Group photo of interns standing on steps outside

Cypress Creek Celebrates National Intern Day

Happy National Intern Day! As part of our commitment to workforce development, each summer Cypress Creek Renewables offers select university students, chosen from hundreds of applicants, hands-on internship experience across our departments. Our 10-week summer internship program exposes undergraduate and graduate students alike to the world of renewable energy while challenging them with meaningful work.

This summer, Cypress Creek doubled the size of our program by hiring 38 interns in our California and North Carolina offices! The program is designed to empower students with an interest in renewables through a number of strategies. In June, all interns packed their bags and headed to our Santa Monica office for Intern Orientation where they were able to connect and learn about the different departments within Cypress Creek. In addition, interns got the chance to sit down with CEO, Matt McGovern, and Chairman, Ben Van De Bunt, to learn about the origin and ideals of Cypress. For the duration of the summer, each intern is paired with a mentor who helps with the transition into the world of solar while serving as a resource for professional advice and networking. To further their inter-departmental educations, weekly Intern lunches highlighting young leaders at Cypress are held in our Santa Monica and Durham offices. These informal sessions are a great way for the interns to gain a holistic view of the solar industry while building relationships across the company. Our program has a proven track record of retaining interns during the school year and forging interns into full-time employees. We take pride in our program and see value in educating and developing these young interns as many will become leaders in the renewables industry.

Learn more about a few of our exceptional Class of 2018 Summer Interns below.

Diti is a New Markets Summer Associate based out of Santa Monica, California. Originally from India, Diti received her undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Guwahati. Following graduation, she worked as a field engineer for about four and a half years. Despite enjoying her work as an engineer, she found it difficult to pursue a long-term career in a very male-dominated field. Diti’s career path took a turn when she moved to America and enrolled in Harvard Business School where she is studying to complete a Masters Degree in Business Administration. Although she was not specifically looking to work in solar, Diti was interested in clean energy. She enjoys this industry because she is able to work on new and exciting projects. She also enjoys how dynamic and challenging her day-to-day can be. In contrast to being very limited what she could do as a field engineer, Diti now feels like she can make a big impact with her work!

Diti’s Summer Takeaway: Working with passionate, smart and friendly people, in an exciting and ever-evolving industry makes the summer experience highly valuable.

Based in San Francisco, California, Mike is a Summer Associate working in the Government Affairs department. His interest in the climate and renewable energy drove him to study Environmental Science and Policy at the University of Maryland, College Park. After graduation, Mike worked at the United States Department of Energy in the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs during the Obama Administration. In 2017 Mike began working towards a dual Masters degree in Public Policy and Business Administration at Duke University. It was there where he met Cypress Creek’s Chief Financial Officer, who was a guest speaker in one of his classes. This meeting led Mike to his internship with Cypress Creek. He finds the issues he is working on extremely fascinating and enjoys working with the people on his team. Mike explains that policy is starting to catch up with technology and he likes being part of the first group to work on these issues. When he’s not working, Mike likes to run, which he’s found is a fun way to explore the new city he’s in for the summer. He also loves spending time with his nine-year-old Golden Retriever (pictured above).

Mike’s Summer Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. This internship taught me that the process to finding information can sometimes be just as important as knowing the information itself.

Haley is a Zoning Intern based out of the Asheville, North Carolina office. While this is her first time working in solar, Haley has always been interested in alternative energy. She studied Environmental Studies and Geography at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. As a senior at the University, Haley traveled abroad to Iceland where she studied Geothermal and Hydroelectric energy. Her experience seeing the effects of climate change firsthand inspired her to pursue a career in renewable energy. Recently, Haley has especially enjoyed researching zoning documents for a new market, the Southeast, and working with her team to see how her research applies to other departments. When she’s not at work, you can find Haley outdoors. She loves hiking, camping, and performing as fire spinner.

Haley’s Summer Takeaway: In order to be successful, you must be organized, flexible, and able to prioritize.

Based out of Durham, North Carolina, Danny is an EPC Project Management Intern working in both the office and the field. He is a rising senior at Indiana University studying Environmental Management and Business Management. Danny says that he has always been interested in helping the planet and in the potential of renewables. This isn’t his first time working in renewables either! Danny started selling solar panels to residential homes the summer after his freshman year in college and he shadowed the President of a commercial solar company the following summer. Danny enjoys how he is able to split his time between being in the office and being in the field at Cypress Creek. He says that while the office has a great productive environment, fieldwork allows him to learn the process of creating solar farms from start to finish. He is fascinated by the way in which office work translates to solar on the ground. What he likes most about his internship is the people he works with, who are outgoing and willing to help at any time. Danny grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, but has also lived in Germany and Belgium. Outside of work he loves sports and spending time with his family and friends. At school, he is a member of a fraternity and plays in the fraternity basketball league.

Danny’s Summer Takeaway: How much work planning and developing goes into solar projects. Without this internship, I wouldn’t have realized the amount of people involved and working together, and the various jobs involved from planning in the office to the actual construction in the field.

Based in Santa Monica, California, Nathan works as a Legal Summer Associate supporting the legal team. Nathan received his undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California where he studied Environmental Studies and Business and then pursued a Masters in Environmental Studies. While at USC, he fostered his interest in renewables by interning at a local residential-scale solar company and by working with the school’s Office of Sustainability to create Greeks Go Green, a student-run organization promoting sustainability on campus. Nathan currently attends Notre Dame Law School. He learned about Cypress Creek through class research and was interested in exploring how he could incorporate solar into his passion for law. Nathan says that he feels very fortunate to work for Cypress Creek because he has found a place where the people are genuinely interested in his contribution. He likes how people are so willing to teach. Nathan wanted to work somewhere where he truly believed in the mission and he feels that he has found that at Cypress Creek.

Nathan’s Summer Takeaway: If you want to achieve your dreams, start by surrounding yourself with people who are achieving theirs.

Differing from other interns, Stephanie is part of the SOLAR Intern program, which stands for Supporting Opportunities for Leadership and Access in Renewables. It is a 10-week rotational summer internship targeting undergraduate underrepresented communities in STEM. As the SOLAR intern, Stephanie chose three departments to work rotationally with including: Development Engineering, Environmental, and Project Management. This program is a great way to develop leadership and skills across multiple departments.

Moving between Mexico and the United States for much of her childhood, Stephanie settled permanently to study mechanical engineering at Mount San Antonio Community College in Southern California. She notes that she has always been interested in learning from and working with nature rather than exploiting it. Her interest in nature led to her first internship in renewables where she conducted research. After this experience, her college mentor helped her connect to Cypress Creek. At school, Stephanie is initiated in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and she works with Student Services to conduct campus wide events to ensure students’ success.

Stephanie’s Summer Takeaway: Here you can develop skills learned in school such critical thinking, problem solving and working with programs. Moreover, being exposed to a professional environment helps you learn how you work best!

Jack, a rising senior studying Physics as the University of Southern California, works out of Santa Monica, California, as an Asset Management Intern. Jack has always been interested in science and renewable energy, as well as entrepreneurship. In fact, he created multiple of his own startup companies, including a clothing company and a mobile app company. He also started a business club at his high school to teach other students about entrepreneurship. Jack recently received the USC Provost Undergrad Research Fellowship, which he is using to research the implementation constraints, financial feasibility, and regulatory requirements of creating a stock market for energy projects. Outside of work and school, Jack enjoys all things outdoors including hiking, fishing, and skiing.

Jack’s Summer Takeaway: Tap into the domain expertise around you. If there's anything you want to learn about in the renewables industry, there's always someone willing to sit down and walk you through it, or help you research it.

Diego, a rising senior studying Business Economics at the University of California, Irvine, is a Strategic Operations Intern based out of Santa Monica, California. Diego first gained interest in renewables from classes in school, which drove him to apply for this internship. As a Strategic Operations Intern, he works to help ensure the company is running smoothly and is instrumental in facilitating effective communication between departments. Outside of school and work, Diego loves skateboarding and sports cars. During the school year he works at the Beall Center for Art and Technology on UC Irvine’s campus where he teaches kids’ coding and STEAM camps. He also works at his school’s radio station.

Diego’s Summer Takeaway: Communication is key. If there’s ever any doubt about what exactly is expected of you, or what you expect from others, clearing up any confusion makes a world of difference.

Rachel is working as a Project Finance Summer Associate out of San Francisco, California. Originally from Detroit, she completed her undergraduate education at the University of Michigan where she studied Economics and International Studies. Upon graduation, Rachel started working for a consultant whose client list included Cypress Creek. In 2017, Rachel began her Master of Business Administration degree at the University of California, Berkeley. When she started business school, she wanted to get into renewables because she is passionate about climate change. Rachel loves how supportive and willing to help her team members are here at Cypress Creek. She also loves the company goal to “get as much solar into the ground as possible”. Outside of work, Rachel loves hiking, yoga, and traveling. In the past year she has traveled to Mexico, Japan, and Guatemala.

Rachel’s Summer Takeaway: Timing is extremely important in solar development. There are many moving parts and so much that needs to happen from zoning to operations. The key to success is the whole team working together to make sure everything is aligned.