Developing UA's Climate Action Plan

Mia Lozano
Emphasis Area
Spatial Organization & Design Thinking

Mia Lozano interned with the Office of Sustainability to contribute her organization, research, and collaboration skills to UA’s first Sustainability and Climate Action Plan.



Why did you choose this internship?

I choose to pursue an internship with the Office of Sustainability at the University of Arizona because of my love for sustainability and energy efficient design. Helping the environment is something I knew I had a passion for early on in my life, so I was thrilled to help the office with the University of Arizona’s first ever Sustainability and Climate Action Plan. I was motivated to pursue this internship because I was eager to bring my perspectives and ideas about sustainability to my college campus. 

What kind of work did you do throughout your internship experience?

Throughout my internship with the Office of Sustainability I supported the launch of the first ever Sustainability and Climate Action plan at the University of Arizona. In the beginning, I did a lot of organizing of files in Box and administrative work in Microsoft Excel. I also managed the email listings for my mentor that tracked our communication with all of our campus partners. Within the Action plan there were different working groups, and I was assigned to the Built Environment working group. We did research and drafted recommendations to address topics like transportation, waste, water, landscape, and design. After all the recommendations were ready to be launched, we made edits and identified gaps to move the plan forward. The work I did here felt meaningful and directly affected the community around me. 

What was your favorite part of your internship? 

My favorite part about my internship experience was being part of my college campus’s first ever Climate Action plan. This means the recommendations and plans we collaboratively created this semester will be brought forth on the campus, even after I graduate and move away. This is meaningful to me because I always wanted to help the environment and be a part of sustainable change. Helping the office of Sustainability create the Sustainable and Climate Action plan was one of my greatest achievements throughout my time at the University of Arizona. 

What new knowledge and skills did you gain in this internship?

Throughout this experience I gained a lot of new knowledge about how much politics and economic boundaries there are that come with creating sustainable change. I’ve gained networking skills, software skills, and professional communication skills. I have used these skills to become more creative and innovative. I was able to use software essential to remote collaborative work like Box, Microsoft Teams, and Stars to work with others within the Office of Sustainability. A big takeaway from my time as an intern was being able to continuously network and maintain professional relationships with a diverse range of people in the office. 

What is unique about your situation that influenced your internship selection or experience?

Something unique about my experience is that I was the University of Arizona’s Office of Stainabilities’ first intern and was hired, at the time, as an unpaid intern. Later in the semester, my supervisor Trevor Ledbetter hired six additional interns and supported us in creating paid internship positions for all of us. I was honored to be a part of a community that showed appreciation for my time, my work, and my presence. Trevor was a great mentor and inspired me to continue my work within sustainability and the built environment. I also feel he is a great leader and I can’t wait to see where the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan takes the University of Arizona. 

How did your Applied Humanities major coursework help prepare you for the internship experience?

Being an Applied Humanities student, I felt prepared for this internship because it gave me great communication and collaboration skills. I was able to bring my own unique perspective as a Gen Z, first-generation, Latina student to the team. My mentor said I had great effective communication skills and was able to ask all the right questions to set me up for success with the tasks I was assigned. Overall, I think the collaborative and communicative course work within the Applied Humanities major was helpful in my internship experience.

What advice do you have for other students as they search for and begin their internship?

I would tell future students to follow through and network to secure an internship. I personally struggled with finding and securing an internship at first. A big part of how I got my internship was connecting to the right people and talking about things I am passionate about like sustainability. Lastly, I would say to have a strong work ethic and be invested or at least interested in what you’re doing because it shows in your work throughout your time as an intern. Good luck!