Work Voices 8, Elena Olmedo, Sustainability Specialist
Elena Olmedo was raised in a bilingual home, her parents having immigrated to the US from El Salvador. She now works for an energy efficiency firm in Berkeley. She describes her interest in sustainability and how she navigated her way through the range of career options that this huge, emerging field offered her – whether in business, law or policy etc.
Elena talks about the green and sustainable business certificate program at City College of San Francisco and the understanding it provided of environmental issues relevant to business and industry. She then took advantage of all the resources available to her to explore possible career paths. For example she interned at two different companies to gain experience of green marketing practices and environmental policy issues, and attended conferences and lectures and read papers and journals to learn all she could about sustainability issues.
Clearly it is challenging to learn about this varied and confusing field and to decide on a focus; waste reduction, transportation, urban design, or energy conservation etc. Elena explains how important it is to find your path. But she is also clear that there are tremendous opportunities, whether in installation, policy or planning and that the industry is growing and will continue to be new and exciting, and ideal for someone who cares about the environment and sustainability issues.