Meet 3Degrees climate consultant Karlina Wu. Karlina is based in Salt Lake City, Utah and is a consultant on our growing Energy and Climate Practice team. We talked with Karlina about her job, what it was like to join 3Degrees as a remote worker, and learned how she connects her values and passions to the work she does every day.
I’m a consultant on our Energy and Climate Practice (ECP) team, which is a team within 3Degrees that does climate consulting work. I’m on the strategy team, and every day is really different! We tackle all sorts of projects like greenhouse gas inventories, climate goal setting, and carbon credit strategy. A day in my life is pretty different depending on the week, but that’s what I love about my work, that it varies so much. One day I could be doing a ton of brainstorming with teammates and being creative, and another day I could be really deep into research. I also love building things, so we work on building tools and models for our clients to better help them achieve their goals.
During the pandemic I took a really hard look at my career and my life, and what I wanted to focus my time and energy on. After this reflection, I found that I wanted to do impactful climate work, and it was important to me that I was somewhere that was encouraging that and working towards that mission, and that’s how I found 3Degrees!
I love being outside, and it’s partially why I moved to Utah so I could be around all the beautiful nature here. Depending on the season I like snowboarding, biking, camping, and hiking; anything that brings me closer to nature and reminds me of the importance of our work. So much of our human activity directly impacts these natural environments, so when I do my work I can directly tie what I’m doing to what I love. Whenever I see somewhere beautiful, it inspires me to work harder.
I’m excited about working on something that’s so much bigger than myself. When I go outside and look at my beautiful surroundings, when I meet people, I feel that what I do directly impacts the lives of others and their environments, as well as my own. I’m also inspired by the people I work with every day. Folks at 3Degrees have such great minds, and working to help our clients make a difference and do the right thing gives me so much hope for the future.
It’s also exciting that we’re at the forefront of climate work. In my previous work experiences, usually something has been done before, or there is a gold standard best practice to follow. But for us at 3Degrees, things change rapidly. The standards, the science, the way people approach solutions — they are all constantly evolving and it’s so dynamic. It’s really exciting because as consultants and experts we are constantly learning and it's really fun to stay on top of all that! It’s one of those things that really pushes me professionally.
Everyone is very kind and thoughtful, and everyone believes they have something to contribute and something to learn. When I work with my teammates there’s so much knowledge sharing and an extreme thoughtfulness with what we do. We are working towards something extremely urgent and important, and we are very mindful about the positive impact we are making. That thoughtfulness definitely trickles into the way we work with each other and the way we treat each other.
The culture has also shifted because of the increase in remote work. Because we have a remote team and are global across so many time zones, it’s important we spend time with each other to build rapport and learn about each other as professionals and humans.
Being remote has been quite an adjustment from my previous roles; I used to always be in person with coworkers and clients. 3Degrees does a great job of creating connections and encouraging people to be curious about each other and spend time learning from each other and doing things that are not related to a project or being productive.
We have a carveout for time and budget to do social activities, like doing Deep Dives where someone presents on a project and it contributes to your learning and connection. One of my favorite activities we did was we got on Zoom and talked about our alternate universe career and put up a virtual background. It's fun to learn about each other and see our teammates in a multidimensional way. And as people have started to travel a little more, whenever I’m in the same area as a coworker we grab a coffee or have a workday together.
I really like my Health and Wellness benefit, and I use it for my rock climbing gym membership. It's been an incredible benefit because through it I’ve been able to meet like-minded people who have similar passions for nature and the environment.