Frequently Asked Questions for Students
Which organizations will be participating?
Companies, cities, universities, and nonprofits of any size, located anywhere throughout the United States, can hire an EDF Climate Corps fellow. See all past and present host organizations »
Can I apply to a specific organization?
Applicants cannot apply to a specific organization. Host organization assignments are made on the basis of applicants' relevant experience, host organization needs and applicant preferences. Fellows will speak with his/her host organization supervisors before the fellowship begins.
How many summer fellows will be placed?
In 2013, we placed 116 fellows. The final number depends on the number of organizations particpating in the program. See all past and present host organizations »
Who are the fellows?
EDF Climate Corps fellows are graduate-level candidates recruited by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and are chosen for their environmental passion and demonstrated ability to conduct financial analyses, facilitate organizational change and move projects from a conceptual level to task. While the Climate Corps fellows are not expected to have a background in energy efficiency, experience in this field does help. Read more about fellow qualifications »
Is attendance to the four-day training mandatory?
Yes, the training is mandatory. The training gives fellows the opportunity to meet other fellows and EDF staff. Fellows will learn the basics of energy efficiency strategies, hear from guest speakers, tour a building's energy systems, and learn more about expected deliverables of the fellowship. More about the training »
Does EDF or the host organization provide summer housing or transportation?
EDF does not provide fellows with summer housing or transportation to the cities of summer employment. Host organization participants are not required to provide this either, however, fellows can check with their managers to see if this is offered for their host organization’s fellows. For some larger organizations that hire many interns, this may be an option.
Are there full-time opportunities available with the host organization or EDF after the fellowship is completed?
The EDF Climate Corps Program does not have automatic conversion to a full-time position. However, each host organization is different and depending on availability and budget, fellows may be asked to consult or be brought on full-time by their host organization. This, however, is not something that EDF asks of the participating organizations. Opportunities within EDF are limited; however, interested fellows are encouraged to view the EDF website regularly for job openings.
Who do I work for officially, EDF or the host organization at which I am placed?
Fellows officially work for the organization at which they are placed, but in addition to reporting to their direct supervisor , fellows will also be reporting to EDF staff. Each fellow will have an EDF engagement manager as a primary point of contact for the summer. Final deliverables are turned in to both EDF and to the host organization manager. EDF has a contract with each host organization to ensure the confidentiality of each project.
At the end of the fellowships, EDF will review and aggregate the results from each fellow. The aggregate results of this program will be made public in order to maximize both environmental and economic benefits. However, EDF will not refer to any host organization’s program or results publicly without prior written approval.
EDF's objective is to demonstrate that energy efficiency saves energy and saves organizations money. EDF staff will follow up with participating organizations to find out whether identified measures are implemented and the resulting energy savings. EDF will aggregate these savings over time to give an overall picture of how much money organizations can save with energy efficiency.
EDF will also take salient stories and anecdotes from the fellow’s reports to further make the case for energy efficiency. Any public statements about a host organization will be forwarded to the organization for approval.
In some instances, fellows may refer to their employment status as working for "Organization X, as a fellow in the EDF Climate Corps Program."
What are my work hours over the summer?
We expect fellows to work 40 hours a week with start/end times dependent on the norm of the organization at which they are placed. Depending on your progress and the complexity of the project, you may find that you have to work more than 40 hours in some weeks to complete your analysis.
Can international students apply?
We welcome applications from anyone who fits the criteria of the program and is eligible to work in the United States during summer 2014.
If you are an international student, please make it clear on your application that you are eligible to work in the United States when applying. While we hope to expand internationally, EDF and the organizations with which we work cannot sponsor international students for this fellowship.
Do I have to have an MBA or MPA to apply?
Though a majority of past fellows were MBA or MPA students, we welcome applications from all graduate students in other disciplines who meet the EDF Climate Corps criteria.
Can I speak to past fellows about their experience?
While we understand that you'd like to speak personally with past fellows, we try to respect their time and privacy. Please see the Case Studies page for detailed descriptions of past fellows’ projects and learn more about their work.
Can I attend the training if I'm not a fellow?
While we would love to be able to train everyone on the ins and outs of energy efficiency, we are only able to provide a training program for EDF Climate Corps fellows. Please view our Climate Corps Handbook for detailed information about the areas of energy efficiency covered in our training.
"Having an EDF Climate Corps fellow allowed us to focus attention on long-term energy investment planning as well as on a couple of short-term projects that we needed answers on right away. As a one-person sustainability program at the City of Bloomington, having an additional person makes a huge difference in my ability to have an impact. I wouldn't hesitate to participate in the program again."
- Jacqui Bauer, COB Sustainability Coordinator, City of Bloomington