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Mickey Leland Environmental Internship Program (MLEIP): Information for Sponsors

Are you seeking talent management solutions for your organization that include hiring summer interns? We can help!

Video recipient of the Innovation Award in the Cross-Media, Data, Permitting, & Agency Management Category, Environmental Council of the States (ECOS), 2019.

The Mickey Leland Environmental Internship Program (MLEIP) celebrated its 29th anniversary in 2020. Hundreds of university students (both undergraduate and graduate) apply each year from across the country for this paid, full-time summer internship. Most of our applicants are STEM majors! Many are also first- generation college students and minorities. Their internship assignments are either with our agency, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), other state agencies, county and city government, or with private sector companies from across the state who sponsor these interns. During the program’s history, 2,000+ college students have been placed in internship assignments in Texas and some now hold leadership positions across the nation.

If your organization has a presence in Texas, consider using the MLEIP internship program to supplement your own candidate pool of college students to hire as summer interns!

Click to jump to the sponsor request form. Jump to Sponsor Request Form

Why sponsor a Mickey Leland intern?

  • MLEIP is an established, recognized internship program that adheres to Internship Best Practices set forth by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
  • You have the flexibility to interview MLEIP candidates and extend offers at your discretion.
  • You (industry/ external MLEIP sponsor companies) determine intern pay rate, duration (start and end dates) of intern assignment, and duties to be performed. Additionally, you provide compensation for selected intern(s) based on available budget/funding.
  • Your organization’s MLEIP intern(s) and their designated mentor/manager will be invited to the annual MLEIP Intern Conference in Austin scheduled for July 2021.
  • Your organization will be recognized during the annual conference as a MLEIP program intern sponsor for 2021.
  • You will have the unique opportunity to network with a captive audience of 100+ MLEIP interns, participating sponsor organizations, MLEIP Advisory Board members, and TCEQ leaders during the annual intern conference.

Mickey Leland Environmental Internship Program Logo

Ready to Tap into the MLEIP Talent Pool? Complete a Request Form:

Managers at the TCEQ, other state agencies, or private industry interested in sponsoring an intern must complete a Sponsor Request Form. Participating organizations external to the TCEQ provide their own funding for selected interns and determine the duration of the internship assignment.

Please specify the preferred major(s), required skills, and include a description of the tasks and duties to be performed. The goal of our internship program is to ensure that students are provided a meaningful learning experience.

NOTE: Online Sponsor Request Forms submitted by March 2021 have the best opportunity to receive candidate application packages for review and selection by early spring 2021, enabling selected interns to finalize their summer 2021 plans and secure housing, if necessary.

What is the timeline for the 2021 Mickey Leland Internship Program?

Event Date
Student Applications Accepted Starting December 1, 2020
Student Application Deadline February 28, 2021
Sponsors Submit Request January-March 2021
Sponsors Interview Candidates March - May 2021
Candidates Notified of Selection April - May 2021
Interns Start their Assignments May-June 2021
Interns End their Assignments* August 31, 2021 *
2021 Program Concludes August 31, 2021

* Individual intern assignments may end prior to August 31, 2021 to allow student to return to school for the fall semester. Actual start and end dates of internship assignments and duration of assignments will vary and are agreed upon by the hiring manager and intern.

Next Steps in the Process:

  1. The MLEIP Program Coordinator at the TCEQ verifies each candidate’s eligibility and refers qualified candidate applications to requesting sponsor organizations
  2. You (the requesting sponsor) determine which MLEIP candidates to interview and select for a summer 2021 assignment at your organization. Selections are based on academic major, scholastic achievements, geographic preference, and life and work experiences.
  3. You notify the MLEIP Program Coordinator at TCEQ of your candidate selection(s) by providing the name of your selected intern, start and end dates, and hourly pay rates. That’s all the information we require!
  4. You notify interns in writing of their selection, and provide specifics related to their internship assignment including location, assigned mentor, pay rate, duties, and reporting requirements in accordance with your organization’s human resources/payroll requirements. You also notify candidates whom you interviewed and did not select for placement so they may move forward with their summer 2021 plans accordingly.

MLEIP 2019 Sponsors

We proudly recognize our 2019 MLEIP sponsors for their commitment to growing future leaders:MLEIP Intern poses with Girl Scouts of Central Texas sign

  • Braun Intertec
  • Eastman Chemical
  • Girl Scouts of Central Texas
  • Jackson Walker L.L.P.
  • Oncor Electric Delivery
  • Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
  • Texas Department of Public Safety
  • Texas Water Development Board

How Do MLEIP Mentors Create a Meaningful Internship Experience?

MLEIP Intern working outdoors in the field

Launch your internships on a positive note by creating a welcoming onboarding experience on the intern’s first day. Engage your intern by soliciting their input and ideas throughout their assignment. Discuss both your expectations as an employer and your intern’s expectations of the assignment to develop those critical “intersection” points that will lead to successful outcomes. Be a positive role model for appropriate workplace behavior. Set up your interns for success by providing feedback and guidance related to their performance at regular intervals. Introduce your interns to leaders and subject matter experts at your organization so they may explore future career opportunities. Celebrate milestones achieved during the internship to foster a sense of accomplishment. Brand your organization every chance you get. Above all, enjoy the experience!