(This article was posted at Montgomery County Sustainability News  or MoCo-Sustain.com, and is re-posted here by permission.)

by Dan Rudt

February is a good time for students to check in with potential employers for possible summer and fall internships. Bethesda Green will help area college students do just that when it hosts one of its signature events on Saturday, the 25th of this month. The Third Annual Fields of Green Internship Fair will give environmentally conscious college students the opportunity to meet face-to-face with representatives from two dozen or more local companies and non-profits that have at least two things in common. They all, in their own way, strive to make our natural environment healthier and more sustainable, and from 10am to 2pm on the 25th, they will all be under the same roof.

The internship fair, of course, benefits employers as well. If past experience repeats itself, the fair may draw 100 or more smart, local college students looking for a future in environmental sustainability. That kind of talent pool offers great potential for green businesses and non-profits seeking interns who may one day become valuable employees.

Bethesda Green Executive Director Dave Feldman told Montgomery County Sustainability News that the internship fair was founded to fill a need on the part of students and employers alike. “When we launched our first Fields of Green Internship Fair in 2010,” Feldman explained, “the idea was prompted by both ends of the employment spectrum, those looking for internship opportunities and those looking for interns.  We’re excited to once again provide college-age young people an opportunity to meet representatives from a number of companies and non-profits offering job experience in the green business sector.”

Some of the employers internship seekers can expect to see at the Bethesda Green event include 4GreenPs, a strategic marketing firm for sustainable brands; Arganica, a “farm club” that delivers local farm food to homes from Hampton Roads to Philadelphia; Just Peachy Organics, makers of organic teas, skin care and household products; international conservation non-profit, The Nature Conservancy; Rock Creek Conservancy, a non-profit that protects and restores Rock Creek and surrounding lands; Savenia Labs, an independent testing laboratory that provides lab tested energy and environmental impact ratings on popular appliances such as coffee makers, toaster ovens, and microwaves; the Student Conservation Association, who protect and restore green spaces in all 50 states, and other companies and non-profits. The internships provide experience in various areas of green business and non-profit operations and may be paid or unpaid positions.

Sharon D’Emidio, Bethesda Green Program Manager, suggests internship seekers dress as they would for a job interview, and show up with resumes in hand. As for references, D’Emidio thinks they are a good idea. “I think it is always impressive when someone is totally prepared for the job.” She suggests internship seekers review the positions posted on the Internship Fair website and expect the interviews to last ten to fifteen minutes each.

John Jabara, the founder of Savenia Labs, told MoCo-Sustain.com the Fields of Green Internship Fair provided positive outcomes for his company in 2011. “Last year,” Jabara told us, “we were looking for interns with science and engineering backgrounds and were impressed with the number and quality of the candidates.  We ended up hiring one for the summer as a paid internship and this worked out very well.  We plan to attend again this year and expect it to be a great event.”

The Bethesda Green, Fields of Green Internship Fair is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012, from 10 am to 2 pm. Bethesda Green is located at 4825 Cordell Avenue, at the corner of Woodmont and Cordell, on the Second Floor above the Capital One Bank.