Claire A. Hampton ’21 is an environmental studies major with a minor in education whose interests focus on sustainable business and environmental ethics.
While at Bryn Mawr, Claire has sought out every opportunity to expand her knowledge and gain new experiences, including doing a junior year abroad at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, earning a business certificate at the University of California-Berkeley HAAS Summer BASE program, and attending the University of Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment Summer School.
Never one to wait for the last minute to make future plans, Claire had, while studying abroad in Singapore, applied for an internship with Renewable Energy Groups’ Corporate Environmental and Social Responsibility Department.
After submitting her application, participating in a phone screening, and then a two-hour interview with four different company representatives, she was offered spot in the highly competitive program in October for the summer of 2020 at the REG headquarters in Ames, Iowa.
“It would have been my first time in the Midwest and I was beyond excited to be surrounded by even more corn than southeastern rural Pennsylvania offers,” says the Pottstown, Pa., native.
However, as the COVID-19 crisis unfolded, Hampton learned from REG that while they’d still hold the program, everything would have to be done virtually.
“They shipped me my company computer a week before our start date, as well as an Iowa-themed care package, to provide me with all the essentials I needed. After a virtual Zoom rally, 41 other interns and I started our 12-week program.”
Undeterred by the move to a virtual internship, Claire spent the summer gaining expertise in the corporate environmental and social responsibility field through numerous assignments.
She learned how companies can increase public disclosure around their carbon footprint and governance policies through environmental social governance reports. Working with REG’s philanthropy committee on partnership development, she researched and recommended multiple national environmental organizations based on their influence and stance on biofuels. She also conducted focus groups to gain employee insight on REG’s company purpose, presenting the results at the Senior Leadership Conference to 100-plus people in upper management.
REG has each intern complete a capstone project to present to the senior leadership team. Claire’s capstone project was on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. She presented to more than 50 employees including the CEO, CFO, VP of business development, VP of manufacturing, and the treasurer.
“Bryn Mawr College helped prepare me for my virtual internship by teaching me the value of preparation, collaboration, hard work, and instilling confidence in everything I do. I chose Bryn Mawr for the unique environment a women’s college offers. As an incoming student, I was looking for a college that supported my pursuit of knowledge and professors that encouraged me to follow my passions. Throughout my internship, I have called on the expertise I learned at Bryn Mawr whether that be from my environmental studies major, the value of diversity from my peers, or the confidence to speak up in group settings. Bryn Mawr College helped prepare me to thrive at this international company in this virtual environment.”
In addition to her studies, Claire is the Mock Trial Team founder, co-founder and co-president of the Pre-Law Society, a member of the varsity Lacrosse team, a Student Athlete Mentor, a member of the Leadership Academy Mentorship Program, a lifeguard, and a study abroad student coordinator.
Claire plans to pursue a career in corporate social responsibility and hopes to continue working with renewable energy companies in the future.