Alumni Career Spotlight: Makenna Dunlap

Makenna Dunlap
Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability ‘18

Energy Efficiency Project Coordinator, Lockheed Martin

Makenna DunlapMakenna graduated in 2018 after majoring in Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability. She is currently pursuing an online Master’s in Environmental Policy and Management with a concentration in Energy and Sustainability at the University of Denver. Her internships at Disney and a start-up company in Ireland shaped her passion for sustainability. She is currently working for Lockheed Martin as an Energy Efficiency Project Coordinator in Kansas City, Missouri where her work is making an impact in reducing carbon emissions.

Read the interview with Makenna:

A Glance at Makenna’s Current Work

Part of my role is inputting data into our project management system and making sure projects are following an appropriate timeline. Another part is making sure that my teammates (engineers and site inspectors) have all the information they need about a project in order to perform their duties. I also spend a great deal of time communicating to contractors and customers about current or upcoming projects.

The most rewarding part of my current job is knowing that my work is making an impact by reducing carbon emissions.

Career Development

What were you involved in during your undergraduate career?

The summer between my second and third year, I interned at a startup company called Vivid Edge in Dublin, Ireland. The company’s purpose is leasing out energy efficient equipment to customers that can’t financially justify purchasing the technologies up front. With this model, the lease on the new equipment plus the new energy bill is always less expensive than the old energy bill. It was such an interesting experience and ultimately led to me changing my major to EEDS. 

I was also a hostess at Hudson 29 and Bravo Lennox and a member of the U.S. Green Building Council Central Ohio Chapter, the Environmental Professionals Network, and the Block O Hockey Committee.

"Work a part-time job in college. Even if it’s not relevant to your degree and only five hours per week, hiring managers love to see some type of work in college."

What experience do you feel was most valuable in your professional development?

Immediately after graduating, I started an internship with Disney in Orlando, Florida as an Engineering Intern in the Environmental Programs department. There, I assisted in reducing water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and diverting construction waste.

After that, I worked as a Project Management Intern with Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where I represented park operations and animal sciences during construction projects. For this position I was able to conduct field surveys and identify operational improvement projects.

My internships at Disney were most valuable in my professional development, and I was so fortunate to have two different ones! Not only did I gain such great experience, but I also had the best mentors and learned about the value of people and teamwork.

Advice for Current Students  

Work a part-time job in college. Even if it’s not relevant to your degree and only five hours per week, hiring managers love to see some type of work in college. It shows time management, hard work, and you learn so much “real world” experience that you’ll appreciate later!

Also, keep an open mind about doing an internship after graduating. And maybe most importantly, don’t give up! The job search process can be stressful and discouraging when it is not going the way you thought it would. Stick with it. It always works out.

 

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Post created March 2020