Internships are a crucial part of the Global Environmental Politics experience. They provide students with the opportunity to gain skills, knowledge, and connections that cannot be obtained in the classroom. Students repeatedly say that their internships — during the summer as well as the school year — provide the necessary chance to apply the theories and ideas learned during coursework.
For GEP MA students, Washington, D.C., offers more opportunities for meaningful internships in the field than any other city in the world. The federal government and Capitol Hill are magnets for organizations interested in making and changing policy. Whether working from within the government or from without, whether at large international institutions or small community NGOs, GEP students invariably find opportunities for serious, meaningful work. In addition, each year some GEP students venture far beyond the Beltway, adding experiences in other states and countries to their resumes.
For students in the NRSD program, a summer internship is a central feature of their time at UPEACE; students spend several months in the field working intensively on various aspects of sustainable development. NRSD students routinely intern within government agencies and numerous NGOs in Costa Rica and elsewhere. Though the home base of Costa Rica and UPEACE connections certainly offer greater access to Latin American opportunities, each year NRSD students also venture to other continents to fulfill their internship requirements.
Both programs also benefit from our network of alumni — former students have gone on to work in dozens upon dozens of organizations — and our active listserv for job and internship opportunities. Additionally, students have unlimited access to American University's Career Center which helps students with resumes, interview skills, and internship searches.
Recent student internships have included:
- working with the Ministry of Environment in Quito, Ecuador to develop a methodological system for evaluating protected area management to meet Convention on Biological Diversity requirements
- writing a white paper for the British Embassy in D.C. regarding the national security implications of climate change in the United States
- researching and mapping conservation data of the Indian EEZ for Greenpeace, identifying potential sites for marine protected areas and lobbying the Indian government for ocean policy changes
- investigating Chinese investment strategies in Southeast Asia and Latin American for the Worldwatch Institute in D.C.
- producing concept proposals on topics ranging from rights-based conservation to indigenous community climate change adaptation for the IUCN's office in Costa Rica
Click here for a lengthy list of other organizations, domestic and abroad, where students have interned recently.