i am ynpn boston--emily flynn.

Name: Emily Flynn

Profession:Manager of Special Projects

Organization: Sustainable Endowments Institute

Name: Emily Flynn

Profession:Manager of Special Projects

Organization: Sustainable Endowments Institute

Favorite Quote: "I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult." E.B. White

Best Way to Relax After a Long Week: I’m a fast-paced girl, so after a long week there may be some Netflix, some friends, and some wine. (Though I do try to explore Boston more and have been known to go dancing in dark clubs that don’t charge a cover).

Describe Your Professional Journey:

I started my professional nonprofit voyage with two internships at the New England Aquarium, first working in the Wet Lab and touch tanks, and then working inside the Amazon River Basin and the New England Ponds and Rivers. Though unpaid, I gained invaluable insight into how nonprofits operate and how much they rely on creative and skilled workers. Over that time, I did everything they asked of me: I cleaned tanks, talked with visitors, conducted surveys, swallowed a surprising amount of starfish (during tank cleanings), and learned to say yes to whatever task was thrown my way. I try to apply the same mentality where I work now at the Sustainable Endowments Institute (SEI). At SEI, I started as an intern and over time moved upwards, helping to grow the team, take on larger projects, and expand our impact along the way. My colleagues and I focus on reducing college and university energy and resource use through sustainability projects, and it’s been an honor to not only work with a dedicated team on issues I’m passionate about, but to also see real, tangible results across the country.

What Does Professional Development Mean to You?

While I can’t skate for the life of me, I always appreciated Wayne Gretzky’s view on opening yourself up to opportunity: “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” As a young professional, I feel like there is an incredible amount of room to grow and, more importantly, to make mistakes; all those shots you wouldn’t take if you didn’t try. Professional development to me means to put yourself out there, whether that means attending events you wouldn’t normally attend, reading books outside of your normal interests, or having discussions with people both inside and outside of your field, even after work hours. Professional development and personal development are so inextricably tied. I think all of these things work together to make a better, more impactful person.

Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

If I’m not lounging on a beach after having worked with the group that solves the climate crisis, I’d love to be a part of a strong team that is strategically shaping the way the world uses energy and resources effectively.

Pro Tip:

Read everything. I’m a big believer in the idea that the more you read, the more you’ll be able to apply what you learn to both your career and your personal life. And it also makes you more interesting at parties, too.


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