Completing at least one internship while you are in college is probably the best thing you can do to enhance your career prospects. You gain work experience for your resume, and, just as important, you learn whether or not a job is a good fit for your interests, skills, and personality.
Student internships have ranged from working with forest preserves, a rain garden project, mosquito abatement, soil scientists, and more.
With NRES, you can earn course credit for your internship experience, or possibly for volunteer experience. By taking either NRES 293 or NRES 294. If you work with a company or organization outside of NRES, you will earn credit for NRES 293 Professional Internship. To earn credit for the NRES 294 Resident Internship, you must work directly with an NRES faculty member to determine the duties and requirements.
For more details on the requirements for receiving credit for your internship and for pertinent forms, you can view our Internship Policy.
Speaking with your advisor, teachers, and your peers can be a great place to start when considering the internship experience you want, and learning where to look.
Permanent job and current internship announcements are available to all current NRES students in a Career Information Blog. We also post various career and internship opportunities on our Twitter, IllinoisNRES. To get an idea of the variety of opportunities available to our students, we have gathered a list of previous internships NRES students have completed.
Job and internship announcements are also posted electronically on the university-wide platform, Handshake @ Illinois. This service can alert you as jobs and internships in your field are added.
We also encourage students to monitor non-university resources for internship opportunities:
- Army Corps of Engineers
- Campus2Careers internship program of the National Council for Science and the Environment
- Environmental Protection Agency's Student Employment Programs
- Governor's Environmental Corps Summer Internship Program (Illinois EPA)
- Illinois Department of Natural Resources Internships
- National Great Rivers Research and Education Center Internships
- Pollution Prevention & Energy Efficiency Internship Program (Illinois EPA)
- Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Internships
- The Student Conservation Association Internships
There are many volunteer opportunities available that will provide you with experience directly related to NRES and your future career goals, and many different resources to help find volunteer positions:
- Office of Volunteer Programs provides links to University of Illinois student service organizations, University service initiatives, and other resources.
- America's Natural and Cultural Resources Volunteer Portal allows you to search for volunteer opportunities with federal agencies. You can search by keyword, zip code, state, agency, or type of volunteer activity.
- Illinois Department of Natural Resources Volunteer Network allows you to search volunteer opportunities with IDNR and sign up for the "i Volunteer" email notification service.
In the Champaign-Urbana area, we recommend students check the following:
- Allerton Park and Retreat Center relies on volunteers to help maintain the gardens and natural areas, provide tours, assist with weddings and events, etc. Please call 217-333-3287 or email AllertonInfo@illinois.edu to find out how you can help.
- Champaign County Forest Preserve District
- Champaign Park District
- Urbana Park District
- Grand Prairie Friends allows you to search their volunteer events calendar and obtain more information about volunteer opportunities, including prescribed burning certification workshops for members.
Most natural resource areas and organizations have volunteer opportunities, so be sure to investigate different possibilities in your home town or other areas.