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My Experience as an ATI Associate

The following post was written by former ATI Associate, Alexa Chally.

As an undergraduate Geography major, exposure to the business world was hard to come by, especially through internships. While the environment is my passion, I knew I needed professional experience to truly excel in my field. Landing a spot with the Clean Energy Incubator (CEI) at ATI was the perfect fit: a winning combination of environmentally thoughtful companies, opportunities to participate and gain experience, and the ability to network.

Some of my favorite and most useful times were spent in meetings; I loved being a fly on the wall and soaking up every detail. I learned how to interact professionally in different situations and with all sorts of people. I learned what characteristics make or break a start-up and how to find and fix them. I learned how to condense and present the most pertinent and useful information from an hour-long presentation into a thirty-second elevator speech.  ATI was also a ticket into groundbreaking events in the Austin area like South by Southwest Eco and the Defense Energy Summit.

On top of these incredible opportunities, I had the chance to work with our CEI companies on a variety of projects. This included market research, event planning and executing, and constructing databases. I was able to explore interests and choose what projects I wanted. I even got to work with ATI’s close partner, the non-profit CleanTX, planning all events and creating a clean energy company database.

Probably the most memorable time for me was the first Clean Energy beers I attended a few months before I was scheduled to begin. When I was first hired at ATI, I had no idea how to network and frankly the thought of it terrified me! However, my gracious boss and CEI Director Mitch Jacobson threw me to the wolves and started to introduce me to everyone at the event. Yes, it was scary for me, the little undergrad. However, I learned very quickly and am eternally grateful for that shove. ATI always pushed you to try new things, meet new people, and add new skills, whether you were ready or not.

Working with the ATI team and closely with CEI Director Mitch Jacobson was one of the best experiences I’ve had. Everyone at ATI is an absolute blast and so much fun to be around. The office team and Associates alike are always smiling and willing to help with anything they can, and best of all they’re focused on personal development. ATI alumni are consistently successful and well-rounded individuals, taking their industries by storm.  I was so blessed to be taken in to the ATI family and feel confident that my year at ATI built a strong foundation for any career I may choose.