Internships

Taylor Krause, former intern and currently National Outreach and Partnership Coordinator for CCL.

Taylor Krause, former intern and currently National Outreach and Partnership Coordinator for CCL.

CCL interns work with our staff and volunteers throughout the country to engage their communities on climate action. Below are descriptions of internships that are offered. Please contact Alison Kubicsko at Alison@citizensclimatelobby.org to ask if they are available for the term that you are seeking.

Higher Education Outreach (remote)
Volunteer Engagement (remote)
International (remote)
Legislative Assistant (Washington DC)
Lobby Day Assistants (Encinitas, CA)
Volunteer Action (San Diego, CA)
Communications (Atlanta, GA)
Membership (Coronado, CA)
Marketing/Events (Medford, NY)
Coal Action Team (remote)
Agriculture Action Team (remote)

In addition to these staff internships, local chapters can also have internships. Please reach out to your local chapter leader to find out if they would like to host an internship. 

Interns receive free registration to the CCL regional and national conferences. Academic credit is possible; positions are usually unpaid.  

Internship Supervisors 

If you are a CCL group leader or regional coordinator, working with an intern is a great way to get more done and recruit young people for your chapter. Supervising an intern is a significant time commitment. Do you have time to recruit, interview, and work one-on-one with an intern every week for the duration of their internship? Summer internships can be full time while academic semester internships are typically 7-10 hours a week. Here's what you need to know about hosting an internship.

1. Attend a live or recorded training. All intern supervisors should attend a training to learn about CCL guidelines for conducting an internship. Please watch the recording. 

3. Create a position description. Your first step is to create an internship description. How many hours is the internship? (we recommend 7-10 hours a week, for 12 weeks.) What will the intern do? Start a list of all projects and tasks you have on your plate, then find the tasks that you could both train and supervise an intern to complete. Think about what groups of tasks would be a beneficial learning experience for a student. Interns need projects that can utilize their creativity, leadership, and critical thinking skills as well as helping with administrative tasks and whatever else needs to be done. Make a list of skills that are required for the job and others that are desirable. Use the sample internship description to customize your internship.

3. Figure out the logistics. Do you need the intern to work in-person? Are you comfortable working with them remotely? Because CCL chapters do not have offices, it is up to you to find a safe, professional, and convenient place where you and your intern can meet regularly to work together. We recommend that all interns be local so they can meet face-to-face with their supervisors on a regular basis. If working remotely, we recommend that you work simultaneously with them through a videoconference platform (skype, zoom, or google hangout) to approximate the experience of being together in person.

4. Advertise. Prepare both a PDF and a web version of your job description (on your chapter’s website, Facebook page, or even a google doc will work). Send the position description to faculty at your local university and the sustainability director. Check the university’s career development website to submit an internship listing. Make copies and put up the flyer on campus (make sure you get permission first!). Share through social media. Table at a career fair or environmental event. The best times to recruit interns is October-March for Summer start, January-September for Fall start, and September-December for Spring start.

4. Interview candidates. Once you've received enough applications, select the ones that appeal to you and contact them to let them know that you received their materials and confirm basic requirements: location, availability, student status, interest. Invite them to listen to the intro call. Once they have confirmed their eligibility and interest, invite them to an interview. 

Sample Interview questions

  • How did you learn about CCL?

  • What are you interested in working on climate change?

  • What would you like to gain from this experience?

  • Where do you want to be in 5 years?

  • What relevant coursework have you taken?

  • What leadership experience do you have?

  • What skills will you bring to this internship? Do you have examples?

  • Tell me about a project you are proud of (ask for details- perhaps what did a typical day look like?) Tell me about work/school experiences you enjoy most.

  • Can you commit to [4-5 hours twice a week on set days for 4- 6 months]? Tip: Too much schedule flexibility with week to week schedules leads to high turnover.

  • What questions do you have about the internship?

5. Select interns. After you've interviewed your top candidates, take a day or two for you and the applicant to reflect on your options. Out of courtesy take no longer than a week to notify the applicant of acceptance or not.

I also suggest that you contact the students you choose not to interview, just to acknowledge their effort and that we are interested in getting them involved in the organization even if they do not do an internship! 

6. Complete paperwork. Congratulations, you’ve find an intern! Now you need to have them complete the paperwork to get them onboard. Download the forms in this folder, and follow instructions.  

“For Credit” Internships: If the student is seeking academic credit for the internship, they need to demonstrate that the internship meets the school’s requirements to qualify for credit. They should talk to their academic advisor, who will have a form for you to sign. 

7. Set the Stage for Success. Prepare projects well in advance. Schedule regular times every week when you meet with the intern. Develop checkpoints to evaluate how the internship is going (mutually meeting needs). I use Asana.com to keep to-do lists and delegate tasks to interns. You can also have them track progress in this app. Give feedback about what they do well, where they need improvement. Make sure your expectations are clear, and provide deadlines and written instructions. Recognize individual volunteer efforts. Thank volunteers daily! Identify volunteer talents and encourage ongoing education.

8. After the Internship.  Acknowledge their contributions with a thank you card, or a gift, or take them out to lunch. Make sure that they have signatures they need to get credit if that was part of the agreement. Have them fill out an evaluation and send it to clara.fang@citizensclimatelobby.org. Invite them to continue their involvement in CCL as a campus leader, Regional Fellow, or chapter member. Keep in touch and be a mentor.

Resources

Intern Supervisors Resources Folder

Onboarding Documents

For support with chapter internships, contact Clara.Fang@citizensclimatelobby.org. For staff internships, contact Alison@citizensclimatelobby.org