My work with fellow Environmental Studies students during the Maine Food Systems Innovation Challenge to create a business plan that would alleviate food waste in Maine revealed Maine’s emerging entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to improving food systems. As I met with local microbrewery owners and farmers I began to wonder: how can the private sector and the sustainability movement overlap to foster a better world? Following the Maine Food Systems Innovation Challenge, I came to truly believe in the power of business and entrepreneurship in improving our world and conserving our natural resources. As a Summer Startup Intern for Forager, a technology startup in Portland, Maine that connects local food suppliers and buyers, I can gain exposure to these connections and explore the aforementioned question.
My coursework, previous jobs, and wide exposure to the environmental field qualify me to work as a startup intern for Forager. In courses such as Forest Ecology and Conservation, Hydrology and Geology, and Earth, Ocean, and Society, I have advanced my data analysis skills and worked with Arc GIS and statistical analysis programs. In my Forest Ecology and Conservation course, I used Arc GIS to develop an initial trail system that could be used for mountain biking, walking, running, and cross country skiing on the property. In multiple science classes, I have become comfortable using statistical analysis (R) to understand complex, multi-variable data sets. My history major has expanded my writing capabilities and taught me how to effectively communicate with others. Working as an alumni caller has cultivated my ability to converse over the phone and persuade the Bowdoin community to financially support their Alma matter. Organizing Outing Club Orientation Trips for the incoming freshman class sharpened my communication and leadership skills; it is no small feat to send out an entire class and their leaders into the wilderness! My work during the Maine Food Systems Innovation Challenge and in the Environmental Studies major gives me a unique and deep understanding of the Forager’s demographic and clientele. I have worked with farmers and businesses involved in food who are simultaneously eager about emerging technology and skeptical of technology’s ramifications on traditional farming and food distribution.