Internships

If you need assistance in finding an internship, please contact SNRE's Internship Coordinator at snre.careers@umich.edu.

Quick Links to Important Internship Information

**Click on links below to access resources by topic area

Why do an Internship?

  • An Internship can lead to a full-time job offer. According to a recent Experiential Education Survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, "The percent of interns converted to full-time employees has increased from 35.6% in 2001 to 50.5% in 2008." 
  • Internships can provide a valuable professional development experience unlike no other. Students who do internships are usually looking for ways to improve their skills, gain real world work experience, and want to network with professionals in the field.
  • When looking for an internship, a student should think of their dream job. Look up your dream job on the internet and read what experience is required to be successful and to get the job. Internships not only provide the work experience, but they offer a place to gain skills that are necessary for their dream jobs.
  • Another benefit of an internship is that students learn the culture of the organization in which they are interning. The internship experience may show a student that they absolutely love working for a non-profit organization, or that they may be better suited for work with the government. An internship can either solidify your career goals or show you that another employment sector may be a better fit for your needs.

SNRE Student Internship Placements

Internship Reports

  • At SNRE, students submit internship reports after their internship. Click here to view our student internship reports.

Create your own internship report!

  • Are you a current SNRE student or a SNRE alumnus that has completed an internship?
  • Would you like to share your internship experience with other students?
  • When you tell us about your internship experience, SNRE can create an informational internship report that will be added to the other internship reports on the SNRE internship website. Tell us about your experience by completing our Internship Survey.
  • Take me to the Survey!

I Need an Internship - What should I do?

Are you currently searching for an internship or will you be searching for one in the future? SNRE has a few different resources to help you with your internship search:

eRecruiter logo

Internship Funding Opportunities

Unfortunately, not all internships are paid. Check out the following links for internship funding opportunities.

Edna Bailey Sussman Foundation Support (click here for application materials and general information)

Requirements to apply-

  • Currently enrolled SNRE graduate students who will be continuing their education beyond Winter Term of 2014 (i.e. you will be continuing your master's or doctoral program into the 2014-2015 academic year or will be starting a Ph.D. program at SNRE in the fall after completing your master's degree)
  • Must be in good academic standing (cumulative GPA must be at least 3.0)
  • Internship should offer opportunities for 'real world, hands on' experience
  • Interns will be utilized in an assignment involving the preservation of wildlife, the control of pollution, the preservation of natural land resources, or similar subject matter related to the environment. In prior years, the trustees have shown interest in applications concerning global warming and water issues.
  • No funding is provided for international internships. Internships must occur inside the U.S. or its territories and the primary focus of the internship must be on an area or with a population in the U.S.
  • No funding is provided for internships that involve any kind of advocacy or lobbying (although the host organization itself can be involved in lobbying)
  • Internships with private sector sponsors may be submitted but are rarely funded
  • Internships cannot take place on the UM campus or with a UM professor
  • Internships that would have otherwise been funded in full by the host organization are not eligible

Sussman Fund Internship Reports

Marshall Weinberg Internship Program (click here for application materials and general information)

Requirements to apply-

  • Have a proposed internship that is relevant to the student's professional development and have a hosting organization with a staff member that is willing to supervise the student intern.
  • Be an SNRE graduate student in good academic standing (cumulative GPA must be at least 3.0)
  • Preference will be given to students who plan to return to SNRE for classes upon completion of the internship. Internships proposed by students graduating in April, May, or August will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Preference will be given to students who have created an internship with a non-profit or government sector employer. Internships with a private sector employer (small start up or small firms) may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Internships that focus on a research project will not be supported.
  • Students may not receive Weinberg funding more than once.
  • Preference will be given to students who have never had a professional experience in their field of study.
  • The Marshall Weinberg Internship Program is intended to be the sole source of funding for an internship experience. Students may not combine funding sources (ie. Sussman, Erb Institute, Wyss, Ford School, funding provided by the employer, or other types of funding) for this internship.

Weinberg Fellowship Program Internship Reports

Other Sources for Funding Opportunities

Check with individual centers/departments/organizations for the most accurate information, eligibility requirements, and for any questions that you may have about these funding opportunities.

Recommended Internship Programs

Work with the Federal Government
Work with NGO's, Private Organizations, Work Abroad, and more!
  • Clean Air - Cool Planet Climate Fellows Program
  • Cultural Vistas
    Summer Internships in Germany, Spain, Argentina, and Chile placement programs open to all students enrolled at a US university, internships are 2-3 months; mostly paid in Germany, unpaid in Spain, Argentina, and Chile. German or Spanish language skills required. Deadlines usually in December (for Germany) or in January (for Argentina and Spain). Internship funding maybe available through: International Institute, UM German Department, or the German-American Chamber of Commerce.
    Bosch Fellowships (in Germany), for students who will have a graduate degree by the time of participation. Enables outstanding young American professionals (ages 23-34) with graduate training to acquire an in-depth understanding of the political, economic, and cultural environment of Germany and Europe through an intensive, nine-month work and study fellowship program. Deadline usually in October.
    Alfa Fellowship (in Russia), for students who will have a graduate degree by the time of participation. Enables outstanding young American professionals (ages 25-35) with a graduate degree or equivalent training to develop a genuine expertise through in-country language training, a seminar in Moscow and individualized professional assignments. Russian language proficiency is preferred. Deadline usually in December.
    Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange Program for Young Professionals Work-study scholarship program in Germany; enables 75 young adults (US citizens or permanent residents) with a high school diploma (18-24 years) to spend a year in Germany (2 months intensive language training, 4 months of college instruction and 5 months internship). Deadline usually in December.
    For more information on Cultural Vistas internship opportunities, please contact Peggy Wunderwald-Jensen, U-M's Cultural Vistas representative, at pwjensen@umich.edu

Helpful Internship Hints

What to Consider When Evaluating an Internship (from usnews.com - blog by Heather Huhman)

    • Before you start your internship, you should know what will be expected and what goals you are aiming for. Develop a specific "work plan" with your internship host. The work plan details the scope and purpose of the project, describes project methodology, lists action steps and milestones along the way, and the deliverables agreed upon. Agreeing upon a work plan with your internship host is the best way to avoid frustration for both you and the host!
    • Make sure it's clear with your internship host what you would like to gain from the internship so you can work towards those goals together! You may also wish to discuss a timeline and the way you will go about accomplishing your goals.
    • Let's say that you know your internship goal is to complete a report on the need of a specific community to have a brownfield developed into usable public space. Do you know how to do a survey, analyze the data in Excel, do the soil analysis, and create the plans for the new space? These may be areas in which your internship host will expect that you have experience and you may not. You should be upfront and honest with your internship host in the beginning on what you can or cannot do so that your internship host can either count on you to lead a project or count on having someone in the organization train you on how to assist on the project.
    • Do your research on the organization in which you will be interning. Not only will you know what to expect, but it will enable you to speak eloquently when talking to staff members and stakeholders about the organization.
    • Potential employers may ask you about your internship experience and the type of organization in which you worked. Being able to say that you worked for an organization that was in 17 different countries, had x, y, and z as goals, and annually gave $13 million in grants, without having to look up the information, maybe exactly what your potential employer wants to hear! If you are knowledgeable about your past employers, it will show your potential current employer that you more than likely will be very knowledgeable about their organization as well.
    • When looking for internship opportunities, think of your dream job. Then imagine how the job posting/announcement would read for this job (you can actually Google your dream job and usually find sample job postings). Read the posting and highlight any qualifications or skills the job requires. Circle those skills/qualifications in which you do not have any experience or need help. Then look for internships where you can gain the necessary skills/qualifications to make your dream job become a reality. Click here for SNRE Career Placement Statistics...see where other SNRE grads have found their dream job!
    • Remember to have fun! Your internship should be a challenging, memorable, and rewarding experience.
    • Remember to fill out the SNRE Internship Survey when you have completed your internship. This helps other students learn more about internships and can help others decide where they would like to intern.
    • If you are unsure of what type of internship you would like or where you'd like to work, contact SNRE's Internship Coordinator. We can work together to find an internship that is the right fit for you!!
    • Check out these great resource from the UM School of Public Policy: Internship Search Guide & Making the Most of Your Internship

Internship Articles

Helpful Internship Hints from Fellow Students:

  • Talk with your internship supervisor before you start! Is there anything that you should do to prepare for the internship? Be proactive so that when your internship starts you are ready to get started!
  • Don't be scared to tell a potential internship host that the internship they are advertising isn't exactly what you had in mind (not a perfect fit for your needs and/or skill set). Some employers are willing to "tweak" the position description when they find a good candidate. If the employer can't change the position description and if the internship isn't the right fit, in many cases the employer might be able to refer to you talk to someone else in their organization or in their network that is looking for an intern with your skill set.
  • U of M inherently lets students out earlier than other universities; therefore U of M students can usually start their internships earlier than students from other schools (this can help you get an internship if a host organization is looking for someone to start soon).
  • It is essential to develop a work plan for your internship. In many cases, having a concrete work plan with specific goals, deliverables, and deadlines allows students to get out of doing random tasks needed around the office (such as making copies) that a typical intern is sometimes asked to do.
  • Make sure you know what your deliverables are. If you aren't sure, it could make for a disappointing internship experience where important skills are not gained.
  • Be sure to ask if you will have your own desk and computer (if applicable). Some employers expect you to bring your laptop.
  • It's good advice to set up weekly meetings with your supervisor. Many supervisors are busy and a weekly meeting guarantees that you will have time to ask questions and get feedback about your deliverables. Plus it's great to build a professional relationship with this key contact within your area of interest.
  • Try to make your internship host commit to sending you to a conference or at least commit to helping you meet contacts in your area of interest. This is key to your professional development.

Health Care Considerations/Travel Registry

Don't start an internship without heath care; you never know what may happen! Be especially mindful of health care and transportation issues, especially in areas that you are unfamiliar with or in foreign countries. Always be careful of your surroundings. Use great care, no matter where you are.

The University of Michigan offers health insurance for all students traveling abroad. Effective January 1, 2008 this insurance will be available to all members of University community for purchase. Effective September 1, 2011, health insurance is required for all students traveling abroad. It may be purchased for groups by administrators, or purchased by individuals. Individuals may purchase the insurance for spouses, domestic partners, or dependents that are traveling with them. http://www.uhs.umich.edu/tai/ (It is not available for alumni, for whom travel insurance is available through the Alumni Association).

The new policy has far better coverage than any travel abroad plan available to individuals, costs only $1.10 per day as of September 2014 (plus a $5 enrollment charge), provides $500,000 coverage, pays for medical care directly, and provides access to US-quality care by doctors who speak English. SNRE does not purchase this insurance for students; it is up to the student to purchase the health insurance.

If your academic travel (conference, research, internship, project/thesis work) takes you out of the U.S., you are required to register via the U-M Travel Registry and purchase the U-M Travel Abroad Health Insurance. The health insurance is required even if you currently have insurance which provides for international travel. Information and registration link is available here: http://globalportal.umich.edu/register-travel.php.

Here are a few websites that have information on traveling healthy and options for student health care:

  • The University Health Services website offers full information about the Travel Abroad Health Insurance (including how to enroll): http://www.uhs.umich.edu/tai/
  • Signing up takes just a few minutes and is done online, where you may pay using your credit card:
    http://www.hthstudents.com (click on the University of Michigan button).
  • Feel free to contact Bill Nolting at bnolting@umich.edu or at 734-647-2299 if you have any questions about health insurance for traveling abroad.
  • For more information on traveling healthy abroad, go to Travel Health Services: http://www.uhs.umich.edu/travelhealth
  • Travel-related information, including links to U.S. State Department travel warnings
  • The University of Michigan also offers Domestic Health Insurance for students, see website for information and how to enroll: http://www.uhs.umich.edu/msa

U-M Travel Registry

The Travel Registry is a secure U-M website within Wolverine Access where you can record your itinerary and contact information. The Registry is especially helpful for international travel. Students are required to register their travel abroad on the U-M Travel Registry.

The Registry is a convenient, one-stop service that supports emergency communications, access to travel-abroad health insurance, and more. University faculty, staff, and students are expected to register when traveling abroad for academic, business or any other University-related purpose. If you are receiving University funds for your travel, the University requires registration.

Guidelines for SNRE Student Interns

As members of the SNRE community, SNRE Student Interns (SNRE students that are conducting a paid or unpaid internship with a professional host organization) are expected to exhibit the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Work done by interns can have a direct impact on the quality of life for all people. Interns must remember that they are representing the University of Michigan at all times, both on and off the clock. Interns should remember that their actions can have very positive effects on both people and the environment, but that some actions could also have detrimental effects for the future of the SNRE Internship Program, both at home and abroad. The following guidelines conform to accepted standards of conduct for SNRE Student Interns. SNRE prides itself on creating a positive, trusting, and lasting partnership with its employers, and we take pride in our students presenting themselves in a professional manner. If you plan to work with SNRE Career Services Staff, use eRecruiter, or use SNRE internship resources (including assistance securing an internship or using SNRE internship funding), we expect students follow these guidelines posted here.

Suggested Topics for the Student, Faculty Advisor, and Internship Host to Discuss

  • Learning Goal

Describe what you intend to learn through the internship. Be specific. Is your primary aim gaining, applying, or testing a particular body of knowledge or acquiring or improving upon a skill (e.g., advocacy, counseling, writing, specific laboratory techniques)? Are you interested in testing a career interest and your own suitability for that career or trying to decide what you want to focus on and/or otherwise clarify the direction of your remaining college years?

  • Strategies

Describe what you will do to reach your goals. Will you undergo training? How many hours? Will you be working on a specific project? Will you ask your faculty advisor to recommend certain materials, books, or articles for you to read? Will you attend any related conferences or meetings? Do you plan to interview professionals or experts about the career they have chosen or observe others in action? Will you ask people to observe you at work and give you feedback and suggestions? Have you thought about visiting another agency to get a broader perspective? You can use more than one strategy to meet each goal. Number your goals so that number one Strategy corresponds to the number one Learning goal.

  • Evaluation Method

Describe how you will know and show others that you have achieved your learning goals or made progress toward them. Will you keep a journal? Will you summarize that journal into a final statement of what you learned through the term or organize the data collected from the internship into a research project? Will you compile records of your activities through the term (reports or other written materials you have prepared for the organization, notes on training sessions, staff meetings, conferences, others' comments on your work, and comparisons with other agencies)? What about preparing and giving a presentation for a seminar or a class? How are you going to discuss the information you acquired with your faculty advisor? Use these suggestions or other ideas you have (perhaps a videotape, slide show, or audio recording) to show others what you have learned during your internship. It is important for you to negotiate an evaluation method that is in fact feasible given any restrictions imposed by the host organization such as: special obligations, publication restrictions, or confidentiality requirements that might affect communication about the internship experience or University evaluation of the academic value of the experience.

Internship Course Credit

Though internships are not required, SNRE does offer up to 3 hours of course credit for internships. Click here to view what is required for course credit.

Alumni Databases - Try Networking with Alumni to Find an Internship

Search the SNRE LinkedIn Group for alumni who work in your area of interest. You could set up an informational interview (click here for more information on informational interviewing) and see if the alum knows of organizations that are hiring interns in your interest area or maybe the company they work for is interested in sponsoring an intern

SNRE's Internship Coordinator

Are you an SNRE student and need internship help? Contact us at snre.careers@umich.edu for assistance!

Services include:
  • Assisting students with the internship application process (general application review and funding application assistance).
  • Resume and cover letter review. After you get called for an interview, we can also help you by doing a mock interview.
  • Students should also feel free to stop by to chat about any other internship questions or concerns with SNRE's Internship Coordinator.