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Environmental Sustainability Intern (University Unions)

The Division of Student Affairs Internship Program

The Division of Student Affairs Internship Program allows students to spend a summer handling a special project for the university designed to prepare them for life after graduation. Interns will work 19 hours per week for 10-weeks. These part-time internship positions offer a competitive compensation package that includes an hourly wage and housing assistance. Undergraduate students are eligible to apply. The internship runs from June 1, 2020 to August 7, 2020. The application is due February 16, 2020.

Although internships range in subject matter and skill set, each position is designed to prepare all students for life after graduation. For this reason, each intern will submit various assessments relating to their development in the areas listed in the “What You’ll Learn” section below. These skills, otherwise referred to as the NACE career competencies, have been identified by higher education and corporate recruiting leaders as critical to a student’s career preparation.

Please contact with questions.

*Undergraduate students must be enrolled in the Spring 2020 semester to be eligible. 

The Office

The mission of the University Unions is to enhance the student experience and to enrich campus life by providing cultural, educational, social, and recreational programs as well as related goods and services to the campus community. The University Unions is the community center for the university, offering activities, programs, services and facilities that complement the academic mission and the focus on student development. Our facilities and management include the Texas Union, the Student Activity Center, the Hogg Memorial Auditorium, the Student Services Building, and 2609.

The Project

The University Unions goal is to reduce waste and promote sustainability practices in our facilities while providing opportunities for education and awareness with our students and campus community. University Unions is seeking an intern to contribute to the department's sustainability planning related to waste, recycling, and composting. The intern will contribute to this effort by assisting in research, project coordination, event planning, data management, and the production of communications materials.

The Supervisor

James Buckley, Director of Facilities and Operations, University Unions

Things You’ll Do

This position contributes to our efforts of helping the university achieve its zero waste goals. This will be done in throughout our day to day operations, retail food service and catering services.

  • Provide support for sustainability activities in University Unions (UU) facilities including project coordination, research and presentations
  • Research and/or support sustainability opportunities or projects - particularly with the University Unions Food Truck program and its Zero Waste catering events
  • Enhance and improve signage related to sustainability efforts in UU facilities
  • Determine feasibility of a ""Green Team"" to support logistics and diversion during catering events and
  • food courts in peak periods
  • Create and manage databases containing sustainability-related information, such as bin mapping,
  • inspection assessments, comprehensive packaging lists and cost differentials
  • Review and update the department website to include sustainability information
  • Benchmark the department against other union organizations across the country
  • Develop a communications plan in coordination with the social media staff member
  • Participate in all required Division of Student Affairs Internship Program cohort activities and assessments

What You’ll Learn

  • Oral/Written Communications: Articulate thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively in written and oral forms to persons inside and outside of the organization. The individual has public speaking skills; is able to express ideas to others; and can write/edit memos, letters, and complex technical reports clearly and effectively.
  • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving: Exercise sound reasoning to analyze issues, make decisions, and overcome problems. The individual is able to obtain, interpret, and use knowledge, facts, and data in this process, and may demonstrate originality and inventiveness.
  • Teamwork/Collaboration: Build collaborative relationships with colleagues and customers representing diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, religions, lifestyles, and viewpoints. The individual is able to work within a team structure, and can negotiate and manage conflict.

Who You Are (Preferred Qualifications)
  • Passionate about sustainability and desire to educate others about it
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Enthusiasm for working hands-on with waste, recycling, and compost
  • Comfortable interacting with the campus community in a variety of settings
  • Self-motivated and organized Interested in working flexible hours
  • Training or education in sustainability preferred