How do I find an internship or job?
Step 1: Prepare your résumé and a draft of a cover letter. Start with templates available online and then follow up with a visit to the writing center and career center. Make sure your résumé and letter are clearly written and professionally formatted. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors can result in your application being rejected!
Step 2: Subscribe to the UNO Environment List email list. This list distributes information about internships, jobs, and graduate school opportunities, as well as some announcements related to environmental studies at UNO. Subscribe by sending an email with the subject line UNO Environment List to firstname.lastname@example.org
Step 3: Find employers or jobs listings the advertise positions you are interested in and check them on a regular basis. Many jobs are not widely advertised and may only take applicants for short time. Some sites to consider include:
USAjobs.gov – The Federal Government is a major employer for environmental sciences and virtually all jobs are advertised through the USAjobs website. Spend some time browsing job listings to find careers of interest and become familiar with “series & grade” system used to classify jobs. Sign up for a free account and you can receive alerts as new jobs are posted.
The Federal Government also has programs specifically designed for students and recent graduates.
If you are interested in working for a state agency find where they advertise jobs. For example:
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has career information on its webpage and several other state agencies such as the Department of Natural Resources hire environmental scientists and advertise through the State of Nebraska employment site.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources lists jobs through the state hiring page.
South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Game Fish and Parks list job openings on their pages but you must apply through the central hiring site.
Don’t forget the local paper! Private firms, city and county governments, and organizations such as Natural Resource Districts advertise there. The Sunday Omaha World Herald is a good place to start.
If you are looking for experience working with wildlife, fisheries or related conservation or resource management fields, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Job Board at Texas A&M University is one of the best resources available. They also list opportunities for graduate study and have a link specifically for jobs in GIS (Geographic Information Systems).
Step 4: Consider programs devoted to providing entry level experience through internships. These positions may not provide a significant salary but they can be a valuable investment in your career if they help you build valuable experience. In some cases the internships provide travel, housing and modest stipend to cover some living expenses during the internship but then send you back to school with a scholarship after completing the internship.
The Student Conservation Association's mission is "to build the next generation of conservation leaders." They has a strong history of helping people at early stages in their careers gain valuable experience.
The Montana Conservation Corps has modeled itself after the famous Civilian Conservation Corps and emphasizes providing valuable experience and professional development while working to improve the environment of Montana.
Step 5: Explore opportunities with local organizations. There are a number of groups around Omaha eager to work with UNO students, either through formal internship programs or individual volunteer agreements. Some places to start include:
Many UNO Professors and their graduate students are involved in research related to the environment. Ask about volunteer opportunities. Students interested in pursuing a more in-depth independent research experience are eligible to apply for funding through the UNO FUSE program.
Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue has opportunities for volunteers helping in both land management and environmental education.
UNO's Glacier Creek Preserve is a good place to gain volunteer experience.
Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo has opportunities for interns and volunteers.
The Pottawattamie County Conservation Board provides opportunities for summer interns in Environmental Education and Natural Areas Management.
Step 6: Research organizations you would like to work with and ask about possible internship or job opportunities. For example, many students are interested in careers with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers offices here in Omaha. Others would like to work in the private sector, either for environmental consulting firms, or as part of the environmental sustainability branch of local firms.
Many large corporations have offices focused on environmental compliance and safety, industrial hygiene, sustainability and related fields. You can research companies in Omaha (or other cities) online. Some of these companies also send representatives to the campus career fair.
Environmental consulting firms vary from small, local companies to large firms with offices across the country. Some of the larger firms have links to internship programs and employment opportunities on their websites. A good starting point for researching firms you might want to work with is a simple Google search “Omaha (or whatever city you are interested in) environmental consulting.” Many of firms provide helpful tips for students interested in a career in consulting on their websites.