Delivering a premier
Delivering a premier
Every year, over 1,300 interns and research associates come to Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to participate in internships that provide hands-on experience and research opportunities with leading experts in their fields. What you’ll discover as a PNNL intern is that this experience is much more than simply an internship – it is an intentional platform to launch your future science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) career.
When you become a PNNL intern, you also gain access to our prestigious intern development experience, called the Gold Experience. In addition to our engaging research internship opportunities, our premier program provides you with strategic professional development opportunities and networking to elevate your future STEM career.
The PNNL Intern Differential
PNNL internships are intentionally crafted for giving the students an immersive research experience. We believe investing in interns today is an opportunity to champion the future experts of tomorrow. This enhanced model for delivering an internship is all about your comprehensive experience as a PNNL intern. Our approach embraces PNNL’s core values of collaboration, courage, integrity, and creativity. We’re committed to delivering a fulfilling, well-rounded experience from start to finish for our interns. This includes:
- Comprehensive onboarding
- Professional development series
- Mentorship from leading experts
- Leadership and peer networking
- Research symposium and presentations
- Championing the diverse & inclusive STEM workforce
- Early STEM career preparation
- Launchpad newsletters
- Exposure to Department of Energy and the national laboratory research facilities
Making sure you feel part of the team and are invested in PNNL’s is a significant priority we have for all our interns. We want you to know you belong and are important to our PNNL team. That’s why we intentionally craft these connections at the start of your internship, to help you network with others who will be an integral part of your PNNL experience. From new-hire questions to getting to know people throughout the Lab, this model is designed to foster your sense of identity and purpose as a PNNL intern.
Professional Development Series
We take our commitment to intern professional development seriously – which is why we’ve created a suite of workshops and seminars designed to elevate our interns. You’ll do a deep-dive into effective presentation skills, which is essential for research-driven careers. We’ll equip you with insight to develop a professional LinkedIn profile, which will help you stand out to recruiters and STEM employers on the top professional networking platform in the world. You’ll learn important tips on writing effective abstracts and research papers, discover how to overcome the all-too-familiar impostor phenomenon that many of us deal with, and much more.
Mentorship from Leading Experts
Each PNNL intern receive individualized mentorship from leading experts in the field. Throughout your internship, you’ll get regular feedback and guidance from our world-class scientists. Each of our mentors is committed to helping interns learn and develop. They also participate in training that helps ensure your internship experience is valuable, effective, and professional. From diving into diversity and helping students identify their sense of belonging, to elevating your research expertise – our mentors are dedicated to your success. The opportunity to develop a professional network, engage in the culture of organization, and receive mentorship such as this is one reason interns return to PNNL for more internship opportunities.
Leadership and Peer Networking
Connecting with others and developing a sense of belonging within PNNL helps set our internships apart. At PNNL, you’ll discover one of our greatest distinctions as a national lab is the quality of people and the diversity of experiences that converge here to unite around our integrated science mission. Our success is all about our people. As a PNNL intern, you will have opportunities to meet our PNNL leaders, learn about PNNL’s strategies, and know the backstory of what ignited our leaders’ interest in science. You’ll hear from experts about their research and individual scientific journeys that led them to PNNL. Throughout your internship we intentionally create spaces for you to meet and get to know other interns in informal settings, virtually, and in person. Your fellow interns will be your future colleagues, so we prioritize the value of cultivating those relationships now. Ultimately, we create opportunities for you to grow your network and expand your experience within our PNNL community.
Research Symposium and Presentations
Each intern at PNNL contributes to significant work that supports the PNNL science mission. Our PNNL intern research symposium is an opportunity for you to showcase your project at a formal research symposium and to elevate your career by participating in this event. Our professional development series equips you with the skills to create a compelling abstract, deliver an engaging research presentation, and to have confidence in presenting your work. People from across the Lab, as well as your friends, family, and university professors are all invited to join. Students who do present at the symposium receive a certificate of completion and a recording of their presentation to bolster their professional career.
Championing the Diverse & Inclusive STEM Workforce
At PNNL, our people are our strength. Their voices tell our story. We are committed to solving the world’s most challenging problems and answering its most elusive questions. Diversity and inclusion of people and thoughts is part of our unique social fabric and key to our research success. It is also a daily personal commitment and expectation. That’s one reason we’re especially proud to invite our interns to actively join our community and to be part of our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). These are employee-driven, executive-sponsored groups organized around a shared set of characteristics, experiences, or purposes related to a historically underrepresented or systemically underserved dimension of diversity. Participation is open to all employees. The ERGs at PNNL enhance a culture of inclusion by providing professional, educational, and social opportunities. We hope you’ll join while you’re a PNNL intern!
Early STEM Career Preparation
As one of the most diverse, multi-disciplinary national laboratories that uses an integrative approach to scientific discovery, and as one of the largest STEM employers in the Pacific Northwest, PNNL is dedicated to training the next generation of scientists and furthering Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) mission in science education and diverse and inclusive workforce development. That’s why we are committed to ensuring every intern is afforded the opportunity to participate in our Gold Experience program, whether in-person or virtually. One way we invest in you is by hosting workshops focused on strategies to effectively launch into a STEM career. Additionally, interns who will be graduating (undergraduate and graduate) are able to request an individual conversation with one of our recruiters to learn about opportunities at PNNL, as well as gaining more insight into career pathways for other DOE and national STEM professional opportunities.
You’ll quickly discover that life as a PNNL intern is packed with opportunities! During your internship our launchpad newsletters serve as a one-stop-shop to remind you of what is happening in our internship program, PNNL activities and events, and other key information pieces that help make your internship experience successful. This regular communication helps keep a consistent cadence of information coming to you, so you’ll never miss out or be unaware of what you can participate in while working as a PNNL intern!