Internship: Lever, Inc.
College: Bennington College
Sangeeth Raja is preparing to change the world through a career that will help bring sustainable energy projects to fruition—and he discovered his passion as an intern at Lever.
Currently studying for a master’s in public policy at the Hertie School in Berlin, Germany, Sangeeth grew up in Delhi, India, and first came to the U.S. as a student at Bennington College in Vermont. In 2015, Lever had just started its internship program, and Sangeeth, a first-year student, heard about the opportunity from the college’s Dean of Career Services.
He ended up being the youngest management consulting intern that summer, and the only student from Bennington. “This was the first time I did something and got paid for it,” he said.
The summer between Sangeeth’s freshman and sophomore year was spent analyzing data and pitching ways major Berkshire employers could spend more money locally, developing elevator pitches for Lever fundraising, and working with mentors like Lever board member Richard Morgenthal.
He also worked on a special project—designing a plan for how Bennington could finance solar power on campus. He presented his work to Bennington’s CFO and executives from MountainOne Bank. “It got me interested in renewable energy and how you finance it,” he said. “That was my baby. It was very cool, because Lever Executive Director Jeffrey Thomas encouraged me to do it.”
After graduating from Bennington in 2018, he moved to Berlin to attend Hertie, and took a gap year after the pandemic struck, spending time working in Delhi, India, at the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, South Asia’s leading think tank on energy and climate issues. There, he worked on reports about the cost of thermal decommissioning and using super efficient appliances for energy demand management. Now, as he enters his final year at Hertie, he’s working at the Berlin management consulting firm Apricum, which works on solutions for clean tech.
“I think back on my internship at Lever as one of the times where I learned the most, without doubt,” Sangeeth said. “Now my field is energy and climate—that journey started at Lever with the solar project.”
Sangeeth is examining his options for post grad life—he may pursue a Ph.D., join a think tank, or join a renewable energy consulting firm. “Every generation has their big challenge. We need to keep this planet from falling apart,” he said. “It’s an incredibly complex problem, but I think there’s low-hanging fruit to be had, and I think renewable energy is one of those things.”