Are you planning to use a capstone internship as your closure option for the masters degree in ENS?

If your answer is YES, and you are planning to take the capstone closure course (ENS 550) in Fall 2015, read this email carefully!

In order to register for ENS 550 in Fall 2015, you need to complete and submit a capstone internship plan. Guidelines for the internship plan can be found in the graduate student handbook on the departmental webpage:

You must complete the first draft of your internship plan by Wednesday, APRIL 15, 2015 and submit it by email to Dr. Megan Styles at Dr. Styles will email you with comments on your draft plan; most students go through 2-3 rounds of revision before the final plan is accepted.

Remember that if your internship is UNPAID, you need to work with Dr. Dennis Ruez to complete an affiliation agreement.  This is a legal document that has sometimes taken months to get approved.  You will not be allowed to enroll in ENS 550 without a fully approved internship plan and affiliation agreement (if applicable). If this applies to you, be sure to take care of this ASAP by emailing Dr. Ruez at

Please contact Dr. Styles if you have any questions, concerns, etc.


Here are answers to a few FAQs ….

Q: Do I need to complete all of my hours during the Fall Semester or can I start my internship this summer?

A: You are very welcome to start your internship this summer. Remember, however, that you will be required to submit progress reports every 50 hours. If you are starting your internship early, you will want to work on these as you go, rather than waiting until fall. Also, please be advised that I will be out-of-the country with sporadic access to email from mid-June to mid-July, and I may not be able to help you troubleshoot issues that occur during this time.


Q: How specific does my proposal have to be in terms of my planned activities?

A: The more specific you can be ahead-of-time the better. This is a great opportunity for you to have an initial conversation with your supervisor about what you want to gain from this experience and what the organization or institution needs. Remember that this is a graduate-level internship, so your proposal should include some specific activities or projects that will allow you to exercise your skills, gain experience in a field that interests you, and generate outcomes that you can discuss in your final report. Some of you will be doing a thousand things at once and it may take time for one or two experiences to emerge as the key outcomes of your internship, but the more directed you are at the outset, the more likely you and the organization will benefit from your work.
Q: Help! I can’t find an internship. What should I do?

A: Carefully consider what you might be able to do at your current place of employment. Students in the past have completed energy/waste audits, worked on education and training plans, or implemented other “green” initiatives in their current workplaces. Also consider what you want to do after you complete the program. This can be an opportunity to demonstrate expertise in a new field, test a new method, or make invaluable professional connections that will help you move in a new direction after you complete the degree. If you contact an agency or organization to ask about opportunities, be sure to tell them what you can offer them (e.g. don’t just send a resume). It also helps to follow your personal connections in order to find an internship. Who do you know that has a connection to a group or organization that interests you? Can you volunteer or attend an event that will allow you to introduce yourself to someone that might be looking for an intern? If you have not already arranged something, get started ASAP.