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Internship

Interning at Eco Brooklyn opened my eyes to green building like never before. It was such an amazing experience learning skills that make a difference in the world. An Eco Brooklyn internship is a great opportunity and I recommend it to anyone. Thank you!      ~ Jason, Eco Brooklyn intern ~

Eco Brooklyn is an educator as well as a green builder.  We offer the New York community and beyond a chance to gain exposure in the best green building practices available in the city. Our interns come from all kinds of backgrounds and include students, recent grads, writers, architects, laborers, film editors.

No skill is necessary. A good attitude and a willingness to help and learn is all you need. You will be expected to work hard in a fast paced environment. You will learn through full immersion in real world green building environments. Please read the comments at the end of this page for more intern testimonials.

An Eco Brooklyn internship comprises of the following:

1. Doing a task (working on a green building assignment or researching online for example)

2. Cataloging the task (taking notes, video, photos etc)

3. Publishing it on twitter and the blog.

“Intern School”: The internship is tailored around a mentor program very similar to a graduate self study course. Depending on the intern’s interests and learning goals they will be assigned tasks. Throughout the process they will work closely with Eco Brooklyn’s director, Gennaro Brooks-Church.

Time Commitment: Our training program is a minimum 3 month commitment. You can choose to do between 20-40 hours a week. We give preference to interns able to commit 30 or 40 hours a week. Work days are Monday to Friday. Hours are 10-4:30. Usually there is no weekend work.

Payment: Internships are not paid.

Intern Environment: There are two places for internships:

          1. On a job site:  Interns gain experience in real world green building. It is dirty hard labor but very satisfying for those who like to get physical and learn new things.  Along with normal labor duties (carrying, cleaning etc), depending on your interests and available jobs you will be paired up with experienced green builders – carpenter, plumber, electrician etc – to help and learn.

          2. In the Eco Brooklyn office: This is a very informal, unstructured environment where you work closely with Gennaro. The office is in the top floor of the Green Show House brownstone, which is also a working home. Self-direction is a must. The internship is very satisfying for somebody who wants the freedom to explore green building in a small business.

What You Will Do

Interns are expected to leave the program with a body of experience and work under their belt. Tasks are varied depending on the interns interests and what is going on at the time. The activities are as follows.

          - Blogging - This activity teaches how to write for a green building company. All interns are required to write at least one blog a week for a minimum total of twelve blogs over the stay. Blogs are decided on based on the needs at hand and the interests of the intern.

           - Media - These activities teach how to perform media outreach for a green building company. Duties include interacting on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites, reaching out to journalists and bloggers to encourage them to  do stories about us, contacting industry professionals like architects to let them know we are accepting jobs, posting blogs on our site, creating video pod casts and book reviews, organizing tours of the show house…

          - Video - This activity teaches how to produce, direct, film, edit and publish web videos for a green building company. Interns are encouraged to create short video blogs of different activities.

          - Office Intern - This position teaches the business side of a green building company. Duties include filing papers and receipts, expediting paperwork for insurance/DOB/plans etc, reaching out to contractors to get salvaged materials, helping with job timelines, organizing the office.

Institutional Internships – We also partner with local schools and organizations to help increase student exposure to green building techniques. We welcome any interested institution to contact us. Examples of our internship partners include International Center for the Disabled and Sustainable South Bronx.

PinExt Internship

10 comments to Internship

  • Charley McPherson

    Thank you very much for the opportunity of working with you. As you know, I am very interested in pursuing this field after graduation and it was a fascinating learning experience interning for EcoBrooklyn. I’ve gained a great deal of knowledge that I hope to put to good use in my career.

    Charley McPherson, Architect Student, Construction and Design Intern

  • Beatriz

    Once again thank you so much for letting me get involved. There are a great number of people that feel non-green construction is not working, that in the world we live in there is a big gap between ecology and building. I think what you are doing is great by creating a bridge and opening new doors.

    I had a really great and inspiring experience. It felt great to be finally hands-on!!! I learned a lot with Alex and specially Ruben the plumber. He seems to be a very knowledgeable and has a passion for what he does. One of the best parts was Eco Brooklyn people were always open, simple, friendly and often very knowledgeable.

    Beatriz, Construction Intern

  • Michelle Fonzi

    While interning with EcoBrooklyn I had the opportunity to explore a wide variety of building techniques. My focus was in landscape construction and green roofs, and EcoBrooklyn’s show house is a beautiful example and a wonderful learning tool. Gennaro has a great deal to offer as an educator and my time at EcoBrooklyn was always exciting.

    Michelle Fonzi, Landscaping Intern

  • Cheyenne Maisey

    I first met Gennaro at an event in Manhattan and was inspired by the way he talked about his company and his vision for a sustainable future. Shortly thereafter, I started interning for his company, EcoBrooklyn, and enjoyed it immensely.

    Eco Brooklyn was a nice change from corporate America. Instead of being in a three piece suit, sitting isolated in an office or cubicle, I found myself in a pair of jeans sitting comfortably on a couch with a team of interns and my laptop.

    The company and everyone in it immediately made me feel welcome and at home. I enjoyed interacting with Gennaro on a daily basis as it is so rare in most companies for an intern to be interacting with the President of the company.

    It was a wonderful experience talking and brainstorming with him. Although everyone who works at Eco Brooklyn is different, they all have one thing in common: they care about the environment and our world, and want to be part of the solution.

    Cheyenne Maisey, Office Intern

  • Yi Deng, Social Media Intern

    I started this internship with nothing but a fancy liberal arts degree, meaning I knew how to overthink things and that was about it.

    This is what I contributed during my internship:
    -I ran Twitter and facebook pages.
    -I wrote a bunch of blog posts.
    -I helped redesign and reorganize the website.
    -I took pictures and filmed a video once with Stavros’s iPhone.
    -I tweaked Google AdWords settings to make better use of the budget.
    -I worked on a press release for the Harlem passive house.
    -I helped file taxes for 2011.
    -I grew mushrooms.

    Through experience, I learned how to navigate social media services, advertising services, and tax filing procedures. My research was an ongoing education in current events, emerging technology, ancient technology, and the finer points of New York City building code.

    Through observation, I learned the concepts behind how one would build a passive house, a green roof, or a clay floor. I saw how salvaged materials were reclaimed from the street and transformed into livable environments.

    Actually, the biggest thing I took away was the concept of the passive house. If I ever build or renovate my own house, I’d build it to passive standards. I know it’s possible, so there’s no excuse not to.

    The internship at Eco Brooklyn is a highly flexible experience that you can tailor to your own skills and goals. It’s an opportunity to work alongside enthusiastic, passionate, and driven people, because those are the only ones who last more than a week. Beyond that it’s hard to describe, because the internship is whatever you make of it.

    My advice for future interns:
    You have to be comfortable with working independently. You have to bring your own passions and interests. If there’s something you want to accomplish, Eco Brooklyn will give you the chance to try, but don’t expect to be told what to do every hour of every day. You’ll be bored, and you’ll be frustrated. Make the most of your freedom and make something happen, because you can, if you want to.

    Yi Deng, Social Media Intern

  • Amanda Granados

    I was hired as a Video Intern for Eco Brooklyn through Pace University’s Co-Op program. I came in with zero knowledge of green building, but was happy that Eco Brooklyn opened their arms to a promising learning experience. While filming and editing videos, I got to know Gennaro and the amazing work he does. As a videographer, I witnessed the hands on activities to green building. Gennaro provided the answers to questions and the guidance to completing a good quality video. He truly is an educator willing to lend a helping hand. This internship allowed me to enhance my video production skills, while simultaneously learning green building.

    An internship at Eco Brooklyn will inspire you to create change. Eco Brooklyn is doing its part to educate people on living green. As an intern, you are inspired to use your passion to help educate others. Through my videos, I educated viewers on Eco Brooklyn’s goal in passive building. It is an experience that I will never forget.

    My advice for future interns is to never take advantage of a day at Eco Brooklyn. What you are witnessing is the future. Green building is the only way to live a healthier and prosperous lifestyle. It is the building of tomorrow. Gennaro is teaching us what many will try to teach years from now. So listen up and enjoy!

    Amanda Granados, Video Intern

  • Pepe

    In fall 2012 i came from Spain to start an internship with Ecobrooklyn and it was exactly what i was looking for, to learn and develop my skills in one of the best examples of a 100% sustainable and small business. In that short period of time i worked in multiple works and enjoyed the interested conversations with Gennaro, he is a great educator and also i learned many useful things from the other workers. Now my eyes and mind are more open and i have only good words for my experience with Ecobrooklyn because show me the way where i will try to focus my career.

    I highly recommend to other students/interns, join the Ecobrooklyn team. They are doing a really great work for the current and next generations.

    Pepe Cabrero, Intern.

  • charlie suozzo

    hello my name is charlie suozzo and i am currently in aagricultural scool (suny cobleskill) my professor is starting a greenroofing class whch sparked my interest in wanting to be apart of some sort of greenroofing project, thats when i stumbled upon this website. after viewing your website i new immediatly that i wanted to be apart of your organization. i am inquiering about the internship program you are offering and im wondering how to get started so i can work with you guys over the up comming summer breake. please get back to me, i would love nothing more then to be apart of this wonderful program

  • M.R., Brown U. Student.

    What was your favorite part of the internship?
    I think the most memorable and unique aspect of this internship is the
    environment that you were able to foster. It was really wonderful to
    working so many other students who were not just co-workers but
    friends. Within our community we had some really interesting
    conversations, and were able to teach each other about our own
    interests. I also really loved being welcomed into your family. Since
    many of us were away from a home, I think we all felt accepted and
    comfortable in your home surrounded by your family.

    I also really liked that we each had a focus. When I needed an idea or
    inspiration for a blog I was able to look back at the blog posts and
    fine a theme that could focus on.

    Out of the blogging, activities, interaction with me or with interns
    what was the most useful? All of it together?

    Blogging was obviously the most useful intellectually, but I think the
    activities ar where I probably learned the most and found new skill
    sets.

    What was the biggest thing you learned?

    I would say I mix a hell of a batch of themosel. You had one
    particularly memorable speech about the importance of finding meaning
    in things. Prior to that lecturer I had always understood the emotion
    of doing things or stufying thinks where I enjoyed but I had no phrase
    or terminaology to articulate why. This idea of “meaning” whether it
    be for yourself or others was a profound concept that I think will
    always stick with me.

    Can you briefly list the activities you did?
    Themoseling pool, gravel in the pool, landscaping pool, lead paint
    testing, designing front patio, creating the faux wall for the
    inspector, picking out plants for pool, planting juniper in front
    yard, lead remediation at lewis ave, building the stone wall for fish
    pond, painting fish pond, grout sealing, painting “arugula.”

    Were there any challenges?
    Yes I think some of the struggled I faced where mental. For example
    when we spent 2 or 3 days washing and carrying gravel form the front
    to the pool, I didn’t find “meaning” in that activity. I came to
    realize that not everything I would do at Eco Brooklyn or in life is
    necessarily fun or meaningful. I have not done much manual labor in
    my life and prior to my internship I was, as you said
    “tactile-retarded.” It was challenge to be forced to use my body
    without really thinking.

    What did you like best about your interaction with me?
    I really enjoyed your lecturs. I felt in those moments you really
    wanted to tell us a lesson, maybe one that you had spent years
    pondering or something that was on your mind, but I felt those moment
    were the most mentor-like.

    You made yourself available as not just a boss, but a friend. I felt
    very comfortable and relaxed around you, which is not something I have
    experience with prior employers. For example, right after I had a my
    little run in with the police, and I explained to you why I was having
    such an off day you were empathetic and not judgmental, it helped me
    relax and ultimately I was able to digest all those emotions that I
    was going through. The little things like that went a long way.

    What did you like best about your interaction with other interns,
    workers or anyone else?
    I really enjoyed that we saw this internship as an opportunity to
    learn and research what interested ourselves but also what interested
    those around us. I think having such a large group of lively people
    made tough days (carrying gravel) manageable.

    Are there any life lessons you learned that will help you?
    I like working with my hands and creating things. I also like to have
    a plan going into design and as your work, changing the initial idea
    into an evolved version.

    You gave his lecture about relationships with plants was really
    interesting. You made this analogy between plants and humans. If you
    like a friend, then you’ll hang out with them another day, and if you
    don’t like them, then that person is not for you…its all about
    (emotional) chemistry…it was a simple way of looking at a complicated
    interaction.

    Who do you think would benefit most from this internship?
    College students. I don’t think I would have gotten as much out of the
    internship if I were a professional. If I were older and had a career
    I think I would be stuck in my own way of seeing the world around me,
    where as your style of mentoring is an attempt to make us see like you
    do for a brief three months. I think that would be difficult to adapt
    if I were older.

    Jewels of wisom?
    Plants are like friends
    Find meaning in your work
    Drink the occasional glass of cava cava
    Always be willing to learn.

  • Malone Matson, Intern 2012

    First of all, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to work with you at Eco Brooklyn. I really had a great time and learned a lot. I don’t think there was any day that I woke up and wished I didn’t have to work. It’s hard for me to say what my favorite part was. I enjoyed being able to work hands-on on real projects without someone micro-managing me. I didn’t do it as well as a professional, but I was doing work that would normally be done by a professional. That was special just for the experience and for the amount that I was able to learn. Most internships wouldn’t have given me that opportunity.

    Of course the people made the internship great too. You and the other interns were a lot of fun to work with and I think we really developed a good rhythm.

    I know your phone was broken, but I liked how you did all your business over speaker phone and how in general you exposed us to every aspect of the business. I enjoyed your random musings on life and environmentalism. They provoked a lot of thought in me. Perhaps discussions could be a fourth element to the intern program (with research, blogging, and work). Although, I guess it was the informal/spontaneous nature of them that made them so productive.

    I appreciated your flexibility with my schedule, without it I would not have been able to fit Eco Brooklyn and everything else into my summer.

    In a way I wish I had more time to blog/research, but on the other hand working in the field was invaluable. A week was often not enough time to get excited about one subject, research it thoroughly, and then write meaningfully about it.

    I do think I learned a lot, but more so I feel like I was cementing concepts I had learned in school. In school you just listen and accept but at Eco Brooklyn I wasn’t just seeing something written on a board, I was looking at a lead test turn red or watching water gradually turn from clear to green, etc.

    I think one of the biggest things I will take away is a certain laxity toward environmental work. In my other internship with a landscape architect, everything is so rigid and numerical. If I choose this as a career, I will probably in many ways get sucked into that mentality. But I think working at Eco Brooklyn taught me that it’s ok to make mistakes as long as I’m learning, nature can’t be predicted or over-powered so know at what point to accept that and work with it, and that experimentation can yield the most beautiful results.

    I think I also developed a personalized view of what it means to be truly “green”. I got so fed up with environmentalism at school because it all seemed so hypocritical and useless. Fretting about global climate change, thinking every problem can be resolved by recycling, etc. Looking past the green-washing has helped me to again recognize why it’s important and why this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Sorry that’s so vague but it makes sense to me.

    For all your good qualities, organization isn’t quite one of them. I think sometimes we wasted a lot of time and energy doing unnecessary tasks, undoing tasks, not doing things in the most efficient order, or not allocating workers/interns in the most efficient way. I think Eco Brooklyn could be greatly benefitted by the hiring of some sort of project manager/administrative assistant who could synthesize all your ideas and desires into well-coordinated schedules and maybe organize your files and help with billing and permits and other stuff. If you ever consider doing something like that, feel free to get in touch with me! :)

    While I was at Eco Brooklyn I worked on:
    The living wall at the yoga studio
    Organizing the library
    fixing up the fish pond in front
    the natural swimming pool
    landscaping on Lewis Ave
    maintenance work on a green roof in cobble hill
    some planting/grooming in your backyard
    Permit filing
    turtle and fish research
    all the research i did for my blog
    lead remediation

    Good luck with business and life and best wishes for your new son!

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