text (in Hebrew and in English), and hashtags for every post. I have another schedule spreadsheet that contains all the research I have compiled of various Facebook groups and pages that Ecomingling or the IPPPC can post in to promote their page visibilities. I have another spreadsheet that contains a list of all of the coalition member organizations, along with the contact information (name, email address, and phone number) for each of their social media coordinators. I use other spreadsheets to track when coalition members post on behalf of the coalition and to schedule the coalition’s “Spotlight” posts, in which we highlight the particularly unique or beneficial work being done by a coalition member. Overall, this job includes a lot of planning ahead and endless communication with various individuals involved with either Ecomingling or the IPPPC.

I know that my work on establishing, sustaining and enhancing the social media presence of both Ecomingling and the IPPPC will significantly impact both groups in a positive way. We live in a time where businesses must use social media to build their reputation, remain accessible to their clients, and showcase everything they have to offer. 

One of my goals this summer is to hone my written communication skills. Operating two social media campaigns has forced me to challenge my typical writing habits and thus enhance my writing skills in a new way. Another goal I have is to learn more about environmental start-up organizations. I have already witnessed and learned so much about the various aspects and challenges of running a start-up organization and I look forward to learning even more. I am also particularly interested in the environmental aspect of this organization, and I hope to learn more about what it means to be a true environmentalist throughout the course of this internship.