U360 is an experiential education and professional development program focused on business sustainability offered by the nonprofit Manomet. The U360 internship is designed to train the next generation of change-makers by helping college students gain the professional, technical, and interpersonal skills needed to make a difference in the world through their future careers. U360 increases students’ knowledge of environmental issues; the “triple-bottom line” of business sustainability (environmental, social, and governance); and business management—and their critical thinking and problem-solving skills—through real-world applications. The two-semester program incorporates applied science, business, and sustainability workshops, career skills training, sustainability assessments of small businesses, and a Capstone project.
U360 complements academic programs by offering real-world experience in three vital areas that are critical to both effective change-making and career preparation: applied knowledge of practical sustainability, how to engage people with different viewpoints, and professional skills. (Specifically, the U360 curriculum focuses on helping students develop the soft skills that employers most seek: communication, professionalism, teamwork, creative problem-solving, and strategic thinking.) U360 empowers college students to take action on the environmental, social, and economic challenges that will disproportionately impact their generation, and gives them skills and knowledge they can bring to any job or industry. Additionally, with an extensive focus on career preparedness, U360 gives students a unique professional experience that differentiates them from their peers when entering the workforce and helps them gain exceptional communication skills, confidence, a professional network, and a vast understanding of small business operations.
While there are countless opportunities today for college students who want to complete an internship or experience real-world learning outside of the classroom, what distinguishes U360 from other opportunities is its innovative approach of connecting students with small business owners for direct, real-world learning. Students spend the majority of the program interviewing up to 30 small businesses each about their current practices and administering Manomet’s assessment of their triple-bottom line sustainability. The U360 Director guides students through researching and interviewing small businesses, analyzing their current level of sustainability, and identifying areas for improvement. The U360 internship ends with each student creating a Sustainability Action Plan for one business they interviewed and presenting it to a panel of business and sustainability professionals in a final Capstone Competition.
As a high-impact internship, U360 provides students with an in-depth understanding of how the triple-bottom line approach is applied to small businesses; tools and strategies for creating sustainability solutions in the real world; an opportunity to create a customized and feasible action plan for an actual business; and skills for effectively communicating with individuals and businesses about sustainability. Additionally, Manomet believes that addressing today’s environmental, social, and economic challenges requires bringing together individuals with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, and is committed to working with people who are underrepresented in this field and enrolling U360 classes that have geographic, academic, racial and ethnic, socioeconomic, and age diversity. As such, participating students have the unique opportunity to meet and work closely with students from other colleges throughout the east coast; becoming part of a network of peers who also want to make a difference in the world. More information can be found at: https://www.manomet.org/project/u360/
- U360 is designed for undergraduate students (sophomores through seniors) enrolled in business, economics, science, environmental, sustainability and/or liberal arts programs, but all majors are welcome to apply.
- This is a team program, and each year, up to 40 students are enrolled from different colleges and divided into teams of no more than eight.
- In order to increase access to this program for students, U360 is (and always has been) an entirely virtual program with a high level of mentorship, support, and engagement between the students and U360 staff. Students participate from their own campuses and will not have to travel to the Manomet office.
- The program is an average of 10 hours/week, which includes team trainings, workshops and weekly meetings, and independent research, outreach, and interviews with businesses. Students create their own schedule and work remotely outside of the mandatory group time. (The workshops and team meetings will be scheduled once the teams are formed, in order to accommodate every student’s schedule.)
- Students are required to attend all workshops and the weekly team meeting from their campus via live video conference.
- This is an unpaid internship, but students can often earn university credit for participation (depending on university policies, major requirements, etc.). Ideally, the internship takes the place of a class in the student’s schedule and is not being done on top of a full course load.
- U360 is a two-semester internship; the program starts the first week of the fall semester and concludes on the last day of the spring term; excluding all university holidays and breaks
- Sophomore and higher undergraduate students are eligible
- Interest in business and/or sustainability
- Basic computer skills (specifically Microsoft Office and Google programs)
Additional skills and experience preferred:
- Ability to work independently and manage time effectively
- Ability to listen and communicate effectively (verbally and in writing)
- A willingness to contact and interact with professionals (in person, over the phone, and via email) and some degree of comfort with doing so
- Strong interpersonal skills and attention to detail
Instructions for applying:
- The deadline to apply for U360 is at 11:59pm on June 30th.
- Submit your current resume with a cover letter and three references (include each reference’s name, relationship to you, email address, and phone number) to Lora Babb, Director, U360, at email@example.com. (NOTE: at least one reference must be a professional reference and no direct relatives can be listed as a reference.)
- Complete this online application questionnaire: http://goo.gl/forms/DFB3gWbSj9
Links for more information: