Undergraduate students work as interns at the Office of Sustainability to provide leadership, collaboration and advocacy for sustainability at UConn. The 10 hour per week positions help enact the Office's critical university programs. Interns host campus sustainability engagement events, carry out UConn's strategic sustainability plans, and research best environmental practices to improve sustainability at UConn.
In collaboration with ResLife, there is an EcoCaptain Intern (EI) in each residential hall that conducts sustainability related programming and educational activities for their residents. EIs act as liaisons between the Office of Sustainability and UConn's resident students. There are EIs hired for every hall each year and they work 5 hours per week.
A Legacy of Environmental High-Achievers
Since 2003, the OS’s practical internships have enabled undergraduate students to:
- Gain excellent work experience at competitive hourly pay rates– OS interns gain project management and teamwork skills in an office environment. Their job duties and responsibilities, and performance expectations, are similar to those of entry-level employees, such as college graduates, working in business and industry, non-profit organizations or public sector jobs.
- Hone leadership skills– Bolstered by their OS work experience, many interns have served as elected presidents and officers of environmental student groups and organizations, ranging from EcoGarden to Engineers Without Borders and USG. A few interns have been captains of UConn varsity and club sports teams while others have been nominated for (and even won) the University’s most prestigious student leadership awards.
- Win academic scholarships– Over the past 16 years, OS interns have won a multitude of national scholarships, including UConn's first Rhodes Scholar, 4 national Udall/Environmental Policy scholarships and 2 Udall Honorable Mention scholarships. Dozens of others have been among the select few students nominated annually by UConn for this coveted, national award. Our interns have also won other scholarships and fellowships during and after their UConn years, based on both their academic excellence and OS work experience.
- Be accepted at prestigious graduate schools- Recent OS interns are attending and working towards graduate degrees, or have received graduate degrees, in a range of environmental disciplines from programs here at UConn as well as Yale, Columbia, Brown, Duke, Cal Santa Barbara, Vermont Law School, Colorado (law school), Oregon State and Imperial College of London.
- Pursue an environmental or sustainability-related career– Former OS interns currently hold or have held positions, ranging from entry level to management, at United Natural Foods, Inc., Waste Management, Inc., Sunlight Solar Co., the CT Green Bank, the Environmental Defense Fund, Housatonic Valley Association, Siemens Energy, Inc., Fuss and O’Neill, BL Company, GZA, UTC, Northeast Utilities (Eversource), Dominion Energy, and the Hampshire Council of Governments, plus financial services firms such as HAIG in Boston and RBS in Stamford. Past interns have also held various positions with the CT DEEP, the Peace Corps, and the Student Conservation Association after leaving UConn.