March is here and as the days get longer and the sun gets warmer, it’s a good time to start thinking about summer — jobs, that is. You may be a student graduating or just facing down summer break, or you may a professional looking for a new career or interest. Either way, summer jobs, internships and volunteer opportunities are an excellent way to try something out, and get your foot in the door. In this job market, you have to start early! Many employers are already accepting applications. So dust off your resume and check out these green jobs, volunteer and internship ideas designed to help you build a meaningful career or at least a better resume.
1. Visit your national parks (all summer!). The National Park Service hires up to 10,000 temporary employees each year, and utilizes about 125,000 volunteers. In addition to living and working in an amazing setting and working for a federal agency that promotes conservation, you just may end up staying year-round and finding a career. Visit: http://nps.gov/personnel/ for more information. For Colorado state parks, visit: http://parks.state.co.us/Jobs/Pages/Jobs.aspx
2. Get out on the trail — for a day, a weekend, or the whole summer. Help maintain, repair or enhance recreational trails throughout Colorado, as either an employee or a volunteer. Colorado Fourteeners Initiative (http://14ers.org/) is hiring crew leaders, crewmembers, and interns. The Colorado Mountain Club (http://cmc.org/conservation/conservation.aspx) has a Boulder chapter and offers ongoing crew leadership training (the next one is April 16) as well as summer trail work projects. The Continental Divide Trail Alliance (http://cdtrail.org/page.php?pname=involve/youthcorp) and the Colorado Trail Foundation (http://coloradotrail.org/volunteer.html) offer a variety of great opportunities as well. Wildlands Restoration Volunteers (http://wlrv.org/) also offers both paid and volunteer positions and training around the Front Range.
3. Check out Green Businesses. Boulder Green Building Guild is a volunteer-based organization, and offers several internships in addition to a jobs/classifieds section on their website (http://bgbg.org/classifieds). The Boulder Chamber of Commerce has a Green Zone webpage that identifies CleanTech Boulder news, events and partnerships. If you are an entrepreneur looking to launch your next project, this is a great resource. Meetup.com is another great resource if you are new to the city or community, and this is a great tool to meet people and start networking within your interests or expertise.
4. CU-Boulder’s Career Services Go Green website is also wealth of great resources and ideas. Visit: http://careerservices.colorado.edu/students/goGreen.aspx
5. If you want to get better training for your present or future sustainability work, consider the CU-Boulder Sustainable Practices Program. You can take individual classes or get a professional certificate. Visit: http://ecenter.colorado.edu/education/sustainable-practices for a schedule of courses and certificate information.
Even if you don’t get your dream job the first time around, don’t just sit at home! Get up, get out there, and put yourself to work. Often people get jobs by knowing the right people from volunteering experience! Showing up to events keeps you engaged in the community and its opportunities. You don’t have to know anything, or anyone–just go, see what they offer, and see where it leads you. Check the KGNU community calendar, campus and Daily Camera event calendars, and go to Boulder’s world-class farmer’s markets and festivals to network and brainstorm.
Katherine Doan is the communications coordinator for the CU Environmental Center.
If you have any ideas or comments about green jobs, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.