Each summer, Sustainable Business Consulting partners with Juma Ventures, an organization that helps hire young people who are actively working to make their career dreams a reality, to find a summer intern in the office. An office experience helps students like Max gain valuable problem solving, business operations, and critical thinking skills while gaining real-world experience. We love having new energy in the office and hearing about Max’s big ideas for sustainability. Learn more about our new intern, Max below!
- Tell us a little about yourself!
My name is Max Ridgeway, I’m nineteen years old and I attend South Seattle College. Like most teenagers, I enjoy spending time with friends and playing sports such as tennis and basketball. However, my priority in life is self-improvement as I believe our individual purpose is to enhance ourselves mentally, spiritually and socially while maintaining our physical and nutritional well-being. I consistently meditate, look to better my eating habits and read self-development books. I believe anything is possible given the right mindset and approach, which leads me to regularly evaluate different ways to approach a given situation.
- Why are you passionate about sustainability?
My interest in sustainability stems from my passion for climate change and is further derived from my general love for the environment. A couple of months back I posted a video on climate change. After reading some critical but helpful comments, I decided to develop a more sustainable diet and lifestyle in accordance to my environmental views. Conceiving and implementing a sustainable future is the only option if we want to save our earth. Therefore, when the opportunity to intern with a sustainability company arose, pursuing was a no-brainer.
- What are you most excited about learning and doing during your internship?
This summer, I am eager to further my knowledge of sustainability and my understanding of climate change. I am also excited to brainstorm creative alternatives to spread the integration of sustainability in the workplace as well as at home. I further look forward to learning the different business aspects of sustainability and how I can apply them in my future.
- What is your dream career?
In truth, I don’t necessarily have a dream career, but I have always dreamed big and aspired to be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship endeavors I consider include starting an investment/brokerage firm, a news outlet, or a renewables company (solar or wind). I also contemplate going into politics as I enjoy public speaking and am quite passionate about various political issues.
- What do you think is the biggest misconception about your generation?
The Generation Z stereotype that claims “we’re lazy and entitled” bothers me the most. It’s a common misconception that my generation doesn’t want to work hard, nor do we take feedback well. In reality, my generation has lived through the real estate crisis of 2008 and have seen or felt the effects. We are more reluctant to take on student loans, more conscious of the boom-bust-boom cycle in the economy and more vigilant as to the formation of economic bubbles. Gen Z is not without their flaws (short attention span, social media reliance, etc.), but we’re persistent and determined to make a difference.
- If you had a magic wand and could change anything about the world, what would you do?
If I had a magic wand, I would wish for slower but consistent economic growth to maintain a stable economy. I would drop unemployment and homelessness rates to zero percent. Next, I would ensure equal funding of schools through the removal of school funding by property taxes. Following the theme of equality, I would ensure the equal representation of racial demographics in each neighborhood to prevent any sort of racial disparity. Finally, I would ban fossil fuels, single-use plastics, unnecessary waste, deforestation, and overfishing.
- What do you do in your free time?
In my free time, I enjoy hiking, socializing with my friends and staying active with sports. You can find me fueling my coffee and kombucha addiction or indulging in foreign cuisines and cultures. As a consumer, I surf the web for interesting articles, read self-improvement books, binging movies/T.V. shows and watching YouTube videos.
- Who inspires you?
The main inspiration in my life comes from my parents, who raised me to be open-minded, accepting, respectful and empathetic. My friend Phanuel’s family taught me the importance of meditation and balancing chakras. I learned that life is spiritual and that too often I get too caught up in the norms and expectations of society. Jermaine Cole (J. Cole) and Nasir Jones (Nas), my favorite rappers, opened my eyes to the racial and religious disparities both nationally and internationally. Finally, Leonardo DiCaprio sparked my interest in the environment and climate change through his Instagram posts and environmental documentary “Before the Flood”. Leonardo DiCaprio has used his platform to raise awareness on climate change and regularly calls on his followers to act.
- Do you have a secret talent?
I don’t mean to brag or anything, but I can name all fifty states in under thirty seconds.
- What would you want your last meal on Earth to be?
My last meal would have to be a ripe avocado and a pita plate with falafel, hummus, and cucumber.