Environmental Internship Tips
Environmental internships are a very mixed bag of great opportunities. Many involve opportunities for travel, academic credits, and volunteer work. These internships are provided by major national and global non-profit organizations, government agencies, corporations and interest groups around the world. Most environmental internships are really excellent career opportunities for enthusiastic people.
To give an idea of quality and variety, these are some major environmental internship providers in North America:
- The United Nations
- Friends of the Earth
- National Audubon Society (United States)
- Canadian Government
- Climate Institute
- Center for International Environmental Law
Finding an internship and internship issues
The sheer variety of internships can become a problem, particularly if you’re interested in several. You can find yourself doing a lot of reading trying to locate the right internships. You’re advised to start looking for environmental internships well in advance. You’ll need time to check out your choices, and to plan for the internship period.
Another difficulty is deciding which you want, and which of those internships you’re actually able to do. Unlike other internships, many environmental internships aren’t office or academic jobs. Some involve field work, travel, and may involve long periods away from home. Others might be economically difficult, as they are volunteer programs which don’t pay salaries. (Some internships do pay allowances or stipends, but you’ll need to check.)
However- Environmental internships and the organizations that run them are very well organized. They can clear up any problems for you. Most offer a range of alternative options for interns, and all of them can advise about viable internships in your field of interest. It’s worth contacting the internship providers to get all the facts before making a decision. Express an interest in internships, spelling out your concerns and what level of commitment you’re able to make.
Types of internships
The many types of environmental internships vary from summer camp level to full graduate internships.
The work includes:
- Field studies
- Research assistant work
- Work experience
- Conservation studies
- Environmental rehabilitation
- Training and/or work placement programs
- Working on staff in environmental organizations like Friends of the Earth and others.
- Working with government agencies.
The internships also offer:
- Career and professional guidance
- Academic credits where applicable
- Valuable resume material in terms of career experience
- Top standard environmental sector training
The graduate level internships interview requirements are based on professional knowledge, levels of training, communications and motivation. These internships are important parts of the internship provider’s work, and the interviews are very much job interviews in these areas.
Primary requirements for interviews are:
- Strong skills base in the role of the internship.
- Proficiency levels in core functions.
- Specialist qualifications and areas of interest as they relate to the internship.
The good news about internship interviews is that the interviewers are all professionals in their fields, and you’ll find that they’re highly receptive. They’re looking for committed people with career aspirations in environmental work, and you definitely won’t be wasting your time talking to them.
If you’re interested in a career in environmental science, conservation, law, or related academic studies, these internships are very important career opportunities, unique chances which are not to be missed if you can help it.