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Summer 2022 National Parks Business Plan Internship (BPI)

Purposeful Growth Institute & National Parks Service
Job Field:
Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management
Water and Soil Resources
Job Type:
Seasonal, Temporary, Internship
Job Description:

The National Park Service (NPS) is an agency of the United States federal government that manages all U.S. national parks, many American national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. It was created on August 25, 1916, by Congress through the National Park Service Organic Act and is an agency of the United States Department of the Interior. The NPS is charged with a dual role of preserving the ecological and historical integrity of the places entrusted to its management while also making them available and accessible for public use and enjoyment.


Want to make a lasting impact this summer? Consider using your skills and expertise to help America’s National Parks continue to thrive through the highly-selective summer Business Plan Internship (BPI).

The National Parks BPI program is open to graduate students who are currently enrolled in business, public policy, environmental management, public administration, and related programs.

Selected candidates bring their world-class finance, operations, and strategy talent into some of the world’s most beautiful backdrops, culturally significant sites, and the programs that manage them. Each project’s focus varies depending upon client needs, and at the end of the program BPI Consultants present their analysis and strategic recommendations to National Park Service leadership. Recent projects have included improving park financial sustainability through innovative commercial service offerings, exploring the viability of cashless fee systems, and achieving economies of scale through consolidated museum collections. Successful BPI consultants who meet the qualifications for federal employment will become eligible for direct hire into positions within the NPS after they graduate as National Park Service Conservation Fellows.

In 2021, the BPI program adapted to COVID-19 by holding a virtual training session to onboard the consultants, after which all consultants were able to spend a full ten weeks at their project site, though with a higher reliance on virtual and off-site meetings. In 2022, we anticipate on returning to normal operations with an on-site training at a National Park but, if necessary, we will continue to adaptively manage to respond to fluid public health circumstances to ensure a safe and successful summer.


Candidates should have strong analytical and project management skills, an interest in consulting, strategic planning, and public sector management, and the desire to contribute to the future of our national parks by improving the parks and programs’ operational and financial health.

Candidates should also be prepared to demonstrate:

● Excellent time/project management and analytical skills

● Superb oral and written communication skills

● Strong presentation and interpersonal skills

● Flexible and collaborative work style

● Enthusiasm for working in diverse (and potentially remote) project sites

Additional requirements

● Minimum of two years of full-time (i.e., non-internship) professional work experience

● Full-time graduate student at time of application

● Have at least one year of their graduate program left to complete

● Availability for all program dates (June 4 – August 19, 2022)

● US citizen or permanent resident

● Valid US driver’s license; many projects will require driving to field sites

● Understanding of and commitment to the mission of the National Park Service: “The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world”


Dates: 11-week internship program. Saturday, June 4 to Friday, August 19, 2022, beginning with a rigorous week-long NPS orientation.

Application deadline: December 17th, 2021

Compensation: BPI participants receive a weekly stipend of $825.* 

The BPI program covers transportation to training at the start of the program, meals during an on-site training, travel to the project site assignment, and travel from the project site to the consultant’s school or home at the end of the summer. Summer consultants are also reimbursed for any other work-related travel.

Each project site provides housing, work computers, and office space. Access to a shared vehicle for work related use is typically included. Please note that summer consultants are responsible for providing their own transportation between their housing and work locations (as well as for personal adventuring).

*Many schools offer students additional funding for accepting socially or environmentally focused summer internships. Check with your career services office for more information*


Attend a Live Webinar

Additionally, gain even more color and hear from program alumni by attending one (or more) of the live Fall 2021 Content Webinars: 

Webinar #1- Behind the Scenes: Working and Living in a National Park for the Summer. Tues, Oct 26th, 5-6pm ET. 

Register here:…

Webinar #2- Demystifying the NPS BPI Case and Interview Process. Tues, Nov 9th, 5-6pm ET.

Register here -…;

Webinar #3- Transferrable Skills from a Summer in a National Park. Tue, Nov 16th, 7-8pm ET.

Register here -…

Webinar #4- Use Your Summer to have an Impact: 2020 National Park Project Recaps. Tues, Dec 7th, 5-6pm ET. 

Register here -…

BPI participants receive a weekly stipend of $825