Internship program

Every semester, we invite highly accomplished young people to create self-designed sustainability projects under the guidance of our leadership. With an emphasis on creative freedom, Unbuilt Labs has one of the most sought after internship programs within the United States. Our 2020 Fall Internship Program’s acceptance rate is 0.4%.

We are looking for the next generation of brilliant misfits and creatives – we celebrate diversity and value all experiences. For example, one of the candidates we worked with was a professional florist before pursuing two advanced degrees, another was one year away from completing her Ph.D. program when she decided to go to Art School; others have founded non-profit foundations or have published in leading publications such as Nature and Harvard International Law Journal Online. All of our candidates have found success in their own right. Tell us your story!

Our commitment to diversity is also reflected by our partnership with the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC). We offer two positions exclusively to 2-year college students at BMCC students with the goal of supporting first generation scholars. They participate in the same activities as all of our candidates.

During the 12-week internship program, you will participate in workshops, seminars, and weekly discussions designed to support your project. Depending on your career goals, you can choose to be on either the research track or the operations track. Candidates on the operations track pursue outcomes related to marketing, business development, UX, data analytics etc. As a digital think tank, members on the operations track also author articles and reports on their findings. Candidates on the research tracks will be asked to produce five 500-word articles on topics of their choice. Candidates tend to spend 10-12 hours at the internship on a weekly basis.

While we cannot provide monetary compensation at this time, candidates we worked with have found this to be a very rewarding educational experience. We support our candidates’ for-credit internship applications. Unique to our program is our focus on global trends, corporate research, and business strategies. We provide you with the business context and career support that universities often do not have the bandwidth for, to help you design a project that is meaningful to you. This is an opportunity to roll up your sleeves, try new things, and grow.

Once you join the program, you will have access to our Intern Engagement Program, and upon completion, be a permanent member of the Unbuilt Labs Family, with priority in publication and on-going career support (1:1s). Our Intern Engagement Program gives you access to the leadership team’s network as well as industry leaders outside our network through our editorial channels. Past interns have been able to reach out to senior leaders in Tech and Sustainability for advice and perspectives.

Because we believe thinking is just as important as doing – we take one week off every month. This means no meetings whatsoever. It is down time to let you catch up on work, go to conferences, or however you would like to spend the week. We believe in self-pacing just as much as we believe in self-designing projects. With a culture of empathy, often times, you will hear us say “take the week off” especially in times of personal difficulty. Work is challenging and we do not work in a vacuum – we understand. Having a self-design project and goals provide additional flexibility.

We are always thrilled to discover new perspectives! We are excited to begin working with you and sincerely look forward to hearing from you.

Read the biographies of our past interns on our site: Summer 2020, Fall 2020. Check out our Linkedin page for their personal stories!

Below are details of the program, though we make adjustments every semester depending on need and interest:

Month 1: Discovery

Week 1

  • Day 1 (2 hours): Welcome and Company Code of Conduct session (30 mins), Career Seminar and Workshop (1 hour), 1:1 Meet and Greet with other interns (30 mins)
  • Day 2 (2 hours): Business Strategy Seminar and Workshop (1 hour), 1:1 Meet and Greet with other interns (1 hour)
  • Day 3 (30 mins): 1:1 Career Session with the leadership team, CV
  • Assignments: Revised CV, and Industry explorations

Week 2

  • Day 1 (2 hours): Growth Seminar and Workshop (1 hour), 1:1 Meet and Greet with other interns (1 hour)
  • Day 2 (2 hours): Design Thinking Seminar and Workshop (1 hour)
  • Day 3 (30 mins): 1:1 Career Session with the leadership team, Biography and Linkedin
  • Assignments: Biography, and Index on Industry explorations or Annotated Bibliography

Week 3

  • Day 1 (30 mins): 1:1 Project Session with the leadership team, and additional 1:1 Meet and Greets
  • Day 2 (2 hours): Corporate Research Seminar and Workshop (1 hour), Company lunch/ chill debriefing (1 hour)
  • Assignment: Project memo

Week 4 – week off

Month 2: Implementation

Week 5

  • Day 1 (30 mins): 1:1 Project Session with the leadership team
  • Day 2 (2 hours): Group project critique and feedback (1 hour), Topics workshop* (1 hour)

Week 6

  • Day 1 (30 mins): 1:1 Project Session with the leadership team
  • Day 2 (2 hours): Writing, Editing, and Publishing Seminar and Sharing Session (1 hour), Topics workshop* (1 hour)

Week 7

  • Day 1 (30 mins): 1:1 Project Session with the leadership team
  • Day 2 (2 hours): Topics workshop* (1 hour), Company lunch/ chill debriefing (1 hour)

Week 8 – week off

Month 3: Iteration

Week 9

  • Day 1 (30 mins): 1:1 Project Session with the leadership team
  • Day 2 (2 hours): Group project critique and feedback (1 hour), Intern’s Show and Tell (30 mins), Topics workshop* (30 mins)

Week 10

  • Day 1 (30 mins): 1:1 Project Session with the leadership team
  • Day 2 (2 hours): Intern’s Show and Tell (30 mins), Topics workshop* (90 mins)

Week 11

  • Day 1 (30 mins): 1:1 Project Session with the leadership team
  • Day 2 (1 hour): Intern’s Show and Tell (1 hour)
  • Day 3: (30 mins): 1:1 Career Session with the leadership team

Week 12 (last week)

  • Day 1 (30 mins): 1:1 Feedback Session with the leadership team
  • Day 2 (3 hours): Final Project Presentations (2 hours), Farewell Lunch (1 hour)

*The subject of Topics workshop depends on need and interest. In the past, topics have included Scenario Planning, PR, Branding, 5G networks, Circular Economy, New York Flood Scenarios, New York’s Green New Deal etc.