Career IDEAS Externship Program: Georgia Conservancy

Career Administrator

I externed for four days at the Georgia Conservancy, a member-supported environmental nonprofit in Atlanta, Georgia. During those four days, I learned about their sustainable growth initiatives, recreational trips, membership process, and outreach activities. I was also allowed to sit in on a staff meeting and taken to meet some of the Conservancy’s partners. Everyone in the office was extremely welcoming and went out of the way to get me involved so I could see the different facets of their organization.

 While I was there, the sustainable growth team let me help with their project to increase the Atlanta BeltLine’s accessibility and another project with the city of Hogansville, Georgia. The Georgia Conservancy works around the state to revitalize cities while maintaining natural spaces and promoting sustainability, as they are doing with Hogansville. Also, the Georgia Conservancy promotes conservation through recreation, offering all kinds of outdoor trips throughout the year, scattered all across the state. These trips are mainly publicized to members of the Georgia Conservancy, but anyone is invited to join. I learned that the trips are one of the major ways new members are attracted to the Conservancy. Carden Barkley, the Development Coordinator, walked me through the membership details and all the ways the Conservancy strives to engage its members. In addition, Renee Allen-Alston, the Senior Manager of Corporate Engagement, showed me how the Conservancy connects with businesses and other nonprofits. I visited several of the Conservancy’s partners, which highlighted the vibrant network of Atlanta-area nonprofits.

In just four days, the Georgia Conservancy has significantly reaffirmed my interest in environmental work and introduced me to the amazing work of the nonprofit world. The breadth of their involvement showed me the different ways a passion for nature can be expressed: through city planning, service events, grant writing, rafting trips, and more. I can’t thank the wonderful staff at the Georgia Conservancy enough for having me, and I hope other UVA students pursue this fabulous opportunity next year. 

-Anne Elizabeth Heyse


The Career IDEAs Externship Program aims to connect students with meaningful externship opportunities in J-Term and during the Summer months. Students apply to the program via Handshake and get selected by an externship site that will help them explore the industry of their choice. The program is open to all students, but priority will be given to those who have not had an externship or internship experience. The following groups are especially encouraged to apply: 2nd and 3rd years who are first-generation college students and part of under-represented populations.  Learn more about the program.  Applications Open In March for Summer 2018! This program is made possible due to partnership with the UVA IDEA Fund.  Learn more about the IDEA Fund here.