Energy and Sustainability Policy
Program Office

Alumni Spotlight

ESP Alumni, Amanda Fuller and her husband at Red Rock Canyon

ESP Alumna, Amanda Fuller and her husband at Red Rock Canyon

Alumni Spotlight: Amanda Fuller

Mandy Fuller began working for ICF as an Energy Efficiency Program Consultant in August of 2012, after graduating with a BA in ESP. Today, she’s still with the company, and enjoys being part of a team that works to be a positive impact on the communities they serve.

When graduation drew near for Mandy, she jumped into job searching full throttle, “I was checking multiple sites almost daily for positions in sustainability or energy-related work. I used mainstream sites like Indeed.com, green job specific sites, and frequently checked for job postings on the websites of particular organizations.” Her hard work and dedication paid off when she found the position at ICF.

As an Energy Efficiency Program Consultant, Mandy manages the behavioral energy programs for a utility. She evaluates the client’s needs regarding marketing, customer service, and data and budgetary issues. “I also work with the ICF team to continually improve our behavioral program offerings and design.” In addition, Mandy is a member of a team that works to develop new programs based on the newest technologies and trends and then works with clients to bring those ideas to fruition. “I work with a team of other energy efficiency program managers from varied backgrounds. The diversity in experience makes collaboration much more interesting.“

“The best part of this job is working for a company with varied areas of expertise.” In addition to their commercial energy division, ICF also has contracts in defense, public health, climate change, and education domains. Mandy really feels that the diversity of work encourages outside of the box thinking, saying “It’s great to be able to use colleagues as resources!”

Mandy feels that many of her ESP courses prepared her for professional success at ICF. The policy making and evaluation-focused courses as well as the writing and speaking courses were particularly valuable. “Professional writing & public speaking is scary for almost everyone - we can all benefit from extra practice in these areas!”

Mandy appreciates the flexibility her full time position at ICF affords her. “I’m able to set a schedule that works with my carpool, family commitments, or other challenges. I’m also able to telecommute two to three days a week.” The ability to contribute to meaningful work while still taking care of other responsibilities is a priceless perk to the job that Mandy already loves.

Mandy’s advice to current ESP students: “Be patient. Some markets are less progressive than others in terms of energy policy, making jobs fewer and farther between. Once you find something, don’t be afraid to take chances and jump on opportunities. The more you learn, the more valuable you become as an employee and a citizen.”

You can connect with ESP alumni like Mandy by joining the ESP LinkedIn group called “Penn State ESP Majors and Alumni”.

The ESP Program

ESPBA and ESPBS are both fully online degrees are offered by the Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. The program is delivered by the College’s Dutton e-Education Institute in cooperation with the University’s World Campus.

The Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science in Energy and Sustainability Policy are both 120-credit programs, with the same General Education requirements and the same prescribed and additional coursework for the major. For a full listing of this common coursework, see Courses. The remaining requirements are specific to each degree, as described on the ESPBA and ESPBS pages.

All aspects of the program are carefully designed for online learners who require flexibility and are often managing full lives with career and family. Student advising is handled on a one-on-one basis, first-hand by faculty in the ESP program.

Both of the ESP programs' curriculum emphasize five competency areas:

  • Energy Industry Knowledge
  • Sustainability Ethic
  • Global Perspective
  • Analytical Skills
  • Communication Skills

In choosing which ESP program best meets your needs, students are encouraged to consider personal interests and strengths, professional aspirations, and plans you may have for graduate school. For those with prior learning experience, the applicability of earlier coursework to degree requirements may also be a consideration.