Student: Sanya Jha, Class of 2019 

Position: Environmental Researcher at the United Nations Environment Programme

What is your policy area of interest?  Is there anything you want us to know about you? 

I am a rising second year student with an interest in energy and environmental policies. Prior to enrolling at Harris, I completed my bachelors and masters in Economics in India. My main goal at Harris is to learn more about how environmental science and policy intersect.

Tell us about your internship and the organization you are working with – what is the organization’s mission?

This summer I worked with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in New Delhi, India. UNEP is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.

UNEP’s work encompasses the assessment of global, regional and national environmental conditions and trends, as well as the development of international environmental instruments for a more sustainable world. 

What skills are you using most in your internship? Are there any Harris courses that helped you develop skills you are using?

The skills I am using most often are mixed-methods research and idea organizing for our team. I am involved in projects related to alleviating air pollution and developing solar panels, along with some administrative work. As a part of these projects, I am responsible for preparing concept notes and writing funding proposals. Along with participating in various meetings, I have had the opportunity to understand the various phases of a project from ideation to implementation with a collaborative approach. 

How has this internship helped with your career path as you transition to your second year at Harris?

During the course of this internship, I have been humbled to interact with well-known leaders in my field working toward the same goal of improving India’s environmental situation. They have taught me how to evaluate a problem deeply to ensure a more effective solution by keeping various factors in mind. I feel more prepared for my future career because this is the kind of work that I have always wanted to do. This experience confirmed that I want to continue environmental work, and I am excited to return to Harris to build on this experience with a stronger analytical toolkit.