Note: You can find the original edition of this post on Sustainability Television here.
Take initiative, be open to new experiences. Immerse yourself in your own internship experience. I didn’t just work with Sustainability Television, I felt myself became part of Sustainability Television in both my work and play life. Make the internship yours.
I was initially confused about how I can make my internship mine. How do I go with the flow? How should I have faith in the system? It was only during my internship with Sustainability Television that I realize I learn when I don’t think about learning. I am not the person to be confined in within a box. It’s better if it is a library of knowledge that I have. But it is best if I immerse myself in the experience of learning.
But how am I going to be in the process of achieving that goal?
I am not satisfied with the finiteness of the word “achieved”. I am more intent on considering goals in the syntax of the infinite. That is, I am always in the process of achieving. Bruce Lee once said “There is no such thing as maturity. There is instead an ever-evolving process of maturing. Because when there is a maturity, there is a conclusion and a cessation. That’s the end.” I don’t just say that there are avenues of opportunity ahead of me, I let myself be immersed in the avenues of opportunities. Because then, I can think less about the avenue of opportunity than where it will guide me like a river.
The Urban Green Tourist – my internship-project turned personal photoblog on the environment
I came up with the idea of a Green Photoblog while eating at a small bistro along W Broadway one evening. Sustainability was definitely something that was on my mind back then, from the Environmental Club that I attended in high school, to the classes focusing on Geography, the internships, the countless treks into the Pacific Spirit Park, the mix-and-mingles with the folks at a Green Drinks discussion session, you name it. I saw a tissue dispenser with its description stating that the tissue paper within is made of mostly recyclable material. I let my instinct to archive and learn take control of my mind as I reached for my camera to snap a picture of it.
A solar powered electric trash can. Snap. Archive.
An upcoming Sustainability Fair at UBC. Snap. Archive.
A UV-treated water dispenser, with a numeric counter that states how many plastic water bottles one would save if they utilize this machine.
My photoblog is modest at best, but it is definitely growing. I encourage environmental thinkers from all walks of life to build upon this project, and be your own “green tourist” wherever you are.
Offline social networking – my means of gaining self-confidence in talking with people face-to-face.
Prior to the internship, I do not consider myself to be much of a people’s person. This particularly showed through when I made my first in-person outreach to an industry fair, attempting to convince the participating panelists on the opportunities in forming a marketing connection with Sustainability Television. Cue embarrassing stammers and rushing over words. Thank goodness I had another intern with me to grab the reins of conversation.
I did not falter from this somewhat botched attempt on my end. In fact, I took this experience as a form of self-motivated inspiration. While doing market research for potential partners, I came across Green Drinks, an international non-profit organization with informal forums around the world, where people can congregate face-to-face to share information on the latest trends and solutions in environmental sustainability. The discussion is very informal and free-flowing. The host of the Vancouver Green Drinks group serves to welcome participants with name tags, but other than that, the discussion floor was for the participants. There isn’t someone to stand up in front of the crowd, proclaiming “May I have your attention please?”. The discussion was similar to an evening party where people are free to mingle around and talk. Jumping in and greeting other participants was highly encouraged. I was immediately reminded in my mind of the advice to make the experience mine. So I did. I made new connections, not just for the purpose of the social media marketing part of my internship, but also a good friend or two.
Taking the “make the internship yours” advice to heart, I decide to express my initiative by checking out upcoming Sustainability events. With help from my ongoing “Urban Green Tourist” photoblog task, I have found an avenue of opportunity for Sustainability Television – to make a public outreach at UBC’s first ever Sustainability Fair this year. I decided to challenge myself, in addition to marketing Sustainability Television to folks interested in sustainability (which my performance was a vast improvement to my first offline outreach), I had the opportunity to be the host of an episode of Sustainability Television focusing on the afore mentioned UBC Sustainability Fair.
Although I may not be able to put down on my employment resumé that I have a knack for speaking face-to-face let alone on a stage, I can state that this internship opportunity with Sustainability Television has transformed my personality and confidence on the path to achieving that knack.
That’s the parting advice that I have for this musing. If you just do your work in a company environment, you have a chance of being successful. But in the competitive working environment of today, attitude is what makes and breaks the hiring manager’s opinion of employing you for their company. Find something that you hold strongly in terms of the company’s values, and stick to it like glue. Make it the nucleus of your resume, your work experience, your informational interview, etc. Immerse yourself, and see yourself be part of the intricate connections and systems of the company. But don’t think too much about it, because one must let their motivation to succeed sink into their subconsciousness to truly succeed.
“Musing: on my internship experience with Sustainability Television” was published on June 17, 2013, which is part of my muses. Read more about Vincent Wong’s work at https://vincentwongwanders.wordpress.com .
Note: Originally posted on Sustainability Television by me when I was still a Journalism Intern with Sustainability Television. ( https://www.sustainabilitytelevision.com/blog/get-stuck-solar-power )
Unless you have been living in a windowless cubicle for the past weeks, you would have realized that Vancouver has been quite sunny as of late. Go ahead, Google “Vancouver Weather”, and you shall see that Vancouver will retain its sunny disposition easily into next Friday. This is great news for people living with solar panels.
On the topic of green solar energy, meet the “Window Socket”. A duo of Korean designers (Kyuho Song and Boa Oh) conceptualized a compact little solar generator that you could stick on a glass window. Other than the plug and wire connecting the charger to your desk light, smart phone, your portable electric stove. It takes 5-8 hours for the Window Socket to be fully charged, and it retains its charge for 10 hours. This may be a slight drawback, but keep in mind the “Window Socket” is still quite a recent concept.
The official copy states that one could use the window socket in a plane, a car, or the outdoors. I see great potential for electric cars to implement this concept. Save the hassle of driving around to find a parking spot with a socket when you could plug this little gadget into your car and let the green solar juice flow. Less wires from the car to the socket equals more in terms of convenience.
“Internship Spring 2013 – Get Stuck on Solar Power” was re-published in this blog on June 3, 2013, which is part of my past internship work. Read more about Vincent Wong’s work at https://vincentwongwanders.wordpress.com.
Note: Originally posted on Sustainability Television by me when I was still a Journalism Intern with Sustainability Television. ( https://www.sustainabilitytelevision.com/blog/fettuccine-stir-sticks )
While lining up to buy myself a latte before class, I caught sight of a rather unusual batch of stir sticks made of fettuccine. Without hesitation, I took out my smartphone and snapped a quick picture of it for this blog. The description states that fettuccine stir sticks are “more biodegradable and cost-effective than wooden stir-sticks”.
Developed by the CUS (Commerce Undergraduate Society) Sustainability department and UBC Food Services, I can immediately see the merits of this simple yet effective solution. Not only are they inexpensive, and sustainable, but their applicability extends to a wide variety of food and drinks establishments. The ubiquitously economical coffee shop is a stones throw away in your neighbourhood, and could easily take advantage of this environmentally alternative solution just as easily as a fancy restaurant in Downtown Vancouver.
I see three more potential benefits in using stir sticks made of fettuccine than wood or plastic. Firstly, in addition to fettuccine stir sticks being more biodegradable, it is also edible, albeit raw. Secondly, given the still staggering amount of food that is thrown into the compost bins at the end of service, this alternative adaptation makes sure additional food does not go to waste. Thirdly, these fettuccine stir sticks provide an aesthetic difference from conventional wooden stir-sticks, which means these will be more noticeable and may be more favourably received. After all, wooden and plastic stir sticks still dominate the cutlery department of coffee shops and restaurants and with the advent of “fettuccine” the others could soon be passe.
Fettuccine stir sticks for your coffee…Hmm, I wonder what UBC Food Services will come up with next? Could Bucatini, a type of pasta resembling hollowed spaghetti, have potential as an alternative drinking straws?
As a starving student, I’m excited to see what new utensils may be available to help supplement my dietary needs!
“Internship Spring 2013 – Fettuccine Stir Sticks” was re-published in this blog on June 3, 2013, which is part of my past internship work. Read more about Vincent Wong’s work at https://vincentwongwanders.wordpress.com.
Note: Originally posted on Sustainability Television by me when I was still a Journalism Intern with Sustainability Television. ( https://www.sustainabilitytelevision.com/blog/marriage-between-ergonomics-and-sustainability )
During this Christmas, I have had the opportunity to stay at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge, located near the famed Old Faithful Geyser within the State of Wyoming. The Old Faithful Snow Lodge is part of the Xanterra Parks & Resorts group, an organization dedicated to preserving the natural resources and environment of the surrounding area through sustainable practices.
An individual upholding practices with environmental sustainability would have had a field day in terms of exploring sustainable practices in and around the Lodge. In accordance with the Xanterra-published “Sustainability Report”, the organization has constructed the lodge from timber saved from previously demolished buildings, grew their food organically, and has ensured that solar energy powers the inn, just to name a few.
What struck me in particular is a little piece of hotel amenity, a bar of soap. Soap bars could be used longer than liquid soap, which gives soap bars an edge in terms of sustainability with regards to disposal. To put it this way, when a soap bar has been used beyond its hygienic service, what’s left of the bar is, if used efficiently enough, nothing. With regards to liquid soap, one would be concerned as to how one could dispose of its container. Even if the container is recyclable, it nevertheless puts a stress upon the recycling process and the environment. As the old saying goes, “prevention is better than cure”, with regards to bars of soap.
However, the bar of said soap is not an ordinary bar of toiletry. It is Green Natüra “waste reducing exfoliating body cleanser” soap. As quoted from its packaging:
“This innovative ergonically shaped “waste reducing” soap has been designed to eliminate the unused center of traditional soap bars”.
In other words, the central hole within this bar of soap allows for a much easier grip be it during taking a shower or washing ones hands. The bar of soap is sustainable because the manufacturing company, Green Natüra, has solved the core of the problem, no pun intended, by removing it. This lowers the manufacturing costs of the bar of soap, and thus its impact on the environment.
The “marriage” of sustainable and ergonomic processes with regards to the design of this bar of soap provides a more tangible, and thus more effective approach to sustainability – by contributing to the means of sustainability without actively thinking about sustainability at all. In other words, the participanting individuals, hotel guests, would be partaking in an act of sustainability just by using the bar of soap. Therefore, this form of sustainable production, marketing, and usage can appeal easily beyond the realms of active projects of sustainability.
Last but not least, we can manufacture our own soap, sans animal fat in order to minimize our environmental footprint. This would be the general solution to minimizing our footprint on the environment’s resources, by not buying ready-made soap from your local convenient store or the supermarket. My parting message, and perhaps the most important solution of all, is: Why don’t we take this sustainable solution a step further with our sustainable practices, by utilizing ring shaped moulds in the processes of making our own bars of soap?
“Internship Spring 2013 – Green Natüra Soap Bar” was re-published in this blog on June 3, 2013, which is part of my past internship work. Read more about Vincent Wong’s work at https://vincentwongwanders.wordpress.com.
Note: This is an excerpt from my “case study” blog post on Oreo’s online social media marketing strategy.
There are several clues to prospective companies for making their mark in today’s online neighbourhood of social media.
Strategy 1. Incorporate online internet culture into marketing:
You are promoting your company online. In order to appeal to the internet culture of today, you should be aware of what is already popular in the said targeted internet culture. Wittily parodying the ones that are the most popular is a good start in terms of bringing recognition to your company.
Strategy 2. Incorporate popular “offline” culture into online marketing
You don’t have to hire celebrities immediately to promote your product. However, you should allude to popular culture and form correlations between the said culture into your corporation’s pursuits in order to not be out of date with the times.
Strategy 3. You have online fans. Use them to your marketing advantage.
Fans are the vehicle to drive your company to success. Offer your fans fun promotions and digital campaigns, and they will reward you with their loyalty and confidence in your company.
“Excerpt: Online Marketing Strategies” was published on June 3, 2013, which is part of my past internship work. Read more about Vincent Wong’s work at https://vincentwongwanders.wordpress.com .