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Ethics and the Professions Internships

The Ethics and the Professions Internship (EPI) program offers six UP students a dedicated 8-week summer internship experience, working and learning alongside professionals in public and private sectors across the greater Portland and Vancouver areas and beyond.

As interns learn about the elements that make up the work of these organizations, this program grants access for interns to explore how ethics guide, frame, and challenge professionals in the work they do. Under the guidance of their internship supervisor, each intern meets regularly throughout the 8 weeks with different members of their placement organization for 1:1 conversations about organizational mission, personal vocations, and the roles that ethics play in the pursuit of a coherent morality.

In addition to these 1:1 conversations with internship colleagues, each intern will have weekly check-in sessions with Dundon-Berchtold Institute staff, and the entire intern cohort will gather regularly to engage in focused conversations about the ethical themes that emerge from their experiences. Throughout the summer, each intern will also engage in an independent Ethics Exploration research project on the topic of their choice related to ethics and the working world.

WITH COVID-19, the EPI program has proven success in adapting to remote or teleworking internship experiences for students hired into the cohort, with highly positive responses from interns and placement organizations alike.

(For Summer 2020, the EPI program converted its intended in-person internship experiences entirely to teleworking arrangements with partner organizations. Interns worked 20-25 hours per week in a virtual capacity with their host teams: completing defined projects, participating in virtual team and supervisor meetings, and having weekly virtual 1:1 ethics discussions with different representatives from their host organization. Weekly cohort meetings and check-ins with DBI staff were held over Zoom to accompany the interns in their experiences.)

Learn more about interns' recent experience with Ethics and the Professions:

Program Overview

  • Meaningful 8-week summer internship placement at a vibrant partner organization
  • Weekly 1-on-1 ethics conversations with different professionals within the placement organization
  • June 7-July 30, 2021
  • 29 hours/week (20 hrs. of internship work + 9 hours of complementary programming)
  • Summer pay: $16.17 per hour (approx. $3,000 after taxes) 
  • Regular gatherings with internship cohort and DBI staff 
  • Independent research project on personally chosen topic around ethics and work

Placement Matching

Applicants apply specifically to the EPI program and are interviewed by staff in the Dundon-Berchtold Institute (DBI). Once finalists accept a position in the EPI cohort, they are then matched to partner organizations by DBI staff based on how interns’ skills, interests, and qualifications fit different organizations’ expressed needs. Interns will have the opportunity to connect with the internship hosts before the start of their internship experience.

Required Qualifications

  • Must have taken PHL 220 by the start of the internship experience
  • Rising Junior or Senior status or 21+ years old
  • Good academic standing
  • No other UP/campus job commitments* (June-July 2021)
  • Willingness to work either in-person or remotely**
  • Independent transportation to internship site and UP campus (for in-person internships)
  • Consistent access to a reliable (1) internet connection, (2) computer, and (3) phone (for remote/teleworking internships)

*To abide by UP’s student employment policies on hours worked per week, EPI interns are not able to engage in any other campus employment while participating in the EPI program in June and July 2021.

**For Summer 2021, we are asking all hired interns to commit to the entirety of the EPI program even in the event of changes between in-person and remote internships as necessitated by COVID restrictions.

Application Process & Materials

Completed applications must be submitted through Handshake, the University's internship system, and review of applications will begin upon submission. The deadline for applications is Friday, February 12, 2021. Select applicants will be invited to an interview with the Director and Program Manager of the Dundon-Berchtold Institute. Offers will be communicated to applicants by Friday, February 26, 2021.
The following materials are required to complete the application process:
  • Résumé
  • Contact information for 2 professional reference people (name, title, organization, email, phone number, and context for applicant relationship with reference person)
  • Letter of recommendation from work supervisor or professor (former or current). This can be uploaded with full application in Handshake in a combined PDF with references or emailed to Dan McGinty at clearly marked with the applicant's name.
  • Cover letter (2-page maximum) that overviews the applicant's professional experience and addresses the following topics: 
  1. Why are you interested specifically in the Ethics and the Professions Internship program?
  2. What experience(s) have you had that have prepared you to engage the content and texture of this program?
  3. What specific skills and/or knowledge do you hope to gain from this internship experience?
  4. What role do you see this particular internship experience playing in your vocational plans?

Sample Internship Placement Industries

  • Communications
  • Healthcare
  • Non-Profit Social Service
  • Real Estate
  • Transportation

Please direct questions about this program and application process to Dan McGinty (