Young Adult: Application Process

For parents, guardians, and mentors of candidates 18 and older applying for internship and corps positions.

SCA’s application process is a great opportunity for candidates to build and practice their professional skills. Many SCA programs require participants to work independently and as part of a team, sometimes in remote locations. Through the application, candidates demonstrate that they are sufficiently responsible, motivated, and prepared to take on a conservation internship. 

Candidates for young adult positions should take the lead in all communication with SCA. When a parent or guardian speaks on behalf of a candidate during the application process, it can indicate to SCA that the candidate may not have the motivation, confidence or skills to succeed in an SCA position. We recommend helping candidates prepare for professional communications through practice or role playing, but discourage you from speaking on their behalf.  

Candidates should fill out their own application. We carefully consider personal voice and enthusiasm when matching candidates with the right internship. Candidates should write their essays in their own words and take responsibility for filling out their application. Encourage candidates to review punctuation, spelling, and grammar and to be thorough in completing all sections of the application.

Resume Building. While we don’t require a resume, we highly recommend it. There are many ways to find help for crafting a resume that best represents your knowledge, skills, and abilities. Encourage candidates to seek out career services professionals, explore websites specializing in resume writing, or schedule an appointment with a career counselor if they are in school.

Selecting Opportunities. We ask every candidate to select only positions that they would be prepared to accept if offered, so it’s critical that candidates choose positions they feel comfortable with.  Offer to act as a sounding board if the candidate needs to talk about opportunities, but let them make the ultimate decisions.

Be Flexible. SCA is highly competitive. We recommend that candidates be open to a variety of positions in order to increase their chances of selection. Well known sites like Yosemite, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon are generally the most competitive, yet sites with less name recognition can provide equally amazing experiences. Encourage candidates to focus on the overall experience rather than on a particular location.

Interview Coaching. Candidates seeking their first professional experience through SCA  are often inexperienced in matters of professionalism. The majority of SCA interviews are conducted over the phone, and it is not uncommon for candidates to resort to conversation fillers (“Um,” “Ah,” “Like,” “You Know”) when trying to answer important questions. Offer to role play, act as the interviewer, and give candidates some standard questions and suggestions for improvement.     

Candidates should be checking their email regularly. Many of our most critical communications to candidates will arrive via email. Encourage candidates to check their messages regularly (2 to 3 times per week minimum) to avoid missing important notifications.

Act on Feedback. At SCA, it’s our mission to develop the next generation of conservation leaders. If candidates act on the feedback that they receive from us, it will dramatically increase their likelihood of securing a position.

Use the Resources Available:

Webpages on

Contact SCA’s Admissions Team:

[email protected]

1-888-722-9675 x1498