Sustainability professional development and experience

Prepare yourself for a career in sustainability by serving as a McKinney Climate Fellow.

The McKinney Climate Fellows program is a workforce-development program focused on providing real-world, hands-on experience for both undergraduate and graduate students interested in the sustainability field. Fellows tackle climate, sustainability and community resilience projects and challenges across the state of Indiana.

Applications for Fall 2023 are now closed. Applications for the Summer 2024 cohort will open in mid-fall 2023.

Key competencies

  • Climate-competent: Fellows receive Indiana-specific climate change training on communicating and understanding the local impacts of climate change.
  • Sustainability experts: Fellows receive baseline knowledge and training on how to apply their academic knowledge in a professional work environment.
  • Data analysis and management: Fellows are trained in best practices for basic data management and analysis, a growing skill and need in the sustainability field.


Professional experience in sustainability

Student Commitment

  • Current IU student (all IU campuses), including international students with US work authorization, with at least one semester remaining
  • Attend the 3-day training in May (asynchronous for fall/spring positions)
  • Available to work full-time for 10 to 12 weeks between May and August (part time in fall/spring)
  • Passion and interest to work in Indiana in the sustainability field after graduation.

Student Benefit

  • Get paid: $4,800 for undergraduates; $6,000 for graduate students (pro-rated fall/spring positions)
  • Gain hands-on, real-world sustainability experience working with an Indiana organization
  • Access to a network of sustainability peers across the state
  • Option to earn internship credit through O'Neill (up to 4 credit hours)

Interning as a McKinney Climate Fellow was one of the best experiences of my life. I had the opportunity to give back to the state of Indiana while staying connected and learning from other students and experts in the field of environmental sustainability. Through this experience, I was able to gain practical skills that are crucial for my professional and academic goals.

Isioma Nwayor, fellow with the City of Goshen

Building a green talent pipeline

McKinney Climate Fellows have gone on to work in meaningful sustainability careers in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Read about their early career experiences and how the MCF program informed their professional journeys.

Browse the Q&A series