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Careers and Internships

Summer Internships & Fellowships

PLAN Mission:

PLAN cultivates, educates and inspires the student-led zero waste movement. We inform students about the waste crisis and equip them with the necessary skills and resources to implement Zero Waste solutions in their campus communities. PLAN empowers our generation to be changemakers.

What is the PLANtern Experience?

Interns with PLAN can expect to work closely with other young, passionate, creative individuals in a collaborative office environment. They should be ready to have their views challenged and expanded, to add their own voice and ideas to the zero waste movement, and to leave a lasting mark on this organization as a whole. As an organization with a strong social and environmental mission, we hope to engage our student interns in the fast paced, value-driven environment of a startup non-profit, while expanding their knowledge of Zero Waste and socio-environmental movements in general. PLANterns should expect the routine of #officelife to be regularly broken up by activities that include touring the facilities of partner organizations and bonding as a team.

Summer Activities
  • Tours of expanded recycling and resource management facilities (composting facilities, Revolution Recovery & Recycled Artist in Residency, Philabundance food recovery operations, and more)
  • Canoe and camping trip with friends in the Penobscot Nation of Maine who are fighting landfill expansion in their communities
  • Weekend retreat to PLAN’s original office in Dover, NH
  • Daily work in a LEED-certified coworking space, CityCoHo
  • Opportunity to explore shows, parks, food, art, and more in Philadelphia
  • Board games, crafts, dumpster diving, and lots of great bonding activities with interns and staff!
Summer Logistics
  • Hours Per Week:  Full-Time 40 hours/week (somewhat flexible) with occasional night-time, weekend, and overnight activities
  • Compensation: In an effort to make the PLANternship experience accessible to students in all financial positions we will offer compensation for those who cannot find other sources of funding. We encourage applicants to apply for funding through opportunities on their campus. Position selection will be based on experience and best-fit, and not on your financial situation. Upon your acceptance for a position we will discuss your funding situation. Up to $3,000* is available for each posting as a summer stipend.
  • Start/End Dates of Internship:  Fri. June 1, 2018 – Fri. August 10, 2018 (10 weeks)*
  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • Housing: Summer sublets are available throughout the city while students from the surrounding campuses (specifically the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel) are on break. If you need assistance with housing, contact us and we can do our best to assist you.

*This will differ for the SZW18 Conference Coordination Fellowship, please see description below for details.

 

Eligibility:

Eligible applicants are individuals with a passion for grassroots environmental issues, social entrepreneurship, and student leadership for positive social change. Applicants who are selected must be able to commit to the start and end dates listed above to work out of PLAN’s headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

How to Apply:

Interested candidates should fill out the attached application which includes general questions, a resume upload and a peer reference. If you are interested in applying for the SZW18 Conference Coordination Fellowship or Create your Own internship you will be asked to include additional information outlined below.

Application Due Dates:

All Internship Applications: Sunday, April 1
SZW Fellowship Applications: Thursday, April 5  **EXTENDED**
Tentative Notification Date: Friday, April 15

For anyone considering a future intern position with PLAN, I very sincerely encourage it. If you are looking to collaborate, share with and learn from amazing individuals, do it. If you have interest in being a part of the growth of a young and rapidly changing organization, hop right on. If you intend to have your heart strings pulled on by the people, the small and big achievements of PLAN as a whole, the sunsets, and the occasional office visits by various canine friends, this is your chance. If you want to make a difference and hold responsibility for real changes, this is your place to do it. Be ready to take on a project of your very own ideas, not to be told what to do.

Bekah Vineyard

PLAN intern 2015

Josephine A. Lamprey Partner Expansion Internship

PLAN is seeking a student with an interest in the role of for-profits and industry in the zero waste movement and a strategic approach to development.

Candidates will be asked to perform the following tasks:

  • Research and track the zero waste and reuse industry
  • Create and execute a strategy to outreach to new partners and sponsors
  • Contribute to relationships with existing partners and sponsors
  • Assist in organizing the Students for Zero Waste Conference
  • Develop marketing materials
  • Expand upon and shape PLAN’s Ethical Partnerships Policy
  • Track progress via metrics and manage the data entry and processing of partnerships

Preferred Skills:

Ideal candidates for this position will demonstrate:

  • A passion for environmental issues and strong leadership skills
  • Strong written, verbal and interpersonal communications skills
  • Strong professional relationship-building abilities
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • A flair for creative, out-of-the-box thinking
  • An ability to perform outreach activities and represent the organization professionally
  • Friendly, outgoing personality
  • Some background knowledge on the current landscape of “sustainable businesses” and/or non-profit partnerships — not necessary, but definitely a plus!

Expected learning:

Over the course of the internship, the Josephine A. Lamprey Partner Expansion PLANtern can expect to gain the following:

  • Strengthened communication skills through building marketing materials and relationships to support the zero waste network
  • A “bird’s-eye view” of the organizations that make up the zero-waste movement
  • Management skills in handling many relationships and several projects at once
  • Experience establishing connections between different sectors in the zero waste movement
  • An understanding of PLAN’s partnership philosophies
  • A deep understanding of the structure, funding, and daily functions of a small start up non-profit
Reuse Economy Research Internship

Resale outlets like Goodwill play a key role in fostering the reuse economy, facilitating opportunities for college students and student groups to take on creative repurposing and DIY projects. This summer, two Reuse Economy Research interns will work with PLAN and Goodwill Industries International to develop resources to help campuses and Goodwill outlets collaborate on projects to promote reuse.

Two candidates will each be asked to perform the following tasks:

  • Timeline and construct one of two manuals to be completed over the course of the summer
  • Research creative reuse programs/partnerships and best practices
  • Schedule and conduct interviews with our contacts at Goodwill, as well as other reuse economy players from on and off campuses
  • Compile findings and recommendations into one of two manuals to help foster reuse partnerships

Preferred Skills:

Ideal candidates for this position will demonstrate the following:

  • Ability to conduct and collate research into an instructional and engaging written format
  • Experience working with community organizations and stakeholders both on and off campus
  • Strong written, verbal, and interpersonal communications skills
  • Willingness to conduct interviews, in-person and by phone
  • Initiative to plan and timeline multi-faceted projects
  • A keen knack for creative repurposing, repair, and DIY projects

Expected Learning:

  • Increased best-practice knowledge of the reuse economy and creative reuse projects
  • Planning, formatting, creation, and dissemination of instructional materials
  • Familiarity with style and tone of PLAN’s advising materials
  • A deep understanding of the daily functions of a small start up non-profit
Create Your Own Internship: EJ & Zero Waste

PLAN is seeking a student that is inspired to build or develop a project that is focused on the intersectional framework of environmental justice movement and broader social justice work. This internship is an opportunity to come to us with your wildest dreams to further racial, gender, and other forms of social justice within the zero waste movement. This internship is what we are calling “Create Your Own” — In true DIY spirit we want you to be able to dream big and come up with something unique and creative!

Candidates will be asked to perform the following tasks:

  • Propose a rad idea for an internship project with a focus on Environmental Justice and Zero Waste
  • Create the framework for an accessible, intersectional project that fuels your passions
  • Engage and build the work we do as PLAN to build a broader movement
  • Incorporate systems-based thinking into your proposal
  • See “Application details” below for more information

Preferred Skills:

Ideal candidates for this position will demonstrate the following:

  • Awareness and understanding of intersectionality and Black feminist theory
  • Basic knowledge of zero waste and environmental justice grassroots movements
  • Since this project is apt to shift as it grows, we are looking for a candidate that can be independent, flexible and adaptable
  • An ability to perform outreach activities and represent the organization professionally with strong written, verbal and interpersonal communications skills
  • A flair for creative, out-of-the box thinking
  • Ability to perform, execute, and meet deadlines on time
  • Positive attitude with a team player mentality
  • Impressive wit

Expected Learning:

  • Ability to plan a project from the ground up, including setting and meeting deadlines
  • Gain an understanding of the process of building relationships for research, community organizing, and partnership
  • Develop language around how to communicate that social and environmental issues impact communities
  • Advanced ability to identify and explain the intersections between Zero Waste and Environmental Justice
  • A deep understanding of the daily functions of a small start up non-profit

Application Details:

This internship has a few extra questions and space for a project proposal in the application form. Here’s what we’re going to ask you about:

  1. PLAN acknowledges that the zero waste movement is one (of many) methods that support not only the environmental justice movement, but also broader social justice movements. In your words explain and give examples about how the zero waste movement intersects with other areas of social justice (racial justice, gender justice, immigrant justice, economic justice, etc.); choose at least one.
  2. To jog your thought process here are some guiding questions to consider in your proposal:
    • In what ways does your project remove barriers to accessibility in engaging with the zero waste movement?
    • Who does your project support/inspire/push?
    • Why is this project important to you?
    • In what ways does this project move PLAN’s mission forward?
    • What systems are you trying to change or affect with this project?

Project ideas could include:

  • Training Programs
  • Community Organizing
  • Research Projects
  • Internal Development
  • Partnership with another organization

An example project:

(If you’re jazzed on this, you can even write a proposal about it! Hit up Mike Ewall at 215-436-9511 for more info.)

The city of Philadelphia is PLAN’s headquarters as well as the near neighbor to the largest incinerator in the country. The city waste contract is split between this incinerator and another facility that pelletizes waste. This contract is up for renewal within the next year. In partnership with the Energy Justice Network (EJN) a student intern could assist in research and data collection to make a case for the city to end these contracts and take a huge step toward zero waste and supporting communities directly affected by these facilities.

SZW18 Conference Coordination Fellowship

Note: You will be asked to upload a cover letter for this application. 

Logistics:

  • Hours Per Week:  Full-Time 40 hours/week (somewhat flexible) with occasional night-time, weekend, and overnight activities, especially leading up to SZW18 on Nov 2-3, 2018
  • Timing: This intern will work with PLAN full time from June until the Students for Zero Waste Conference on Nov 2-3, 2018 with the potential for future employment
  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • Compensation: This position will receive a monthly stipend of $2,000 ($12,000 over the course of 6 months)
  • Benefits: See “Working with PLAN” section below

Description:

PLAN is seeking an organizer with a passion for building intersectional and accessible spaces through large event organizing, volunteer recruitment and management. This person will work closely with the team to make the 5th Annual Students for Zero Waste Conference a success at UPenn.

Responsibilities for this position are broken into three categories. Candidates will be asked to perform the following tasks, in addition to stepping in wherever needed to make the SZW18 Conference a success!

1. Volunteers:

  • Outreach to, confirm, train and manage a team of student volunteers for the conference. These volunteers must be able to fulfill a variety of tasks, including, but not limited to flyering the city, food and supplies pickups and deliveries, art creation, day of conference set up and break down, check in, wayfinding…etc.

2. Administrative Facilitation:

  • Create systems overseeing, communicating, and tracking the delegation of major conference logistics, including but not limited to: content, speakers, food, outreach, marketing, travel, sponsors, housing, tabling, budget, scheduling, spaces and flow
  • Ensure all systems facilitate and encourage the involvement of individuals from marginalized communities
  • Manage many moving parts while communicating timelines and deadlines to the PLAN team
  • Outreach to community partners and act as a conference liaison for housing, travel, volunteers etc.
  • Facilitate full team SZW meetings
  • Facilitate decision making using PLAN’s self-governance process

3. Radicalizing:

  • Dive into the details of hosting as zero waste a conference as possible, including being open to asking for help and learning in the process
  • Highlight intersectionality and anti-oppression and integrate accessibility and equity in all aspects of conference planning, messaging and content

Preferred Skills:

Ideal candidates for this position will demonstrate a passion for environmental and social justice, strong leadership skills, and some collection of the following:

  • Awareness and understanding of intersectionality and Black feminist theory
  • Experience working with marginalized communities
  • Either knowledge of the zero waste movement or excitement to learn
  • Strong personal and team task management skills, including effectively communicating and delegating time-sensitive tasks
  • Experience organizing conferences/large events and managing volunteers
  • Ability to keep a clear head and remain flexible in times of high stress and changing situations
  • Strong written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills, including in professional contexts
  • A knack for organizing, outreach, and relationship retention
  • Impressive wit and open mind

Expected learning:

  • An inside look at planning and hosting a large-scale, zero waste event
  • Increased ability to develop, assign, and clearly communicate tasks to a group of volunteers
  • Develop key skills for general event organizing and execution, including maintaining composure in a hectic, high stress environment
  • Team management and volunteer recruitment strategies
  • A deep understanding of the daily functions of a small start up non-profit

 

Working with PLAN

We are a 4 year old organization with 8 staff members across 4 states. Our average age  is 24 years old. We come from academic backgrounds that range from Biology and Computer Science to Women and Gender Studies and African American Studies. We come to our work with passions within and beyond waste like food security research, social justice conference organizing, sustainable design thinking, and non-violent direct action, just to name a few. We are southern belles, new jersey punks, queers, nerds and a drag queen working toward the common goal of a just and sustainable world.

Every week we have at least two full team meetings. We work to maintain a horizontal structure of leadership by developing and revising our self governance system, establishing dual Executive Directorship and holding 2 annual full staff retreats. We adhere to a safer space policy and work together to develop policies that push us to be better such as an Ethical Partnership Policy and a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy.

As an organization we strive to build environments that allow all of our staff to thrive. To do this we have developed the following support systems and plan to build this list as need and organizational capacities arise. These benefits are available to all full time salaried staff members. For non-salaried staff a conversation can be had with supervisor about benefits. PLAN also remains responsive to additional needs expressed by our team, and develops new policies as needed.

 

  • Staff receive 200 hours of paid time off (PTO) to be used throughout the year. This includes holiday time off. In addition to the standard PTO allotment overtime hours worked (more than 40 hours per week) are added to available PTO. Meaning, if you work 43 hours in a week you will receive an additional 3 hours of PTO to be used within that year.
  • The Laptops and Electronic gear policy allocates $1000 (every three years) per staff member to purchase the equipment needed to accomplish their work within the organization.
  • We recognize that this work requires a working cell phone with a flexible data plan. All staff are eligible to opt into the Cell Phone Policy to receive a cell phone on an organizational plan at no cost to them during their time with PLAN.
  • Each staff member is eligible to receive an annual $3,000 health insurance stipend to purchase their own plan on the Marketplace should they need it.
  • Further financial assistance is available in the form of financing and paycheck advances for up-front needed expenses (such as moving) with a no-interest pay back schedule.
  • Extended leaves of absence (both paid and unpaid) are available for Parental Leave (regardless of gender or means), Bereavement Leave, Community Service Leave, Jury and Witness Duty, Military Leave, Sick Leave, Travel and Personal Leave.
  • Nearly all staff are eligible for flexible work schedules, to be determined by position and need. This allows staff members to work outside of a typical 9-5pm schedule.
  • Staff are eligible on an as-needed basis for a monthly travel stipend to cover daily transit into our Philadelphia office.

PLAN’s Nonprofit Status:

Post-Landfill Action Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Post-Landfill Action Network is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any classification protected by federal, state, or local law.