An Analytical Approach to Sustainable Growth
July 27, 2021
4 min read
Madison Gray attends the University of Texas at Austin with majors in Management Information Systems and Plan II Honors (an interdisciplinary liberal arts program).
When she read the Trane Technologies internship description, Madison said, “It seemed like a great match. My passion for sustainability is unwavering, so the company’s description of being a global climate innovator really grabbed me.” After applying to the Enterprise Program for Interns & Co-Ops (EPIC) and receiving an offer as a 2021 data analytics intern, she eagerly accepted the opportunity.
“My interest in sustainability stemmed from my interest in social impact. Girl Scouts introduced me to the idea of helping people long term, so that became instilled in me as a young girl,” she reflects. “I want to help the world in some way, so any place I work for needs to have a strong mission.” At Trane Technologies, she has found just that.
An assigned book for class served as the catalyst for her specific sustainability interests: “I read Garbology by Edward Humes during my freshman year, and it opened my eyes to the importance of zero waste. Now, as I learn about carbon emissions, waste, and returnable packaging within a large company, I figure out how to dig deep into data and perform better analysis on topics that really appeal to me.”
“Data is fascinating to me because it can tell a story if you look at it the right way. I am learning to find the most important patterns within these numbers and make sure that decisions align with our company’s 2030 Commitments,” she shares.
In addition to enabling data driven decisions, Madison is also honing her project management skills this summer. She notes, “I’m a big picture person, and it can be hard to visualize the final outcome when starting a large project. I’m learning to take an overwhelming task one step at a time and focus on the next small step rather than the end result.”
Unlike many college classes, there is no syllabus to guide her through her work. Instead, Madison utilizes her critical thinking and technical abilities to find solutions. “Although it can be frustrating at first, forcing myself to figure something out—instead of relying on detailed instructions—has taught me how to navigate projects effectively.” Candidly, she adds, “It is challenging at times, but leading myself encourages me to be accountable in the workplace. Even if I head in the wrong direction, I’m still learning.”
Data is fascinating to me because it can tell a story if you look at it the right way. I am learning to find the most important patterns within these numbers and make sure that decisions align with our company’s 2030 commitments.
Madison remains impressed by the company’s continued investment in her personal and professional growth. “In the beginning of the summer, we attended professional development sessions. I expected those to slowly die down, but every week, I join an analytics-specific or company-wide intern call about a variety of topics,” she shares. “People go out of their way to plan special events for us, and that helps me feel more connected even though I’m working from home.”
Like many others, Madison appreciates the flexibility to craft her own internship and maximize her learning opportunities. She adds, “My manager has given me personalized projects that align closely with my interests.” While familiarizing herself with systems and software relevant to the industry, she also tailors her experience in preparation for future coursework.
Madison plans to use the knowledge gained from her internship and apply it to her capstone thesis project during her upcoming senior year. She intends to write about accessible, eco-friendly alternatives to single-use plastic packaging in household goods. “While I research this topic in school, I can effectively use consumer data to see what people like and find ways to convince stores to carry eco-friendly options. I hope these products become the norm rather than the exception.”
Beyond her thesis, though, Madison strives to create a positive social impact for many years to come. “Although I would love for sustainable solutions to become more widely adopted, unfortunately companies aren’t going to do anything unless it’s economical. So, my career goal is to help companies make sustainability profitable in order to support the planet and their business.”
Like Madison, Trane Technologies believes in making progress for business in ways that benefit the world. Share this story with goal-oriented, undergraduate students with a passion for sustainability. Trane Technologies offers 12-week, paid summer internships in a wide variety of fields; learn more about our early careers.
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