Summary of your experience:
What did you learn as a result of this experience?
The most important thing that I learned in my opinion was that European communities have a group mindset instead of the individualist mindset that most people in America have. They work together as communities to change things for the better. This is important because I learned that it is a very effective way to get things done. If I ever need to make changes in my community, I will remember what I learned over there and possibly be able to implement it to change life here for the better.
I learned that diversification of renewable energy systems is important in creating a reliable grid system based completely on renewables. Putting many types of renewables together (especially solar and wind) is the best way to counteract the lulls in energy generation that occur when one type does not work as well. I learned that Europeans were able to achieve huge percentages of renewable energy in their grid (80-100% renewables compared to Michigan’s future goal of 10% when we have much more land and potential) without using large-scale renewables farms.
How has your Alma Venture solidified or altered your career goals?
I plan to research and develop renewable energy technologies, so learning about what is on the cutting edge of renewable energy technology in Europe (which is more advanced than in the U.S.) and seeing it firsthand gives me some ideas that could be implemented in the U.S. and could help inspire my future career projects.
What was the most rewarding experience during your Alma Venture?
I really love to travel and seeing a wide variety of cultures and countries and how they are all interconnected was really amazing.
What advice would you give a student considering this type of Alma Venture?
Borrello was really good about planning an amazing trip that the students didn’t have to worry about. It was very clear what our exact schedule was months beforehand and any questions were answered promptly.