June 18, 2012:

By: Rena Avramidis

Happy Monday!  Right now I’m taking a break at the Hub Berkeley, so I thought it would be a good time to update you on a few highlights of  the past week.

On Monday I attended my first event at the Hub Berkeley.  C12 Energy hosted a networking night that brought together activists, engineers, consultants and professors that work in the alternative energy sector.  C12 was started at the Harvard Energy Club and moved to Berkeley and consists of a team of geologists, scientists and engineers.  Their company’s work, in one sentence :  “C12  Energy captures CO2 from industrial sources, stores that CO2 in appropriate geologic strata, and uses that CO2 to increase oil production at maturing oil fields.” ….please don’t ask me to explain, because I don’t know much about what this means, either ?

Regardless of my lack of knowledge on the topic, it  was a cool experience, nontheless.  This was actually my first-ever networking event and I definitely learned a few things:

*Networking is awkward.  Really awkward.  Or maybe just for me because I am an intern with limited knowledge on alternative energy and these are professionals and experts in the field who know a lot, I felt like much of the conversation was very forced and unnatural.    Thankfully I could exercise my listening skills and listened to people and the interesting work that they do.

*Networking is important.  As unnatural as it seems, this is definitely a time to stretch behind your comfort zone and make connections.  There were a lot of business cards circulating around throughout the evening and it definitely makes sense –  networking is an easy, one-stop shot at getting your name or company out in the open.  Although I wasn’t personally seeking anything of the like, I did enjoy talking to different people, including a University physics professor,  who rambled on and on about his theories on science education (crazy Einstein hair, spitting as he spoke…you bet!)  an intellectual property lawyer who spent 20 minutes convincing me why I should go law school (and I won’t lie, has made me reconsider my recent decision to opt out of the J le prix du viagra.D.), a UC Berkeley PhD student who studies nano-geo-something engineering (who was really nice though a  wee-bit pretentious) and a  hippie-activist who made me laugh because she was so giddy to meet my boss (who manages the Hub Berkeley) and learn more about the Hub and was so happy when I offered to introduce her to him!  Definitely a “real-world” job experience  I’m looking forward  to attending more content-focused Hub events (and helping run them, which is part of my internship) because they cover such interesting topics and bring in really memorable people.

For my other internship at YellowLeaf Hammocks, I have been doing a lot of writing, which is great!  My supervisors want us to write at least two blog posts a week (one “Marketing” post related to the company and its products  and one “Personal” post on any topic related to Development, Social Enterprise and the like.  This week I wrote about La Fageda, a Spanish yogurt company based in Catalonia (where I studied last semester) that employs the town’s mentally disabled citizens.  I’ll make sure to include the link when it’s live!

Besides work, I had a lot of fun this week exploring some local gems of Berkeley – namely Yoga to the People and the Food Trucks, which have just  started up weekly for the summer.  Yoga to the People is  a donations-based yoga studio that offers classes up to six times a day and is a great 60-minute workout.  I went with my co-intern and it was so great that I went again on Saturday and plan to go again on days I don’t go running.

On Wednesday I went to the food trucks in downtown Berkeley with some of my housemates. Imagine trucks of any kind of food you could imagine – Tex Mex, Japanese, burgers, cupcakes…!  There were a lot of young people out and it was nice to just chill out and enjoy the cool summer night.  I got a Tiramisu cupcake and it may as well have been the most delicious cupcake I have ever, ever consumed. Yum.  I Will definitely be going back this week and already have a goal to try the food of each truck by the end of the summer.

This weekend I met up with friends and went to the NorthBeach festival, one of many summer festivals in San Francisco.  Lots of foods, vendors with quirky items for sale and live music located in the crossroads of  Chinatown and Little Italy, two of the many charming ethnic communities in SF.  I also stumbled across my first Banksy designs by complete accident!! Banksy is British graffiti artist and political activist, and one of my  personal favorites, and has and has done some graphics in SF.  One of my summer bucket-list items  is actually to find all of his work in SF, so it was really cool to stumble across it spontaneously!

Here are some pictures. Enjoy!

The view about half-way through a long run– absolutely stunning!
Current exhibit in the Hub SF art gallery
Banksy Street Art in SF!
NorthBeach Festival

Have a great week, everyone!