A MITASC story contributed by Tessa Weiss
I have always defined what I want to based on what will have the biggest impact on the world around me rather than what I necessary enjoy doing most. I thought, if the challenge is politics, I should work there; if it is engineering, then I should be an engineer. I also have been conflicted on what type and scale of company to be involved in. Last summer I worked as an energy engineer where I helped analyze inefficiencies of buildings and got to see my work have such a big impact on increasing the efficiency of buildings and reducing their energy use. However, it wasn’t as innovative of work as I saw myself being apart of, so I wasn’t fully fulfilled. This summer I am working on a cutting edge technology making small scale nuclear reactors. I have faith that this technology has the potential to be very impactful. However, with some smaller companies with very innovative technologies the fear is they get so attached to innovation that they lose sight of what would be truly helpful in the world.
I have also thought about what scale of company is able to exert the most influence. This relates to the activity we did during a previous MITASC workshop, where we sorted companies based on size and whether they were sustainability focused. Part of me feels that in a big company you have the means and connections to exert more influence over the topics you want. However, in a smaller company you have more influence over your work and get to work of many parts of each task.
I am currently figuring out which scenario works best for my personality and goals. I am currently trying to define my goals as to what I want to do and what influence I want to have over the environment around me. Once I have a better idea of what change I want to make, I will be able to identify the right outlet for doing so. However, identifying what change I want to make is the challenging part.
This public reflection was produced as part of the work of the MIT Action Sustainability Corps. Learn more about MITASC here.