3) Invest in relationships.
Across the board, the students in the first Geothermal INTERN cohort emphasized the impact of the people they’ve encountered in their career journeys and the importance of developing interpersonal skills. Their collective advice was to seek out people working in geothermal or other clean energy fields and make friends along the way. Justin Tully, who was raised in the United State but has spent most of his career in Mongolia, advised anyone working outside their home context to “learn to make good local relationships. Learn to be more patient outside of your cultural comfort zone. Learn the language.”
4) Ask for help.
Many faculty and industry colleagues want to share their knowledge and help younger professionals succeed – questions are an invitation to connect over shared passions. “I was always a little worried about asking about other people’s previous works and projects,” said Acevedo, “but when I finally overcame that and asked them, they were always so excited to know that their work had meaning to it and that they could help contribute to the success of their peers […] They provide me with so much help and knowledge that I feel like I am growing as a person and in my academics.” Shashwat Maharjan had a similar experience working with his mentors at Geologica Geothermal Group: “They’ve not only accelerated my learning curve within the field but have also generously welcomed even my most basic inquiries. Thanks to their guidance and support, my passion for the geothermal sector has grown significantly.”
5) Embrace challenges.
The road to tapping into the full potential of geothermal energy may be rocky (pun intended), but tackling new or tricky issues and overcoming significant obstacles is at its core (again, pun intended) part of the fun. Tully advised newcomers to “have fun and be flexible around difficulties […] without some struggle, there’s no adventure.” Rabade likewise highlighted the adventure and excitement of helping blaze a new trail in the geothermal industry. And Pradhan advised students in energy fields to “stay motivated and persistent even if it begins to get challenging to […] build a career off a path that no one has walked before […] that’s what makes life interesting.”
That’s a wrap on this series! GTO is proud to partner with NSF on supporting these students’ career growth and excited to see how they continue to advance geothermal energy!
Need a final push to apply for the Geothermal INTERN opportunity, or begin exploring other niches in clean energy? Then listen to Asenath Kwagalakwe, who wants to help produce Uganda’s first geothermal energy and dreams of the day when clean energy will overtake fossil fuels: