May 15th, 2010

How do you get a Green Job out of College?


There is a lot of news about 37 Million Green Jobs by 3030 and that Competition for Renewable Energy Jobs is Getting Intense. With all this news you’d think getting a green job is easy and they’re everywhere. In the past 6 months, I’ve started to hear the same question A LOT. “How Do I get a Green Job out of College” When I go to conferences, meetups, tweetups as well as emails through my blog I get the same question, “How do I do what you did and get a green job out of college?”

I always wanted to help and noticed I kept giving the same advice so I decided to create another website The Green Collar Job Guide for College Students and also started a Facebook community called “Green Collar Job Guide” to help connect with college students and help them.

I decided to start another website because my blog, The Green Light Distrikt, is focused more on connecting professionals who are already in the industry and not people looking to enter the industry. The goal with the new site will be to post the information about starting a career so it can be a resource for all students.

A couple of my friends have response to this new site asking “Aren’t you afraid you’re giving students information so they’ll compete with you for your own job?” To that I respond very simply

  1. I want 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY. Period. To do this, we’ll need a lot more young, passionate, people selling, engineering, installing, and inventing these technologies
  2. The industry is growing so quickly, there is room for everyone

Here is the introduction video where I describe the story behind the green collar job guide and how I’m trying to help students.

Right now, the goal is to help college students answer the question in three ways.

  1. How to Get a Green Job Blog- Every week I’ll post some free advice, resources or tip for college students looking to get a green job. If you need anything, just ask, I’m here to help. My only request is that you ask publicly so when I answer everyone can benefit.
  2. “The Guide” – The Green Collar Job Guide itself. I noticed that I always was giving students the same advice. So, I took that advice and put it into 7 steps with all the advice and resources I’ve picked up hundreds of hours of personal time and years in the industry that will allow any student to take their passion, focus it, and find their place in the industry. I’ve packaged that with over $500 in discounts on industry certified renewabel energy training for students that want to supplement their degrees.
  3. The Super Intern Search – The Super Intern Search search allows college students to apply for internships at awesome green companies. Companies comes to us to find awesome interns, and we find them.The problem with the traditional internship search is that 1) its take too much time to sort through 100s of resumes 2) resume and cover letters are not good indicators of someones ability to produce 3) most green companies really need interns but are growing very quickly and don’t have the time to sort through resume or hand hold interns.

Our first company is a Cambridge based start up called Wattzy. See the below video if you’d like to apply for a summer internship in Boston.

If you’d like to apply: Here is the important information

Company: Wattzy. A Boston based company that is creating an online platform where households will compete to save energy
Position: Summer intern. $1k Stipend over 10 weeks

  1. Create online content about energy efficiency with short article and blog posts
  2. Manage online community, facebook, twitter, face to face events.


  1. PASSIONATE about energy efficiency
  2. Go-getters, producers, will take the bull by the horns type of people.
  3. Amazing writing skills
  4. A plus is HTML/CSS, Blogging, Social Media skills and experience

Application Process

  1. Create a 30 second video with you name, college, and why you’re awesome and will be a super intern
  2. ‘Like’ The Green Collar Job Guide on Facebook so that we can follow up with you
  3. With you video attached post the following to your Facebook status: “@Greencollarjobguide this is my video application for the Wattzy Super Intern Search” This will be how you submit your application, we will not accept applications in any other form.
  4. The last day for submissions is on Monday May 31st, and we will only be accepting the first 100 applications
  5. We will follow up with best applications on May 31.

Why Are we using Facebook and Video instead of resumes?

  1. Resume are too susceptible to good writing skills that cover up actual passion and ability to get things done, video is not.
  2. With the video, you still have to prove your qualifications
  3. Growing companies really value interns but don’t have to time so sort through stacks of resumes
  4. Everyone is already on Facebook
  5. Video is harder to make, so naturally only those who are the most passionate will apply.

I look forward to seeing all the applications. As always, I’m always looking for feedback and input and if you have any questions please ask them.

This is my attempt to help college student start their career in the green industry. What else can we do? Perhaps a mentor-ship program? Very interested to hearing any and all feedback.

Chris Williams

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Chris Williams

About Chris Williams

Chris Williams is the editor of Green Light Distrikt and Chief Marketing Officer at HeatSpring . He has experience in business development, prototyping and new venture research with a focus on geothermal heat pumps, solar thermal and solar photovoltaic technologies. Chris is an IGSHPA accredited geothermal installer and NABCEP certified solar installer. Chris is focused on solving customer facing issues in the creation and adoption of clean energy technologies and products. Chris has installed over 300kW of solar and tens of geothermal systems. He's invented the PV Pal , developed many trainings at HeatSpring, publishes the NABCEP Study Guide , the Hitchhikers Guide to Cleantech and has done due diligence research for Urgent VC . Feel free to connect with him @topherwiliams , on Linkedin , or through email about new ventures, collaborating, writing, research or whatever is on your mind.

  • Megan Atkinson


    This post is just great! I’m glad I stopped in to read it. I am a soon-to-be graduate of an Alternative Energy Engineering program at a community college and find that a lot of my fellow students have the same questions addressed in this blog and its associated links. I have been fortunate enough to already start my green career in the energy management/efficiency industry and often am asked similar questions.

    If Wattzy ever needs a guest writer, please let me know. I’d love to contribute to such an awesome venture.


    Megan Atkinson

  • Chris Williams


    Thanks for the kind words and for stopping by, I’m glad the information has been useful.

    I’ll let you know about Wattzy, right now, any facebook love and spreading the word would be really helpful! It’ll be a great position for someone!

    Again, thanks for stopping by.