Willamette University, Students at the Mill Stream

Willamette connecting undergrads and businesses with sustainability internships


With funding from the James S. Kemper Foundation, Willamette University will provide six sustainability internships at for-profit businesses during the summer of 2014. Businesses are invited to submit internship descriptions. Willamette University undergraduate students selected for internships will be provided a $4,000 stipend. See below for process, timeline, and internship description criteria. 

Businesses interested in a paid summer intern from Willamette University must submit a complete internship description via email to Joe Abraham prior to the deadline of March 24. Please follow instructions provided to be considered.

Internship Selection Process and Timeline

  • March 24: Deadline for interested businesses to submit complete internship descriptions.
  • March 28: Willamette University selects six internships. WU undergraduate students are notified of internships and April 9 deadline to apply.
  • April 9: Deadline for eligible WU students (see below) to apply for selected internships. WU Internship program administrators share complete applications from eligible students with businesses. 
  • April 14-25: Businesses identify and interview candidates, and select intern by April 30.
  • May: Intern supervisor and intern discuss specific responsibilities based on training and abilities, as well as other issues helpful for ensuring successful outcomes.
  • May 12 – August 13: 8-10 week internship commences and completes.
  • August/September: Interns, Intern supervisors (representative of business) and WU program administrators participate in assessment workshop.

Internship Requirements

  • Eligible businesses must currently operate as a for-profit firm. This is required by the program’s funding source.
  • Internships must include 8-10 weeks of full time work, primarily on-site, between May 12, 2014 and August 13, 2014. Interns will be provided a $4,000 stipend from Willamette University. Funding for this program has been provided by the James S. Kemper Foundation.
  • Internships must directly involve interns in the business’s sustainability agenda. For example, if a firm’s business is to provide a more sustainable product, service, or to help other businesses do the same, interns should be involved in the research, design, marketing, etc., of that product or service.  Internships can also directly involve interns in designing, implementing, or evaluating sustainability initiatives or commitments that demonstratively improve the firm’s competitiveness, market share, brand, etc. For the purposes of this program “sustainability” includes environmentally, socially, and economically responsible products, services, consulting and initiatives.

Preferred Internship Qualities

  • We seek to place Willamette University students with companies for which sustainability is an integral part of their business, and are recognized in their markets and fields as innovators. For the purposes of this program “sustainability” includes environmentally, socially, and economically responsible products, services, and initiatives.
  • Interns should report directly to the person(s) responsible for sustainability in the company, division, or a supervisor in an area where sustainability is integral to the business.
  • Internships should expose interns to opportunities and challenges businesses encounter when sustainability is an integral part of their business.
  • Interns will be given substantial responsibility including managing a project or working as part of a team to realize a goal that can be completed during the internship.
  • We are especially interested in internships in Washington, Oregon, and California where many of our students originate and may have housing options. Businesses may offer to help cover costs related to the internship including travel, housing, etc., but are not required to pay for the hours the intern works.

Eligible Students and Process for Selecting Interns

Eligible WU undergraduate students will have completed at least their sophomore year prior to the start of summer internship with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students must also clearly articulate in their application a professional interest in sustainability and its connection(s) to the specific internship for which they are applying. WU internship program administrators will review applications submitted by eligible students, and present complete applications to representatives of selected internships for consideration. Businesses will identify and interview candidates, and select an intern. See timeline above for current deadlines and dates.

Additional questions may be addressed to:

Joe Abraham, Ph.D.
Willamette University Sustainability Institute
(503) 370-6482