Interning – not just for your resume, but for personal growth

If you’re a college student and you’ve ever thought about your future as an undergrad, generally there’s a level of uncertainty that comes along with envisioning yourself and where you’ll be, what kind of job you’ll have, and most importantly, if you’re successful. Throw in the overarching concern for the state of the environment, and things in your mind can get generally pessimistic.

Interning with the Sierra Club changed all that for me.  Working with professionals who share your concern for the environment, public health, and conservation of the world’s most beautiful places offers so much more than exposure to how things are done in the real world.  It offers you a chance to meet like-minded people from many different backgrounds, professions, and age groups.

It’s easy to think, “I can’t possibly make a difference.  Business Big Polluters will always win so there’s no point in trying.”  But given the Sierra Club’s track record, you soon realize that none of that is true.  Seeing such a wide network of people working together to bring results, such as the prevention and retiring of more than 250 proposed/existing coal-fired power plants, really brightens the future for ourselves and our children.

When you add the numbers up, you soon realize that each effort from everyone influenced things for the better.  The best part of interning for the largest and oldest grassroots environmental organization in the U.S. is the mutually beneficial outcomes: you get a chance to participate in a great national conversation, while beefing up your resume.

To give a few examples of what I’ve had the opportunity to do, I’ve been on the radio, on television, and in the newspaper.  I’ve seen how national campaigns are implemented at the local level, and how to make leaders out of volunteers. I’ve seen myself grow, and my life goals seem much more attainable.  Working with the Sierra Club has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life, simply because of meeting so many people and knowing that I’m part of something bigger than myself.

This internship offers you a chance to add life skills to your resume, while working with great leaders who guide you through it.  The Sierra Club has been very flexible with my school schedule, because they know we are students first.  Most importantly you’re given the chance to take pride in your work, and contribute to the fight against climate change, devastation of natural resources, and attacks on our health.  What’s not to love about that?

– Kat Herrera, Houston Beyond Coal Intern

* We’re currently accepting applications for the summer internship program in Austin.  If you would like an application, please email  Applications due this Friday, April 27th.

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