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Sustainability Internship Program

Preparing our students for success means more than ensuring they finish their degrees. It also means providing them with opportunities to gain the real-world experience they need to succeed in an increasingly competitive job market.

The Sustainability Internship Program connects promising students with real-world experience through paid internships in professional fields that focus on resilience—from green building and renewable energy to food systems and community planning—where students can develop work-based skills, knowledge, and experience to become the next generation of leaders in their fields. 

Interns receive a monthly stipend that enables them to focus fully on their internship experience and reduce their level of debt. Providing interns with stipends benefits more than just the students—employers also recognize that with pay comes a greater level of commitment and a higher caliber intern.

Internships are open to undergraduate and graduate students from departments across the University—from English and fine arts, to business, sciences, and engineering.

Is your organization interested in working with an intern during the 2016-17 academic year? We’re currently accepting applications from organizations who’d like to host a funded PSU intern to work with on projects related to climate action starting in October 2016. The deadline to apply is July 1, 2016. View the program description (PDF) and download the community partner internship application (.docx)

Watch for internship openings on our Current Opportunities page, as well as on Career Connect.

Sustainability Internship Program interns

Student Testimonials

"Thank you for this opportunity! This was a fabulous experience and added a lot of richness to my academic quarters. I was able to crossover what I was doing and apply it to my courses, and vice versa."
—Carolyn White, Edible Portland intern, 2012-2013, Cofounder, Food Action Collective

"The stipend allowed me to cover a portion of my tuition so that I could focus on a relevant internship and my studies rather than getting a part-time job in an unrelated field."
Lina Menard, City of Portland, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability intern, 2011-2012, Owner Niche Consulting, LLC

"I feel much more prepared and confident in my career pursuits because of my experience at Oregon BEST and the people that I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to learn from."
—Eric Douville, Oregon BEST intern, 2012-2013, Intern Architect, Little Diversified Architectural Consulting

"I've met and worked with so many different people in the industry that I feel I would have no problem contacting any time in search for work or references. This really helped me get my foot in the door."
Caty Head-Skogland, Palleroni Leite Design Partnership intern, Project Engineer with Howard S. Wright Construction 

Employer Testimonials

"This internship is incredibly valuable to both the organization and the students. The program plays a vital part in Renewable Northwest's efforts to help talented, passionate, intelligent people find their career niche in the Northwest renewable energy sector. Thank you for running this program!"
—David Wolf, Administrative Director, Renewable Northwest

“This has been an incredibly positive experience, from the interview process through hiring and the internship itself. This has been an extraordinary contribution to our work and provided services we needed but did not have the budget or staff available to perform. He was a lifesaver."
—Dylan Kruse, Policy Manager, Sustainable Northwest

"This opportunity is invaluable. We really appreciate the connection it makes between our organization and PSU. Our intern is wonderful, and the ability to recruit such an exceptional intern really hinges on the outreach and stipend that you provide. Thank you."
—Lola Milholland, Communications Project Manager, Ecotrust, Assistant Editor, Edible Portland






Past Partner Organizations




About the Program

The Sustainability Internship Program began in 2009 and is a partnership between the Institute for Sustainable Solutions, which provides primary funding and fiscal management for the program, and the Office of Advising and Career Services, which manages all other aspects of the program.

For more information, contact Mary Vance, Career Counselor, Sustainability Focus: