The National Park Service (NPS) is an agency of the United States federal government that manages all U.S. national park units, which include National Parks, National Monuments, National Historic Sites, National Battlefields, and various other designations. The NPS was established on August 25, 1916, by Congress through the National Park Service Organic Act and is an agency of the United States Department of the Interior. The NPS is charged with a dual role of preserving the natural and cultural resources and values of the places entrusted to its management while also making them available and accessible for public use and enjoyment.
ABOUT THE ROLE
What if you could use your skills and expertise in strategy, operations, policy, and finance to promote the sustainability of America’s most beautiful and culturally significant sites?
What if you could spend your summer outside of the confines of a traditional office, tackling unique problem sets with creativity and autonomy?
What if a summer internship could provide powerful hands-on experience balancing multiple stakeholders and making mission-critical recommendations to anchor a career in consulting, public service, and beyond?
You can achieve all of this and more as a Consultant with the National Park Service Business Plan Internship (BPI). This highly-selective summer program is open to graduate students currently enrolled in business, public policy, environmental management, public administration, and related programs who want to create lasting social, economic, and environmental impact through their careers.
As a BPI consultant, you’ll be matched with a co-consultant as a team of two and placed at a park unit, regional office, or Washington D.C. program office to address pressing business or operational challenges. Recent projects have included improving park financial sustainability through innovative commercial service offerings, exploring the viability of cashless fee systems, and achieving economies of scale through consolidated museum collections. While each project’s focus varies depending upon client needs, all will challenge your analytical, communication, and project management skills in the best of ways, culminating in a presentation to agency leadership at the summer’s end.
Consultants who successfully complete the BPI program and meet the qualifications for federal employment earn the credential of National Park Service Conservation Fellow and become eligible for direct hire into positions within the NPS after they graduate.
You have strong analytical acumen, respect and empathy for diverse stakeholders, and/or project management skills, an interest in consulting, strategic planning, and public sector management, and the desire to contribute to the future of our national parks by improving the parks and programs’ operational and financial health.
You have an entrepreneurial mindset and are comfortable working in high responsibility, high autonomy settings.
You’re a fantastic communicator with strong presentation skills, able to distill complex ideas for broad accessibility and action.
Your interpersonal skills transcend departments or disciplines; you’re as comfortable collaborating with a Park Ranger as you are presenting to agency leadership.
You’re enthusiastic about working in diverse (and potentially remote) project sites and advancing the work of the NPS to preserve and share the places and stories that are significant to our country.
Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. The National Park Service is dedicated to building a workplace that is as diverse and inclusive as our natural and cultural resources, so if you’re interested in this role, but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyway.
US citizen or permanent resident*
Minimum of two years of full-time (i.e., non-internship) professional work experience
Full-time graduate student at the time of application
Graduate program completion date must be December 2023 or later
Availability for all program dates (June 3 – August 18, 2023)
Valid US driver’s license; many projects will require driving to field sites
Understanding of and commitment to the mission of the National Park Service: “The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world”
*In accordance with Federal law, we are unable to consider applicants who do not meet the requirement for citizenship.
Dates: This is an 11-week internship program, beginning Saturday, June 3 through Friday, August 18, 2023. The program’s first week is a rigorous NPS orientation in one of the nation’s most beautiful parks with the entire cohort of 2023 Consultants!
Application deadline: January 2, 2023
Priority application deadline: December 16, 2022
Compensation: BPI participants receive a weekly stipend of $825.*
The BPI program reimburses transportation to training at the start of the program, meals during the on-site orientation, travel to the assigned project site, and travel from the project site to the consultant’s school or home at the end of the summer. Summer consultants are also reimbursed for any other work-related travel.
Each project site provides housing, work computers, and office space. Access to a shared vehicle for work-related use is often included. Please note that summer consultants are responsible for providing their own transportation between their housing and work locations (as well as for personal adventuring).
*Many schools offer students additional funding for socially or environmentally focused summer internships. Check with your career services office for more information.*