GreenLight Solutions Foundation intern Jennifer (Heejoo) Min interviewed recent alumni Justin Ahn to learn about his journey from college to the professional world.
Hi Justin! Tell us about your project and your responsibilities.
I worked with Elizabeth Singleton on the Build Us H.O.P.E. GreenLight project. They build affordable and sustainable tiny homes for homeless veterans. During the project, we built 5-6 houses in Phoenix. The project offers transitional houses for those people who are not able to afford houses due to their economic and social situations.
What was your favorite memory from your time with GreenLight?
My favorite memory is this fundraiser event at this event space in North Phoenix. Five GreenLight team members helped to organize the fundraiser event for the project. Build Us H.O.P.E. rented the bar and so many people came. We had lots of fun.
What was the difference between your GLS project and the classroom learning experience?
The level of involvement. For example, you learn about the hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico during the lecture. You study it, but you are not going to go there and see it in person. But for Greenlight projects, you get to see the sight and gain practical experience. It is more about getting your hands dirty.
What is your advice for students who are starting to build their sustainability career?
Again, get your hands and feet dirty. Get more practical experience. Sustainability applies to everything and it also means dealing with wicked problems that we always talk about during class, and this is the hardest part.
Did your GreenLight project get mentioned during the interview?
Yes! During the interview, interviewers noticed my project on my resume.
You decided to pursue a master’s degree in Public Administration at Cornell University, what made you choose this program?
The flexibility of the program. The curriculum is very interdisciplinary; they let you focus on different areas of studies such as environmental policy, international development, and sustainable energy policy.
What made you decide to take this path in applying sustainability?
I was really interested in sustainable energy and renewable energy technology. I am more interested in exploring how the public and private sectors should work together than the engineering and technology side of it.
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