How I scored an internship at this infrastructure management consultancy
Inspiring CPCS interns sharing their stories: Meet Chang-Boong Lee, a master’s degree student in public affairs at Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs.
I couldn’t have been more immersed in deep infrastructure work this early in my career. My 3-month stint at CPCS was the masterclass in infrastructure management consulting I was looking for, and it reaffirmed my interest to work in this field.
I’m Chang-Boong Lee and my internship was within the firm’s public-private partnerships (PPP) advisory team. I landed in a great team that helps development agencies and governments globally deal with issues that growing economies face in terms of transportation, access to energy and financing.
Word of mouth about CPCS
What better than complete strangers positively talking about a potential employer?
This is what happened after putting out feelers through Princeton’s alumni network.
Some people recommended me CPCS as a firm where I could gain solid “on-the-ground” experience to contextualize my interest in economic development. Others said I would discover how tough infrastructure challenges are unpacked, studied, designed and solved. I sure did see how CPCS does it!
I’m glad I had the nerve to pitch my unsolicited internship request to one of the managing partners. I really wanted it, but never did I believe I would hear back from him within a day!
Jean-François Arsenault connected me instantly with the right person, and here I was being interviewed a few days later. Next thing you know I had joined the CPCS ship.
To prospective interns reading this, know that a responsive team says a lot about a company’s culture. Watch for these cues!
Trusted to lead despite being a new hire
In a firm where you deal with high-stake mandates, I was surprised by how much agency and autonomy I had. I hit the ground running and was involved in work that directly contributes to clients’ needs, be it financial modelling or analysis of climate finance mobilization potential of infrastructure projects.
The trust and responsibilities energized me and I was further motivated by the realization that’s the best way to grow exponentially within 3 months and establish myself in a completely new sector. What also made my time at CPCS memorable is that my opinions on strategic matters were heard and actioned, which made me feel empowered and valued.
I count the climate finance project I worked on as one of my favourite professional experiences.
Through it all, I had the opportunity to interview important stakeholders from globally important climate finance facilities, including the Green Climate Fund, the Climate Investment Funds, and the Nordic Climate Facility. It enabled me to witness the work of “climate finance mobilization” in action and gain a deeper understanding of how these funding mechanisms work.
Making a long-term impact as an infrastructure consultant
If anything, one of my biggest challenges was not having enough hours in a day to tackle every potential opportunity. I had to learn to manage my time so that I could contribute and learn as much as possible.
Infrastructure is a big field and it intersects and impacts our lives in so many ways. That includes climate change, greener transportation modes, or connecting homes to clean energy and water, to name a few.
As infrastructure is intergenerational, the work feels very meaningful and my experience at CPCS reinforced that sense of meaning for me. Being part of something bigger that helps to grow the economy in the long term is what made me so fulfilled and engaged in this rewarding internship.
I’m looking forward to completing my master’s degree at Princeton this year and I hope to return to CPCS afterward to continue my journey in infrastructure development.
Start your career with CPCS
CPCS is always looking for early-career professionals, co-op students and interns through its Young Professional Program (YPP).
We’d love to hear from you, so simply send us your resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.