Career Development: Internships
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Superior Preparation | Extraordinary Results

"The Career Development team searched day and night for high-caliber internships that could provide good foundations for our careers. They made sure we found an internship we were excited about and that would help us understand the sector we were exploring."Brenda Ponton, MESM 2013

Professional experience allows students to learn about a particular field, develop contacts, and apply what they have learned in the classroom to real-world situations. In fact, practical experience ranks at the top of the list of what employers like to see in job candidates. Most employers look unfavorably on potential employees who come out of a professional graduate school without internship experience.

The Bren School places a strong emphasis on professional experience, and typically all MESM students complete an internship during the summer between their first and second year. The Career Development team works closely with students to help them secure rewarding internships in various sectors and organizations, and in locations across the U.S. and the world, depending on their interests and career goals.

100%
of 1st-year MESM students complete a summer internship each year
97-99%
of MESM interns over the past two years received some sort of funding for their summer internships
42
Number of countries in which students have found internships over the years
70%
or more internships are Bren-facilitated each year (via alumni, Career Development postings, Group Projects, Corporate Partnerships, etc.)


Zach McKelvey (MESM 2016) looks for pteropods from the morning's plankton tow on the R/V Shearwater during a trip to the Channel Islands for his internship with the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary in Santa Barbara, CA.

Heather Hochrein (MESM 2016) inside the PG&E office in San Francisco. As a Climate Policy intern in the Energy Procurement Department, Heather performed research and analysis related to the EPA's proposed Clean Power Plan. "I learned so much about the electric sector and climate policy," says Heather. "It was also very relevant to EVMatch, my Eco-Entrepreneurship Project."
At a biofuels conference in Washington, D.C., Julia Paltseva (MESM 2016) poses by a surfboard made entirely of algae. "Algae and their byproducts are a potential biofuels source, and the surfboard is very California," says Julia, who worked on Indonesian biofuels policy during her internship with the International Council on Clean Transportation in D.C.
Cameron Dunning (MESM 2016) touches "home" briefly among a sea of world flags on display at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) headquarters in Hamburg, Germany, where he spent the summer as an intern.


During her internship with The Wine Group in Ripon, CA, Natalie Cochron (MESM 2016) made ArcGIS maps of the group's California wineries and vineyards. Here, she takes a GPS reading next to a 130-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon vine known as the "Mother Vine" because it is the origin of 3 clone varieties that make up 80% of all Cabernet Sauvignon grown in California.
As part of his internship with Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, Cody Wilgus (MESM 2016) takes readings of dissolved oxygen and conductivity to calibrate the data loggers deployed at a site on the Ventura River.

During his internship with American Rivers in Seattle, WA, Martin Merz spent a month traveling through Nebraska, Colorado, Arizona, and Montana. "We went to Camp Verde, Arizona, to interview farmers and water-trust practitioners who work with The Nature Conservancy [TNC] to restore flows to the Verde River," says Martin. "While we were there, TNC was installing their first pilot drip-irrigation project that will return conserved water back to the stream. They needed volunteers for the installation, so we worked on the project. In return, the farmers were more willing to have us interview them."

Michelle Graff (MESM 2016) in Boston, MA, where she worked on energy-efficiency projects for the City of Boston's Environment Department.

Jen Kidson and Geoff Willard (both MESM 2016) on Lake Cachuma during their internships with the Cachuma Operation and Maintenance Board (COMB) in Santa Barbara, CA.



Michael Millstein (MESM 2016) in the office at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he worked on energy-efficiency projects for UCLA Health through the EDF Climate Corps Fellowship Program.

During her internship with The Nature Conservancy in Block Island, RI, Erica Felins (MESM 2016) holds an American eel that is making its way back to the ocean to spawn. "We found super-cool stuff — both expected and unexpected!" says Erica. She worked with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management to monitor The Great Salt Pond's juvenile fish population.

David Gruen (MESM 2016) is seen fly-fishing on the Yellowstone River in Montana during Intern Day with his internship organization, Trout Unlimited, and Montana Aquatic Resources Services.

Jane Ballard (MESM 2016) removes invasive Arundo donax from the Santa Clara River. Her summer internship with the UCSB Marine Science Institute's Riparian InVasion Research Lab was an extension of her Master's Group Project on Arundo.

Read stories about international summer internships from years past:
Building a Coral Nursery in the Dominican Republic
Water Issues in New Zealand
On the Road in Southern Chile
Trial by Fire in London and other international internships