Badgers, Start Your Resumes

Applications for the coveted Corporate Sustainability Internship open on February 1.

Following the success of its pilot year, the UW–Madison Corporate Sustainability Internship Program will soon be accepting applications for its second cohort. On February 1, current UW–Madison students can apply through the WiSH portal for this one-of-a-kind opportunity to gain real-world sustainability experience in a corporate environment.

Erin Bulson

The program — created by the Nelson Institute and the Office of Sustainability — matches students with companies where they spend the summer completing a project that the company develops specifically for each intern. “This is a real project they can put into their portfolio that will make them incredibly competitive when they enter the workforce,” said Erin Bulson, the program’s manager. In developing the projects, each company sets at least one quantifiable sustainability metric (like gallons of water saved or tons waste reduced) and defines how the project fits into its business needs.

The hands-on management of the program sets it apart. Not only are the companies hand-picked, but each accepted applicant is purposefully paired with a company and project that matches their interests and career goals. For the inaugural cohort, three students were selected out of 70 applicants to complete projects with Alter Trading, a metal-recycling company; Salas O’Brien, an engineering and technical consultancy; and Ramboll, a consulting company. “I was able to work in a professional environment and manage a large-scale project by myself,” said Alter Trading intern Olivia Hench. “These are skills that I plan to take with me in any future career.”

To bolster their experience and set them up for success, all interns will also be paired with a mentor at their host organization and participate in a three-day sustainability and corporate-culture bootcamp run by the Office of Sustainability. As a direct-placement internship, students will be paid by their host company. Selected interns may be awarded a small scholarship from the university, as well.

Learn more about the program, then visit the WiSH portal on February 1 to apply.