Welcome to the internship information “hub” for Environmental Studies students. In conjunction with SU’s OrangeLink and ESF Career Services, this page will aid you in your search for internships and other professional development opportunities.
The Internship Process
Remember it is the student’s responsibility to manage the internship process. The policy for the process may be found on page 34 of the handbook:
- ES Handbook (PDF)
If you are planning an internship for Summer – you should begin your search the December beforehand. In other words – start looking a semester and a half before your placement.
After some reflection and personal inventory (see below for resources), start the six steps in the internship process:
Step 1 Find an internship. In general, you are looking for a position where you can gain skills and contacts, see how something works, contribute and possibility rule something in or out as a career. Opportunities are everywhere, but here are some links to get you started.
- Career services
- Flip through their ESF Career Guide (PDF); it is made for career searches, but much of the advice is applicable to internships
- SUNY ESF Spring Career Fair – visit the year before your internship to shop for organizations
- Orange link and tips. Many post have been tagged as “ESF” or “GREEN POST”, which can help narrow your search.
- CareerShift - A new all-board search service. You have a free account through ESF. Please sign up and orient yourself to the interface. Contact ESF Career Services for the special ESF membership link.
- ES students have a content knowledge advantage for participating in SUNY’s Washington DC internship program
- Idealist has internships USA-wide
- Green Jobs board – enter “internship” into Keyword box
- Indeed is broader, but I entered, internship, environmental and
- New ES appropriate opportunities we have researched or were sent directly to the ES Department are posted to Orange Link, the bulletin board outside of 112 Marshall, and the news feed on this page.
While your search continues, continue with the steps…
Step 2 Please register for EST 499.
Step 3 Reach out to your Faculty Sponsor and complete an Internship Agreement Form with the typed agreement attached. File that agreement with the Environmental Studies Department prior to commencement of the internship.
Step 4 Participate in your internship. Consider keeping a daily journal and take notes as you learn new skills.
Step 5 At the end of your internship, your supervisor must complete an Internship Evaluation Form and send to your Faculty Sponsor.
Step 6 As per the agreement you have with your Faculty Sponsor, write your 10+ page paper; it is a reflection on the experience, what was learned, and its relevance to the program and your future career goals.
- Internships information and forms you need (excerpt from ES Undergraduate Handbook)
Have a conversation about this process with your advisor, visit Career Services on line and in person, and please contact the ES Department if you have any questions about these links.
- Environmental Studies Internship Agreement Instructions and Form (PDF)
- Internship Evaluation From (PDF)
The Career Decision-Making Process – Self Inventory
You have some work to do before you start your search. You may also what to work through some of these questions before you approach your advisor.
Reflect on your concentration…
- Environment, Communication, and Society
- Environmental Policy, Planning & Law
- Natural Systems Applications
Brainstorm about why you selected this concentration...
- What is your personal connection to it?
- How does that translate into your professional interests?
Consider the job characteristics and environments that work best for you…
- What do you truly enjoy? Consider the classes and activities you have liked the best. What did they involve? Why did you enjoy them? There are careers related to every interest you have.
- What types of things do you seem to do well? Identify your skills and abilities. Are they technical, adventurous or intellectual?
- What values are important to you? Is enjoying your work more important than prestige? Is creativity more important than security?
- What if you like too many things and can’t decide? What are you going to do with your major? Let’s work together to re-frame the question to “Where are you going to do what you do well and care deeply about?”
- What is the coolest job you can imagine? Try to contact one or two people working in this field (Career Center can help with this) and ask them how they got there.
Time to ground things
What sectors and topics overlap with your content knowledge and mission?
- What sector do you want to be in?
- Non – profit
- What subject area interests you? (this list is not exhaustive, and some have overlap)
- Landscapes, forestry, biodiversity, wildlife, fisheries
- Governance/ Leadership
- Something not on this list?
- What level of contact interests you?
- Do you want to work with people? Alone?
- Do you want to be in one place to interact – or do your see yourself traveling to conduct outreach? Something else?
- Where do you want to/ can you be?
- Walking distance, bike, bus, car…
- Near home
- Expand your search to areas where you have friends or relatives; beware of limiting your search so you can keep a home-job – the idea is to set off on your career path.
- Financial situation. If you need a paid internship you must start sooner, be better prepared, and be ready to compromise.
It’s important to be open to opportunities outside of your plan – you never know what you will find - but narrowing your starting point may make these tasks less overwhelming.
ESF Career services has additional assessment materials in their Career Guide, and you can ask a Career Counselor which assessment resources would be most helpful for you. These tools can help you discover more about yourself and lead you closer to a decision.
Your ES course work prepares you for a variety of tasks. Take a moment to review what you have accomplished in terms of marketable skills (COMING SOON! matrix under development with ESSO).
The Entrepreneurial Internship
The following sites have hosted ES Interns in the past. There is no guarantee they currently have positions but consider visiting their website if the represents field that interests you.
Atlantic States Legal Foundation
Central New York Land Trust
Great Swamp Conservancy
Citizens Campaign for the Environment
Syracuse, NY and other locations
Cornell Cooperative Extension, Onondaga County
CCE operates in several counties – each with its own webpages and postings
FOCUS: Greater Syracuse
Onondaga Environmental Institute
Onondaga County Soil and Water Conservation District
Syracuse-Onondaga County Planning Agency
Central NY Regional Planning and Development Board
Onondaga County Water Environment Protection
Onondaga Resource Recovery Agency
NYS Dept. of Environmental Protection
Syracuse, NY and Other Region Offices
Audubon New York
Finger Lakes Land Trust
NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Albany Office and other NYS Locations