Written by Vincent Kinget
Internships are often a stepping stone into the real world of work, a transition from classroom theory to hands-on experience. My six-week internship at BrightWolves was not just a journey of professional development, but a remarkable exploration of teamwork and personal growth.
A Belgian Adventure: My First Taste of the Workplace
As someone with roots from Belgium but raised abroad, my internship at BrightWolves was my first professional experience in the country. I had just completed my first year of university in Belgium and my internship allowed me further explore the Belgian professional work experience. Navigating the professional landscape of Belgium was both exciting and enlightening, as I embraced the local work culture and contributed my skills to a firm committed to the country's sustainable future.
From the moment I stepped into the office, I felt welcomed and part of the team, and many of the nerves I was feeling seemed to disappear. My colleagues went above and beyond to make me feel welcomed, offering friendly smiles, introductions, and casual conversations about our vacations. Their inclusive approach created an environment where I felt valued and an integral part of the team right from the start. This warm reception not only eased my transition into the internship, but also instilled a strong sense of belonging at BrightWolves.
BrightWolves: Where Sustainability Meets Consultancy
At BrightWolves, sustainability is at the core of its being. Before I even walked through the door, it was clear to me that every decision is made with its impact in mind. With a commitment to creating positive change and innovative solutions, BrightWolves offers an ideal platform for young professionals like me to dive into the world of sustainability.
As a member of the sustainability team, I dove straight into the firm's ethos of sustainability, innovation, and community engagement from day one. The opportunity to work with professionals who are passionate about making a meaningful impact on society was exhilarating. I came to meet many experts in the field of sustainability and the members of the BrightWolves team were eager to have me involved in conversations about the topic. I began laying the foundations for the BrightWolves Impact Book, a book that aims to display the sustainability impact of BrightWolves and the future goals to become a leader in the field. Through this process, I talked to many consultants on the sustainability team about both their professional work and the many different internal or external events BrightWolves hosts with regard to sustainability.
Shaping the Future: Crafting a Belgian city’s Climate Goals
The central focus of my internship at Brightwolves was collaborating on a significant project: assisting a Belgian city in formulating its climate goals and how they will be financed. This project was not only intellectually stimulating but also deeply rewarding, as it allowed me to contribute to the sustainability of a city I had come to know and love as a student.
My responsibilities included doing research towards risks at different levels of the plan and other relevant topics, assisting in formulating investment methods for individual projects, and the creation of compelling presentations to communicate our recommendations effectively. Working closely with experienced consultants, I gained insights into the intricacies of sustainability consulting, especially when working with the public sector, witnessing firsthand the complexities and nuances of helping a city become more environmentally responsible.
Empowering Sustainability: The BrightWolves Sustainability Challenge
Beyond the climate goals project, I had the privilege of being a part of organizing and hosting the BrightWolves Sustainability Challenge. The event is host to a group of startups in sustainability who compete in front of a jury for a month of free consulting from BrightWolves. The event is designed to ignite innovation and foster sustainability initiatives among our partners, clients, and most importantly, the BrightWolves team itself. It was an exciting experience to be at the forefront of this dynamic initiative, which brought together sustainability experts and the most innovative sustainability startups.
The challenge was also an opportunity for me to put my public speaking skills into action. While not always my favorite thing to do, it was important to ensuring a seamless flow between speakers and strict time limits so we could start our dinner on time.
Autonomy and Confidence: The Cornerstones of Growth
One of the most impactful aspects of my internship at BrightWolves was the level of autonomy I enjoyed in my work. This independence not only allowed me to take ownership of my projects, but also empowered me to make my own decisions. While daunting at first, it quickly built my confidence in the process. While my colleagues provided valuable guidance and support, the freedom to explore my ideas and strategies was instrumental in my personal and professional development.
My internship at Brightwolves was a whirlwind of growth, learning, and fulfillment. It not only deepened my understanding of consulting, but also left me with newfound confidence in my abilities. The experience of shaping a city’s climate goals and organizing the Sustainability Challenge was not just professionally rewarding, but personally transformative. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of BrightWolves and look forward to a future where I can continue to make a positive impact on sustainability and society.
Interested to apply for an internship in our sustainability team? Contact Peter-Jan Roose