This is the third and final post in a series of short interviews with IMT's terrific interns. Today we're talking to Todd Sims, IMT's Codes Intern for Summer 2013. Prior to joining IMT, Todd was involved in politics and worked on sustainable building issues in his home state of Alabama.
What are some of the big things you’ve been working on during your time at IMT?
Getting to work on the SAVE Act has certainly been a major focus. A lot of hard work by a lot of great people went into getting this ready before the August recess. To have it scheduled for floor action is incredibly gratifying.
You have this interesting juxtaposition between working on major federal legislation in the SAVE Act and other efforts like working with states and municipalities to help them improve their compliance rates with the International Energy Conservation Code. The biggest energy savings won’t be realized until we are successful on both fronts.
What were you doing before you came to IMT and what led you to want to work here?
Immediately before coming here I was working on a campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives.
Prior to that, I worked for a sustainable building organization in Birmingham, Alabama. Among other things, we produced a series of conferences, expos, and educational events to really raise awareness of the issue in a region that hadn’t been very exposed to the concept [of making buildings more energy-efficient]. At the same time I was pursuing my B.A. in Political Science from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. I met Cliff while I was still a senior in school and I was impressed then at everyone’s level of dedication to the issue.
What’s been the biggest highlight of your internship so far?
By far I would have to say being asked to represent IMT in meetings with Senate staff. I think the level of confidence and trust it takes to ask someone to do that is an incredible motivational tool. A lot of interns come to DC and only learn how to balance multiple cups of coffee. But at IMT, everyone makes sure we continue to learn and have meaningful experiences every day.
Is there something you’ve learned about energy efficiency through working at IMT that you never would have thought about otherwise?
Being here has really put into focus the idea that the cheapest, most sustainable energy is the energy we can avoid using.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself, non-energy related.
I keep an original script from Aaron Sorkin’s “The West Wing” on my desk at all times. A friend of mine who worked on the show gave it to me as a gift as I was leaving to work on the campaign. It is my daily reminder to try and be more like Josh Lyman.