Each summer, we offer internships, usually focusing on a specific issue or project, with a team of students from different colleges. (Some of our regular internships, such as Communication or Act for Change, may also be possible in the summer ).
The focus for 2019 includes two projects for small teams. (Be sure to read general information below.)
- Climate Action Planning – developing specific proposals for a climate action plan for a city or county in the Lehigh Valley, possibly one of the efforts already under way.
- Sustainability for independent cafés & brewpubs – explore ways for independent cafés, restaurants, and/or brewpubs to operate more sustainably — not just general guidelines, but making specific recommendations for that business.
Team members meet with selected community members, research what’s been done elsewhere, and work as a team to review progress, plan next steps, and coordinate independent work and team projects. In addition, each intern is expected to do reading and research independently, with the internship coordinator or other staff available to answer questions or provide assistance.
The Alliance is not able to pay summer interns, but many colleges support students completing unpaid internships with stipends and/or other benefits. Most of our summer interns work 25–30 hr/wk, but it is possible to structure an internship to require as little as 15 hr/wk for students who need to work. Recent summer projects included a Sustainability Impact Assessment , climate & sustainability for schools [2014 & 2016], and Sustainable Campus Dining Resources .
General Information for Summer Internships
Deliverables generally will include some or all of the following
- a report presenting information from research and/or literature reviews, discussion of implications, and recommendations for action
- presentations to community groups and other groups
- one or more posters that clarify recommendations
Skills and Abilities Interns Are Expected to Have / Develop / Improve
- Understanding of project subject matter, including strengths & weaknesses of current systems, and how the subject relates to and contributes to sustainability
- Effective oral communication in professional & community settings
- Effective written communication (reports, website pages, and perhaps some blog posts)
- Ability to identify key points for effective action
- Project planning & management skills
- Use of Excel (or a similar program) to develop complex spreadsheets designed to analyze findings
Qualifications: Strong desire to improve policy & education with regard to climate, public health, social justice, and other facets of sustainability; strong written and oral communication skills; attention to detail; ability to work well independently & as part of a team.
updated February 2019