Erin Barry ’23

Climate Changemakers, San Francisco, CA

The past three months working with Climate Changemakers has been an incredibly educational experience in advocacy, nonprofit work, and marketing. Climate Changemakers is focused on providing everyday people with concrete, simple political actions that they can take.

Erin in front of a laptop.
Creating content for Climate Changemakers remotely.

As the Marketing Coordinator, I was responsible for creating content across all our social media platforms and establishing strategies for creating growth in our membership. I created templates and a marketing calendar for weekly posts, a ‘micro influencer’ tracker, and a weekly campaign to increase our impressions. I also worked on a mock-up of a redesign of the company’s website via Squarespace and presented it to the leadership team at the end of my internship. In addition, I attended high level strategy and product meetings every week and assisted in the running of our weekly “Hours of Action,” where we give our members simple political actions to take for climate change advocacy.

As an environmental studies and political science double major, this internship perfectly aligned with my interests for a future career. The Climate Changemakers staff was a small group with a large volunteer base; from the start I was thrown into the material and had a fair amount of responsibility. I have always been interested in environmental issues from a policy perspective, and so it was interesting to learn how to transform complicated policy into digestible content for everyday people. I learned a good amount of the concrete policy from our Director of Policy, Gabrielle Jorgensen, who had previous experience working on Capitol Hill. As the company was still in its early stages, I learned a lot about networking and how nonprofits gain investors and funders through grants and fundraisers. Our Executive Director, Eliza Nemser, is also very well connected on both Capitol Hill and with bigger environmental organizations and proved to be a wonderful mentor.

I have always cared about environmental policy and have structured my college education around it; however, before this internship I was unaware that there were so many other like-minded people in a professional setting that felt the same frustration with environmental advocacy that I do because it puts the blame on individual consumers. It was incredibly empowering to work at Climate Changemakers where there were people from all different backgrounds in technology, geology, and politics, and who were all motivated by the same existential crisis—climate change. My opinion was valued and heard, and I felt that I could make a real impact, both politically and in the organization itself. When I finished up my internship, I really felt that I had made a major contribution to furthering the company’s mission.

To the Class of 1951, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to explore an internship in my field of interest. I could not have done this without your support, and for that I am extremely grateful.