When she graduates from Clark University this May, Lizzie Lloyd ’19 hopes to land a job in sustainable development. Her summer internships in Germany, working in the world of environmental politics, could help her get there.
“I believe my résumé will be much more competitive,” Lloyd says. “My internships have shown me how many different paths are open to people with my kind of education and background.”
At Clark, Lloyd is a double-major in German studies (student-designed) and international development and social change, with a concentration in environment and sustainability.
Last summer, thanks to a competitive Émigré Memorial German Internship Fellowship, she interned with state parliaments in Germany, including working with a Green Party representative to advance environmental and social issues.
“My majors expose me to the most diverse issues this world has to offer and give me hope that even students like me — small pieces in a much larger puzzle — have room to make a change,” Lloyd says. “Without them, I don’t think I would have ever been able to work in the German parliament and gain critical experience in my field of sustainable politics.”
The Abington, Pennsylvania, native first interned for the Alliance 90/The Greens in the state parliament (Landtag) of Baden-Württemberg, in southwest Germany. The Greens faction is one of the largest green state associations in Germany.
Lloyd later worked in the Justice and Agrarian departments of the Landtag in Schwerin, the capital of the northeastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
Below, we asked Lloyd about her internships and her Clark experience.
What did you do during your internships?
During my first internship with the Greens in Baden-Württemberg, I worked in the office of representative Jutta Niemann for five weeks. Representative Niemann was elected into the Landtag as the first Green representative of the Schwäbisch Hall constituency in 2016, and has since served as the speaker on energy politics.
My internship fit my interests perfectly. I have researched the Green Party’s politics for several years, and have always been impressed and inspired by their progressiveness and determination for positive change. The Green Party currently holds the most seats in the Baden-Württemberg Landtag, and maintains a powerful coalition with the Christian Democratic Union, which made working in the faction very exciting.
My day-to-day work was very diverse, but my main responsibility was researching topics pertaining to environment, traffic, and green energy. I was also able take part in different Landtag events, including multiple neo-Nazi underground investigation hearings; debates between representatives of different parties; press conferences, educational and environmental ministerial meetings; and tours of the administration buildings.
In addition, I was introduced to many important individuals within the Landtag and was allowed to interview them. These people included the Minister of Environment Franz Untersteller and Landtag President Muhterem Aras, the first female Muslim president in German state parliament.
For my second internship in the Justice and Agrarian departments of the Landtag in Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, my main assignment was researching and writing reports on Baltic Sea maritime relations.
The first report was on the events and achievements of the 2017 Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference (BSPC), of which Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s Landtag President Sylvia Bretschneider is executive chair. It was my duty to research and collect articles and information on the BSPC, summarize them, translate relevant documents into English, and then compile them into comprehensive reports.
I wrote a journal piece for the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Landtag main website to share information from the reports and inform citizens on the activity of their representatives in the Baltic Sea. I also wrote a speech in English for President Bretschneider to announce the Maritime reports at a conference.
How might this experience help you with your post-college goals?
I have developed a professional, organized work ethic, bettered my communication and language skills and learned how to work efficiently in fast-paced environments. There are many social and systemic pressures that make it difficult for women to find their place in politics, especially with the current administration, but I will always pursue opportunities with vigor and diligence regardless of the obstacles.
How has your faculty adviser helped you?
I would dedicate most of my success here at Clark to my German faculty adviser, Robert Tobin. He has been extremely supportive in planning and facilitating my German curriculum and helped me secure my internship in the German parliament. He is also a renowned figure in German cultural studies, so it was an honor getting to learn and grow under his mentorship.
Who else has mentored you at Clark?
Graduate School of Geography Professor James McCarthy has played a critical role in defining my success at Clark as well. The two fundamental courses that sparked my desire to work in sustainability politics were taught by him, and his enthusiastic yet wise teaching style always left me wanting to learn more. Under his mentorship, I am interning this spring with the Environmental Voter Project in Boston.
What do you hope to do after you graduate from Clark?
I would like to become an environmental consultant for international businesses and advise on sustainability practices, policies, and technologies. I have also always had a dream to get into politics, so one day I might decide to pursue becoming a foreign-service officer to advocate for green initiatives, diplomacy, and equality.
How has your time at Clark helped prepare you for your next endeavor?
The knowledge I will carry with me from Clark has transformed my career path and passions so much, and I am thankful to all the professors who never let me quit. I have developed skills during my four years at Clark that will be critical in defining my future success in whatever career I land. Clark also has offered me many connections and opened my eyes to possibilities I didn’t even know existed.
As a girl from a small city in Pennsylvania, I am proud to have traveled the world and gotten involved in movements so much bigger than myself.