Internships offer students the opportunity to experience firsthand environmental challenges in government, industry, nonprofit organizations and scientific research institutions.
Recommendations and Standards
Students wishing to complete an applied learning experience by participating in an approved internship should follow the recommendations and standards outlined below.
- Time: The internship must involve at least 100 hours of work over at least six weeks.
- Internship Types and Hosts: Internships must be at an organization — whether private sector, governmental or nonprofit — focused on one or more environmental issue. Internships should be significant in the work that is completed, not simply basic office tasks or general office support.
- Credit: The environmental studies program does not require that students earn academic credits for participating in an internship.
- Finding Internships: Students are encouraged to begin researching internships on their own by accessing university resources. Environmental studies faculty are available to support students in identifying internships and in advising them on how to network with environmental professionals.
- Résumés and Letters. As you begin your internship search, review the Hiatt Career Center’s résumés and letters page and begin drafting relevant materials.
Making the Most of Hiatt
The environmental studies program shares internship listings with Hiatt. Students are encouraged to begin their search for internships by accessing the Handshake platform. Within Handshake you will find a library of career-related resources, just for Brandeis students, to help you learn more about yourself, explore your field(s) of interest, prepare for interviews and more.
Login to Handshake using your UNET username and password to unlock all of these resources and have immediate access to job and internship postings from employers, including alumni, that are looking to hire Brandeis students. Use keyword searches to look specifically for opportunities in the environmental studies field and use the phrase "posted by faculty/staff" to find positions shared with Hiatt by the environmental studies faculty.
For additional information and tips on how to make the most out of your Handshake profile, visit the Handshake Student Help Center. For more information about your Handshake account, please contact Kim Airasian at the Hiatt Career Center.
Funding Your Internship
Students will discover that organizations hosting internships will vary widely in how they compensate interns for their work. Students seeking external funding to support an unpaid internship are encouraged to apply for Brandeis funding such as the World of Work fellowships offered through Hiatt, or additional university funding opportunities.
Environmental studies majors are eligible to submit an internship for approval through the environmental studies program once they have completed ENVS 2a (Fundamentals of Environmental Challenges) as well as five additional courses that count toward the environmental studies major.
Minors are eligible once they have completed ENVS 2a along with three additional courses that count toward the environmental studies minor. You may complete an internship to fulfill a graduation requirement in more than one major/minor as long as the internship has been preapproved and the other program will also accept it.
Once your internship has been secured, you will need to communicate with us on your progress so that we can help support you. Please follow these guidelines:
- Prior to beginning your internship, please complete the online internship approval form. (If you are using assistive technology and encounter problems with the Google form, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-736-2634 so that we may assist you with the internship approval process.) Once this information is reviewed and confirmed, students will be notified if their internship is approved. Students may be required to meet with Associate Professor Colleen Hitchcock in advance of approval.
- During the internship, you will be expected to have a minimum of one check-in with Prof. Hitchcock. Additional check-ins may be required depending on the circumstance. You will receive details on the check-in process once your internship has been confirmed.
- After or near the end of the internship, you will complete a post-internship reflection paper sharing your experience and a short survey about your experience. Internship supervisors will be asked to complete an exit survey evaluating you on your work, professionalism and success during the internship. It is recommended that students keep a journal during their time with the host organization and capture some photographs of the internship experience. Both will help to support the final reflection paper and presentations for the applied learning experience symposiums. The reflection paper and exit survey are due within three weeks of completing your internship. You will be emailed the survey at the end of your experience. Note: After the successful completion of your internship, you will need to submit a petition through the registrar’s office to confirm that you completed you applied learning experience.
Sharing and Presenting Your Experience
Students who have successful internships will be requested to share their experience with their peers during the environmental studies applied learning experience symposia, which are held twice a year.