The Ackerman Center for Excellence in Sustainability (ACES) is taking the Kenan-Flagler internship experience to a whole new level – for both interns and employers!
During the Academic Year BLiS provides opportunities for students to build their business sustainability skills to assess North Carolina companies to determine the winners of our annual Sustainability Awards.
We are piloting a new internship program with no cost to employers, while providing an immersive experience for students. Our Business Leadership in Sustainability (BLiS) Internship Program will provide sustainability training, guidance and support for undergraduate interns. As for employers, BLiS will bring the benefits of interns using sustainability knowledge and frameworks as applied to your business.
Accepted interns will receive ongoing support from the CSE team, including development and management of the following programming:
- An intensive pre-internship sustainability orientation (paid for by CSE). This will be an in-person sustainability experience for the Kenan-Flagler interns in the program. This immersive sustainability leadership opportunity will include:
- Impact-driven experiences (e.g. service learning; identifying leading organizations in social and environmental sustainability; experience how the social, environmental and economic aspects of full sustainability intersect and can benefit each other).
- Meetings with myriad sustainability stakeholders (MNCs, start-ups, investment firms, non-profits, government agencies and more) to truly understand diverse perspectives, which they can bring to the table during their summer internship to help their employers in sustainability-based internships or bring sustainability perspectives to other internships.
- Team building, presentation and leadership exercises.
- Education about business sustainability frameworks and how to apply them in businesses.
- The cohort will develop a summer sustainability living plan to follow and grow as a team. This includes learning metrics for and then developing social, environmental and economic impact goals outside of work.
- Develop a social media and digital communications plan for CSE digital assets.
- Weekly Cohort Meetings (managed by CSE). The interns will meet (in-person or virtual, depending on location) to learn about each other’s experiences, share best practices, discuss what they have learned about sustainability in different industries, etc. CSE leadership will meet with them for a portion of the meeting, but allow the interns to meet on their own as well.
- Relationship Building (managed by interns with support from CSE). The cohort of interns will be required to invite at least one community leader to lunch or dinner each week to learn about them as a human being. This means learning about the person behind the leadership role, what motivates and inspires that person in life, their personal goals, etc. This is not asking the community leader to provide a presentation about the person’s work. Interns may do these on their own, but if multiple interns are in one location, we will ask them to do this as a team.
- Community Engagement/Service Learning(managed by CSE) . Monthly community engagement and service-learning experiences based on the interests of the cohort. Interns will provide help for organizations (volunteering), and will also focus on learning about what the organizations do and how they fit into the social and environmental sustainability landscape. Interns will then determine, as a cohort, how they would like to highlight that organization through CSE social media accounts and web pages. Interns may invite employers to join them on one or two of these experiences.
- Living Together(paid for by CSE) . If we have enough interns within one geographic location who want to live together, we will reimburse them for all or some portion of their housing (depending on how expensive the housing is). The residential option will allow interns to put all of their experiences into action on an even deeper level. In this scenario, we will also provide them with a transportation reimbursement up to a determined amount to use in the most sustainable manner possible (including social, environmental and economic impact of that transportation plan).
- End of Summer Presentations & Celebration (paid for and managed by CSE). With permission of the employers, the interns in this cohort will present on their work and what they learned about sustainability. Employers will be invited and we will set up A) a virtual celebration and B) an in-person opportunity for presentations and a celebration.