Feature Stories 2024: Jordan Tavares '24: Honors marketing major unexpectedly finds his career in green sector

Marketing  major
Feature Stories 2024: Jordan Tavares '24: Honors marketing major unexpectedly finds his career in green sector
Jordan Tavares '24: Honors marketing major unexpectedly finds his career in green sector

Internship in offshore wind industry and work in sustainability led to job with Energy New England

Jordan Tavares '24 had no idea where he wanted to begin his marketing career when he enrolled in UMass Dartmouth's Charlton College of Business. "I have a ton of hobbies and there are a lot of jobs I would have liked but I wasn't passionate about them. Finding 'that something' gave me a lot of direction," he said. 

Tavares found "that something" through a marketing internship with Ithaca Clean Energy, a startup aiming to revolutionize communication for the marine industry though an app called Waterfront. His job in the Office of Campus Sustainability, where he led marketing and assisted in developing events for students, offered new opportunities, accomplishments, and direction. 

For a Sustainability Assessments class with Assistant Director of Campus Sustainability Jamie Jacquart and Professor Peter Karlson, Tavares traveled to Panama over spring break to conduct sustainability assessments for different companies, including the Gamboa Rainforest Reserve, a hotel located in an eco-reserve. "It was an incredible experience. We met with the companies as well as our Panamanian counterparts who learned with us remotely," he said. 

Gamboa Rainforest Preserve
Jordan Tavares (2nd row, red shirt) visited the Gamboa tribe in Panama with his Sustainability Assessments class over spring break.

UMass Dartmouth experience 

What do you think makes UMassD special? 

"The people are what makes UMassD special. When you step out of your comfort zone and start meeting some of the faculty, staff, and students, it becomes apparent very quickly that there are great people who are here for the students and each other. That can contribute to your education and growth just as much as all your classes." 

Why did you decide to major in marketing? 

"I have always loved advertising and branding. In my high school media class, we were tasked with making an ad for any product. Merging the products' branding and brand attitude was an experience that I really enjoyed, so it felt like the right fit for me." 

Internship at Ithaca Clean Energy 

Through an app called Waterfront, Ithaca Clean Energy aims to facilitate streamlined, real-time, and secure communications between project developers such as wind energy companies and marine stakeholders including fishers and boaters. 

Tell us about your internship at Ithaca and how it changed your career trajectory. 

"The internship involved running all the marketing for the start-up and setting foundational standards and brand guidelines that the organization has continued to use. I helped to make the marketing more consistent and streamlined. I had to learn a lot about offshore wind and renewable energy as that was the focus for Ithaca. 

"My job was to track what offshore wind companies were doing to communicate with fishers. If you're laying lobster traps, you don't want a boat to come by carrying a giant wind turbine. There were challenges in getting the fishers to use the app.  

"Another result of my internship was an independent study with Professor Karlson. My team partner, Leah Greene '24, and I have been working with the College of Engineering to create a commercialization plan for a miniaturized wave energy converter that sits on the water for the Marine Energy Collegiate Competition. As waves go up and down, it converts their energy to electricity. I worked on a business plan to make this more viable. Working on this project has sharpened my skills with much more hands-on knowledge of renewable energy. 

"Quickly in my internship, I became interested in the movement toward clean energy that we are seeing locally. If it wasn't for the internship and my work with Jamie in sustainability, I can't say I would have ever found my passion in this industry. 

"I've become a strong supporter of clean energy and renewables. I'm not trying to change the world, but by working to combat climate change, I can work to make a better world. I'm washing clothes in cold water and buying less. All the small things are important." 

Marketing Office of Campus Sustainability events
Jordan Tavares (right), marketing coordinator for the Office of Campus Sustainability, at the Corsair Fair on UMassD's campus with John Gallindo '24.

UMassD involvement and work in campus sustainability 

What is your role in your job with the Office of Campus Sustainability?  

"I am the marketing coordinator for the office. This involves coordinating event details, graphic designers, social media, and getting promotional materials out like posters. My role has been to encourage attendance at our events, and it has been very fulfilling to get people to come to something they otherwise wouldn't attend. They can either learn something or do good for the community." 

"Jordan was our marketing manager this year and did an amazing job joining our management team, almost doubling the followings on two different social accounts and was always willing to pitch in to get any job completed," said Jacquart. "In my reference to his now employer I expressed that I wished I could either keep him here longer or clone him!” 

Tell us about the Car & Motorsports Club. 

"We officially became a new club in March. It has become a community of people just looking to share their knowledge gained from working on their own cars and talk about one of their biggest passions. I have made a lot of friends through this organization." 

Honors College experience 

All Honors students complete the Academic Project or Experience (APEX). The APEX demonstrates students' learning and can take the form of three tracks: traditional research, performance/expression, and applied service/internship.  

 What have you enjoyed most about the Honors College? 

"The APEX experience substantially changed what I expected out of school. There was a butterfly effect of going from a student who went to class and work to someone who was much more involved. 

"If it wasn't for the APEX, I would have never done an internship. Since then, I have become part of a lot of great opportunities, and I have continued to become more comfortable with doing things I wouldn't normally jump at. The APEX asks Honors students to go out and make something happen and that can feel uncomfortable initially. But that brief discomfort can lead to a ton of connections and experiences that are far more valuable." 

Planting a tree on Arbor Day with Jamie Jaquart on Continental Way
On Arbor Day, Tavares (far left) planted a tree along Centennial Way leading to the Campus Center with Jamie Jacquart, assistant director of campus sustainability (holding tree).

Future plans 

What advice would you share with future Corsairs? 

"It can be incredibly daunting, especially as a working commuter, to get out of your comfort zone and see that there is more to the college experience than classes and the degree. Make learning your priority over grades and be ready to do more than is expected of a student. College is entirely what you make of it and the experiences and people are there for you if you're willing to give them a try." 

 What are your plans following graduation? 

After graduating magna cum laude and as a Commonwealth Scholar, Tavares will apply his internship and sustainability experience to a full-time marketing position with Energy New England, the largest wholesale risk management and energy trading organization serving municipalities in the Northeast.  "I will be marketing electric vehicles and home energy assessments,"  he said.