Interns can be great hiring resources.  With so many seeking to launch or transition to a green career, green businesses are finding great talent really motivated to work. They can help you recruit new interns through word of mouth and they often ultimately end up as great full-time employees.  They also can help your organization decrease recruitment costs and enable you to add personnel during periods when workload has increased, but you do not want to add another full-time employee.

Amie Vaccaro,  Ecofrenzy’s blogger and Program Manager with Social Venture Technology Group (SVT Group), recently posted four really important tips for green companies seeking to find great interns. Her organization recently brought on five highly motivated and capable interns.   Her suggestions are designed to enhance you5 search process.  See her tips below:

1) Take time to really think through what you’d like an intern to do and lay out the expectations and tasks assigned.
2) Create a recruiting timeline and stick to it.
3) Select strategic places to post your position.    She provides a list of both free and paid places to post your opportunities, including social networking sites.
4. She also recommends selecting  thoughtful interview questions.

Read her specific recommendations over at Ecofrenzy, but before you do, I’d like you to look over my recommendations below.

1.     Take advantage of the resources at school career centers and counselors.  One other another effective tool is the use of.  Some environmental and sustainability schools and departments now have their own career counseling functions
2.    Make sure the assignment is exciting.  You’ll benefit more if you create an internship program that enables them to learn as much as they can about their chosen field, and are included in regular day to day activities and projects.  You will also dramatically increase the odds that they either return or recommend your company to others.
3.    Move quickly to hire.  Employers often lose great potential interns because they take too long to interview and eventually hire.
4.    Assign the intern a mentor. Make sure that the intern is mentored by an employee that will be good in the role and is able to set the needed time aside, so that the student to has a quality internship.
5.    Make the internship position posting as descriptive as possible.  Be as descriptive as possible with your position description so that potential applicants for the internship opportunity will get a realistic picture of what they will be doing and what it is like to work within your organization.
6.    Make sure that there is one person who can provide adequate supervision for the intern or you could have an intern that ends up twiddling their thumbs.  The intern’s assignments should be closely monitored and you should be prepared to have someone closely monitor the intern’s assignments and daily activities, as well as meet with him or her regularly to review goals and provide feedback.
7.    Plan multiple assignments ahead of time so that the intern isn’t left doing busy work.

© 2009, Tracey de Morsella. All rights reserved. Do not republish.

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Author: Tracey de Morsella (323 Articles)

Tracey de Morsella started her career working as an editor for US Technology Magazine. She used that experience to launch Delaware Valley Network, a publication for professionals in the Greater Philadelphia area. Years later, she used the contacts and resources she acquired to work in executive search specializing in technical and diversity recruitment. She has conducted recruitment training seminars for Wachovia Bank, the Department of Interior and the US Postal Service. During this time, she also created a diversity portal called The Multicultural Advantage and published the Diversity Recruitment Advertising Toolkit, a directory of recruiting resources for human resources professionals. Her career and recruitment articles have appeared in numerous publications and web portals including Woman Engineer Magazine,, Job Search Channel, Workplace Diversity Magazine, Society for Human Resource Management web site, NSBE Engineering Magazine,, and Human Resource Consultants Association Newsletter. Her work with technology professionals drew her to pursuing training and work in web development, which led to a stint at Merrill Lynch as an Intranet Manager. In March, she decided to combine her technical and career management expertise with her passion for the environment, and with her husband, launched The Green Economy Post, a blog providing green career information and covering the impact of the environment, sustainable building, cleantech and renewable energy on the US economy. Her sustainability articles have appeared on Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation, Chem.Info,FastCompany and CleanTechies.

  • Milosz Mogilnicki

    Great article, the issue is that companies do not seem to realize this potential and none actually hire interns yet.
    I am an MBA student hoping for future career in Green energy sector, I have been looking for internship for over 7 months and applied to over 70 companies. So far it has been really tough out there. If anyone has any information about internship opportunity please let me know.

    • Tracey


      Are these formal internship programs or are you contacting the right contacts in specific companies for whom you want to work? Are you willing to take a non-paid internships? In this economy, the best way to get the internship you want is to be willing to take non-paid internships. Alos you should target small consulting firms and start-ups