by: Bridget Flynn
I applied to the IUOS internship program about this time last year. Thinking so highly of the program and former interns, I was hesitant to apply. I thought “am I ready for this kind of challenge?” Apprehensive yet ambitious, I finally completed my application materials. I tried not to get my hopes up, but low and behold a few weeks later I was invited to interview. After an unnerving waiting period, I found out I got the job and would become the Sustainability and the First Year Experience Intern at the Office of Sustainability. That was nearly a year ago, and what an awesome year it’s been!
This internship has given me the chance to get my foot into a professional sustainability field while also meeting so many incredible people and learning a great deal. I was able to develop many skills, learn new vocabulary, and gain an understanding of advancing sustainability in higher education.
During my time as an intern I was given the opportunity to coordinate the first sustainability-related IUBeginnings trip, as you can read about here. Participants engaged with sustainability in Bloomington by serving with some amazing groups, getting a first-hand glance at sustainable facilities, and meeting local movers and shakers. During the trip, we also learned about IU’s grand history while also making friends and lifelong memories. I also worked alongside the Office of First Year Experience to green New Student Orientation.
Continuing my internship into the fall, I was able to get the Green Room Certification Program (GRCP) off the ground. The program aims to encourage students in the residence halls to engage in sustainable behavior. During its inception semester nearly fifty students certified their rooms and many more learned about the initiative by attending the Student Involvement Fair and reading about the GRCP in the Indiana Daily Student (IDS), IU News Room, and on the IUOS blog. Even as a new project, the Green Room Certification Program has served as a model for other universities aspiring to create similar programs.
By undertaking many initiatives and partnering with individuals and offices throughout the university and community, the IU Office of Sustainability is an absolutely remarkable source of change and an incredible entity to be a part of. The Office is powered by the advisory board, working groups, student volunteers, and in large part by interns. Internships vary from utilities conservation to wetland inventory to academic initiatives to electronic computing. If you have any interest in advancing sustainability at IU, then there is likely an internship to fit your passion and/or skill set.
Beginning January 30th, the Office will be accepting applications for the summer internship program. If you’re a student at all interested, I would highly encourage you to apply; if my experience is any indication of what yours could be, it will an exceptional opportunity. Applications are due February 17th. You can learn more and apply here. IU is one of the greatest schools in the nation, help it become one of the most sustainable too!