Once you’ve accepted, what are your next steps?

Wow – you’re taking the next step!  Your application was accepted, you checked out the campus on Accepted Students Day, now you’re busy online finding housing with fellow FES’ers.  I hope that you have time this summer to relax, because once MODs begin, you’ll begin a whirlwind of activities, research, classwork, and adventure.

(Picture source: http://www.emilydickinsoninternationalsociety.org/node/123)

For me, the summer before I joined F&ES was crammed with work.  As you likely know, I’m a joint student with Pace Law School.  After finishing two years of law school, I immediately started an internship with the Department of Justice – U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, Civil Division – in Manhattan.  The internship was incredible.  I helped to write consent decrees for an old Superfund site; I assisted Assistant U.S. Attorneys complete depositions; and I heard expert attorneys speak about a range of civil and criminal cases.

The internship ended on Friday, and F&ES orientation began the following Sunday.  But Saturday I needed to attend the wedding of a close college friend – in Minnesota!  Needless to say, I started MODs in need of a vacation.

MODs is great fun, but it’s no vacation.  You’ll be able to meet your classmates: an extensive network of like-minded students that you will stay in touch with for a long, long time.  For those living in a city, I found that the hikes and stargazing on MODs were respite from the air and noise pollution of the bustling city life.

After a fantastic year at F&ES students have mostly left New Haven to start summer internships.  I had hoped for this summer to be a little more relaxed than last summer, but no: I got engaged (wedding’s in September!) and I’m moving to Washington, DC for the next ten weeks.  Yikes!

I know that some of my classmates are blogging about summer internships (stay tuned, but in the meantime, check out some vintage blog posts here: http://environment.yale.edu/blog/category/summer-internships/), but I wanted to share my experience as a joint JD/MEM student.  The application process I went through is different than the typical F&ES student.  First, I participated in the “On-Campus Interview” (OCI) process at Pace Law.  This is the best chance for law students to obtain internships in the private sector.  (Since my background and previous internships were focused on government and non-profit groups, I wanted to see how environmental law is actually applied by the private sector.)

Thus, in late August and much of September, I was traveling back and forth between Pace Law and Yale.  The OCI is a screening interview: if it goes well, the interviewer will recommend a real interview at the law firm.  So, in September I traveled to firms!  I left class in New Haven to take the train to New York, Washington, DC, and White Plains.  Ultimately, although I was practically running on empty from the instant turnaround from my last internship, I was able to secure a summer internship by early October.

If you’re not in the joint program, fear not!  Most of my classmates went through the travels, interviews, and decision-making in the middle of the spring semester.  While you have a lot on your plate already, I think that it’s important to bear in mind that you will find an internship, research project, or some other way to fulfill your summer work!  It takes time – some students find internships the first month they’re at school; others round up their summer placement the following May.  F&ES does require that you do something related to the environment and your studies of interest during the summer between first and second year.  Stay flexible and inspired, and your dream internship will come true!