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Summer Internship - A great opportunity if you seek out your own challenges

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Research Intern (Summer)  in  Austin, TX
Former Employee - Research Intern (Summer) in Austin, TX

I worked at Environmental Defense

Pros

The Austin office has experts from a variety of backgrounds, including biology, engineering, economics, business, geology, and law. The office is very laid back (especially in the summer, I'm told) and work hours are flexible. Once you demonstrate that you are a serious employee, there are great opportunities to take on a prominent role in research. I was able to attend City Council hearings and meetings with other environmental groups, and my research was regularly used on official EDF business. Best of all, nearly everyone is friendly and engaging. I developed several valuable connections that have lead to promising job prospects--and not just in Austin. Highly recommended (especially at $12/hour)!

Cons

As a motivated and passionate person, the office was sometimes too laid back for my tastes. I found myself doing more work than some of my "bosses" on some occasions--not because I was told to work harder, but because they weren't as dedicated to producing results as myself. Also, make sure you actively try to seek out work that interests you. When I first arrived, they would have been more than happy to give me somewhat brainless tasks to be completed in my little office for the duration of the summer. But because I pushed and nagged until I got work that was engaging, they were more than happy to comply. I got the sense that the full-time employees didn't trust interns to be effective and dedicated, but once I proved to them that I was capable, they shoveled over a great deal of responsibility.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Work your interns harder. I know many students sign up for an easy summer internship, but there is no reason you should humor them. EDF is working on a lot of important issues, and there are many engaging experts at the Austin office, so there is no excuse for interns not to spend the summer learning and working hard. Everyone benefits.

Recommends

36 Other Employee Reviews for Environmental Defense (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Environmental Defense full-time

    Pros

    I enjoyed my time at EDF. It's a positive work environment with a lot of collaboration and opportunities for growth. They made a strong effort for the whole staff to know about the programs and feel inspired about the mission.

    Cons

    There were very few cons! I had challenges with a manager for part of my time there, but was always able to turn to other staff as mentors.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great place to work, important mission. Smart people, but less than they think.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director
    Former Employee - Director

    I worked at Environmental Defense full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great atmosphere, with smart, pragmatic people who value innovation and do not adhere to the typical dogmas of environmentalism. Good work-life balance. Wonderful focus on science-based environmentalism, including economics.

    Cons

    An organisation that is a little too full of itself, and sometimes lacks perspective. HR is often unresponsive, except when it comes to letting people go. Upper management in some programs are disengaged from their operational staff.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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