The Internship Program
The internship is designed to help students gain real-world experience solving the grand challenges we face as a society. Whether it is in Duluth, or across the world, our students dedicate a portion of their time and energy working side-by-side with practitioners. In doing so, our students gain the experiences and skills necessary to make them not just competitive in today's job market, but sought out.
The internship provides students with the tools, resources, and experiences necessary to excel both in the classroom and as an emerging professional. Other benefits include:
- Demonstrate your ability to apply what you’ve learned in the classroom in a real-world setting.
- Assess your strengths, weaknesses, motivations, and future opportunities and prospects.
- Expand your written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills with professionals and colleagues.
- Develop a professional network for post-graduation.
Students should consult the Enviroment, Sustainability and Geography Internship Experience Handbook as they prepare to pursue an internship.
Questions relating to internship experiences should be directed towards Ryan Bergstrom, Internship Program Coordinator.
SEARCHING FOR AN INTERNSHIP
The internship does not place student’s in an internship experience. We believe that developing the skills necessary to search, apply for, and accept an internship are critical life-long learning skills that all students should possess. While numerous resources exists for finding an internship experience, we have found that the most successful students use a combination of the following:
- Program in Geography Google Currents website. Only Program of Geography access.
- GoldPASS powered by Handshake. Free, online service for UMD students.
- Other online services (Chegg, Coolworks, GoGovernment, Get that Gig, Interjobs, etc.).
IS THIS THE RIGHT INTERNSHIP FOR ME?
Students should think critically about the skills and knowledge they have developed thus far, as well as how they will utilize those skills to benefit an organization and further their career prospects. As you review potential internship experiences, you should consider:
- Do I have the skills or experiences necessary to be successful in this position?
- Will this experience enhance my coursework?
- Will this experience make me more marketable to employers or graduate schools?
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT FROM THIS EXPERIENCE?
Students should also ensure that the organization they plan to intern with is able to provide the resources and experiences necessary to further their personal, academic, and career goals. In general, internship experiences should include:
- An experience that is an extension of their classroom work.
- Supervision by a professional with expertise and/or education in their field of experience.
- A general orientation to the organization, its structure, and its culture.
- The resources necessary (e.g. equipment, facilities) to achieve their learning goals and objectives.
- A specific project that allows them to apply disciplinary-specific knowledge.
- Regular communication with their employer/supervisor to discuss progress and expectations.
- An opportunity to network with others in the organization and/or field.
ENSURING SUCCESS IN YOUR INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE
Students are required to develop a series of Learning Goals and Objectives that will help guide their internship experience. The purpose of learning outcomes are to help ensure your internship experience provides the needed opportunities to further your professional and personal growth. Outcomes are written as goal statements that relate to specific tasks you will complete under the mentorship of your internship supervisor. You are required to develop three goals within the following areas: knowledge related to your major, skill development, and personal development.
REQUIRED COURSE FULFILLMENT
Students will complete the following requirements during their internship experience in consultation with the Internship Program Coordinator, and their employer/supervisor. Students are also required to enroll in ES 4090 - Internship Preparation. This one credit course helps develop resumes, cover letters, and guides students through the internship process, and should be completed prior to obtaining an internship experience.
- Develop an Internship Learning Outcomes and Action Plan
- Complete the Internship Learning Agreement
- Register for ES/URS/GEOG internship credits (3 credits)
- Complete an internship experience of no less than 120 hours
- Receive feedback in the form of mid-term and post-internship evaluations
- Complete a Internship Report that documents their experience