By Tulwen Adams ’22 & Rebecca Jones ’13
The Austin College Environmental Studies Program will offer three opportunities for internships during the summer of 2022. The internships are hosted by the Land Institute, located in Salina, Kansas; Little Traverse Conservancy in Northern Michigan; and the East Foundation in South Texas.
A degree in environmental studies opens the door to a wide variety of future career paths, a prospect that can be both exciting and daunting. Taking a summer to explore a career is a great way for students to narrow down their options or explore previously unknown career paths. These internships offer experience in the developing field of sustainable perennial agriculture with the Land Institute, land conservation and easements with Little Traverse Conservancy, and the practice of land and wildlife stewardship alongside ranching with the East Foundation.
Past interns have found their time in these internships to be an excellent means to gain experience in the field of environmental studies, as well as granting insight into future career paths and providing opportunities to learn from professionals across a variety of fields.
Thinking about applying? Here are some tips from past interns:
- Apply Early. Don’t let the application process interfere with your spring coursework — spend some time over the break reading through the AC internship and host organization websites to figure out the best fit for you and get your thoughts on paper. The Center for Environmental Studies will help you handle everything else.
- Ask Lots of Questions. Not sure which internship opportunity best suits your career path or goals? Contact an ENVS faculty or staff member to express your interest and concerns. You can also ask other students who have previously held internships — they usually love talking about their experience!
- Come Prepared. You’ve officially secured your internship, but what should you pack for the journey? Staples like hats, sunscreen and bug spray are a must for most sites, but many former interns also recommend bringing items that remind you of home. Don’t forget your lucky socks, favorite stuffed animal, comfort food, etc.
- Explore and Interact. Many former interns report that one of the highlights of their experience is the people they work with on a day to day basis. Get to know your bunkmates and co-workers, and take the time to visit other locales of interest to make your internship richer, more fulfilling and memorable.
- Be Ready to Work Hard. Manual labor is a part of all the internship experiences provided by the Center for Environmental Studies, but that shouldn’t deter you from applying if you have a real interest in the overall mission and/or goals of the host organizations. It’s also important to remember that you are a representative of the college when you are at these sites, so act accordingly.