Graduating ESS student reflects on a recent internship and virtual classes

Andrea Green majored in Environmental Studies and Sustainability. Her work in classes and internships has helped her prepare for graduate school and a future career in sustainability science.

Andrea Green smiling in front of a body of water
Photo courtesy of Andrea Green

Spartans are known for their creativity, adaptability, and passion. Andrea Green is no exception.

Since she changed her major to Environmental Studies and Sustainability (ESS) in 2019, Andrea has been eagerly pursuing the sustainability-related work she cares deeply about. For instance, she spent her summer 2020 internship supporting a Michigan business by educating their customers on the ingredients they source for their cosmetics.

Andrea has spent most of her time in the ESS major in online classes. Despite not being able to connect with her peers in person, Andrea shares that the ESS community in the Department of Community Sustainability (CSUS) has been extremely welcoming and supportive during remote learning.

“I think being in this unusual situation has brought us together even more and strengthened the sense of community,” she says.

Looking ahead, Andrea is excited to continue her education in fall 2021 when she starts a graduate program focusing on sustainability science.

Read more about Andrea’s internship and undergraduate experience at MSU below!


Traverse City, Michigan


Environmental Studies and Sustainability

Graduation date:

Spring 2021

Why did you choose Environmental Studies and Sustainability?

I have always had an interest in living a more sustainable lifestyle by shopping sustainably, recycling and having a garden. It wasn’t until my junior year at MSU that I realized I wanted to study sustainability and make it a focus of my career.

I changed my major a couple of times and nothing felt like the right fit until I came across the ESS program. I’m grateful everything worked out and I eventually found what I was interested in!

What has been one of your best experiences within your major?

I joined the ESS and College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) community in October 2019 and started my first ESS classes two months before MSU transitioned to online classes. As I’ve participated in online courses and gotten to know other students virtually, I was blown away by how friendly and welcoming everyone is.

The best experience I’ve had with my major has been getting to know people virtually these last few semesters. I think being in this unusual situation has brought us together even more and strengthened the sense of community. I am incredibly disappointed that I missed out on getting to know the community better in person but I’m grateful for all the connections I’ve been able to make virtually.

What internship opportunities have you been involved in related to your major?

I did an internship at the Secret Garden at Brys Estate. It’s a winery and lavender farm on Old Mission Peninsula in Traverse City, Michigan. I’ve worked there during the summer since 2017 as their assistant manager and was thrilled that I could use my work with them to satisfy the CSUS internship requirement since the pandemic has created new challenges in finding internships.

During my internship, I launched a project to redesign part of their website and create a resource page for customers to reference cosmetic ingredients, their purpose and their origin in order to shop more sustainably. The owners of the company are incredible careful and intentional about where they source their ingredients, so I really enjoyed diving deeper into that and creating something to share that knowledge with our customers.

What do you want others to know about your major?

The ESS and CANR community is awesome! There is so much diversity in backgrounds, interests and goals throughout the college. Since we cover such heavy and complex problems, it’s comforting to see so many other people are passionate about these issues and are interested in specializations that I’m not as eager to work on.

What are your future plans?

In the fall of 2021, I plan to attend graduate school for a master’s in sustainability science. I’ve applied to four schools and am looking forward to hearing back from them soon!

What’s your favorite thing about MSU?

I love the camaraderie that comes with being a Spartan! I love traveling with my MSU gear and hearing “Go Green!” wherever I go. The diversity of students and faculty at MSU is beautiful and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Any thoughts or advice for current students?

Make connections! Take advantage of the networking opportunities at job fairs, connect with other students and take advantage of any connections professors or advisors share.

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