Professional Development Opportunities


As a way to support New Mexico tribal entities in developing their own managerial and technical expertise, Indian Resources Development promotes, funds, or helps develop internship opportunities for NM Indigenous high school and college students.

The resources below explain what internships are, their importance, and list examples of current opportunities.

  • Internship opportunities

    IRD is constantly revising this list as more opportunities come available. Consider using additional sources other than the IRD list to search for internships. Some examples where you could check are tribal offices, businesses, organizations, or beyond New Mexico.

What are internships?

Internships are work experiences offered by businesses and organizations for a limited period of time and that are designed to help students develop and acquire skills, and get on-the-job training to complement their formal education in high school or college. Through internships, students deepen their understanding about a profession by working in that field. Internships can be done with a business or company at any place in the world. Students typically work for a chosen employer for about one to four months, however, the duration can vary. Students usually complete internships during their summer or winter breaks, when classes are not in session, but some internships take place during the academic year. Internships can be taken for college credits, be paid, or unpaid. 

The following resources can be used to provide additional information about internships.

Why Are Internships Beneficial?

Internships are important and beneficial, because they increase the chances of obtaining a job after graduation. Internships can be listed on a student’s resume and make them a stronger candidate for a job. Employers seek students who have obtained prior experience in their field of study. Internships provide this prior experience and show that the student is able to work in a professional environment. From this experience, students can also gain leadership and communication skills.

Internships also give students a chance to apply what they learn in their college courses to a real-life situation. This is achieved through the hands-on experience that internships offer. Hands-on experiences familiarize students in their field of study which better prepares them to work after they graduate. Students can also expand their networking connections through internships, which they could use for letters of reference or professional opportunities.

Internship Opportunities

One of the goals of Indian Resources Development is to assist in the education and training of New Mexico Native American students through practical on-the-job opportunities and work related programs.

To assist in accomplishing this objective, IRD created an inventory of internships and research opportunities for Native American students to search through.

Opportunities are always open. To inquire, contact

Research Program | Website Description
STEM PREP (STEM Pre-Research Exploration Programs) The STEM PREP program allows participants who are Freshmen second-semester or Sophomores first- or second-semester to participate in research activities that prepare them to enter the Undergraduate Research Scholars (URS) program, which they can apply for the next semester.
Undergraduate Research Scholars (URS) The Undergraduate Research Scholars (URS) program, available on several campuses statewide, supports students in faculty-mentored research projects and provides professional development and preparation for internships, graduate school, and/or the workforce.
CPING Research Experience for Undergraduates - CREU Eligible to all rising 2nd year and higher undergraduates with an interest in evolutionary biology, plant science, genomics, and invasive species, June 1st - August 3rd, 2022
Internship | Website Description
IRD Internship Partnership Indian Resources Development at New Mexico State University and Land Grant Program at Navajo Technical University would like to invite your tribe to be an internship host. In collaboration with partners like you, IRD and LGP will offer opportunities that draw connections between tribal students’ cultural backgrounds and their academic experiences. The project will include relevant real-world internships, professional development, and career exploration opportunities. Would you like to meet with IRD to discuss the internship partnership project? Please email IRD at or call 575 646 5617.
American Indian Chamber of Commerce of New Mexico Fall 2021 Internship Internship experience includes understanding business back-office operations, providing marketing and public relations support, research on tribal economic development, and enhancing the AICCNM internship experience overall. For more information please contact: Marvis Aragon or Juanita Jose at (505) 766-9545 or send a resume to
American Indian College Fund-Routing Occupational & Academic Development Routing Occupational & Academic Development (ROAD) is an internship program that connects interested students to internship opportunities with College Fund partners.
Summer 2020 Intern Position with BHP BHP is seeking one intern in hydrology, geology, environmental science, civil engineering, environmental engineering, minerals engineering, chemistry or other related field. Candidates may be either undergraduate students, or pursuing graduate studies. Based on the intern's field of study, particular focus on those activities and aspects of our business can be made. The position will be based in the Grants, NM office.
Convention Internship National Cattlemen's Beef Association Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show interns are vital to the success of the largest annual meeting in the U.S. beef cattle industry. Our intern positions provide a unique opportunity for students to gain first-hand experience and to interact with leaders from every segment of the cattle and beef industry. Deadline: April 16, 2021
Navajo Agricultural Products Industry NAPI has summer internship opportunities available for students pursuing a degree in Agriculture, Business, and Engineering. Interested students will participate in strategic projects as they relate to NAPI's overall goals and objectives.
Summer Program For Undergraduate Research (SPUR) The purpose of SPUR is to provide undergraduate students with an intensive 10-week research experience under the mentorship of a University of Utah faculty member.
Sandia National Laboratories Internships Each year, Sandia welcomes students from around the country-from those in their final years of high school to researchers obtaining PhDs -to work in a variety of technical and business positions. Interns work on real-world, challenging projects to contribute to critical national goals.
El Paso Electric Company Internships El Paso Electric is proud to offer year-round and summer opportunities to college students as well as high school summer internships.
U.S. Department of Energy Scholars Program The DOE Scholars Program is designed to attract talented undergraduate and graduate students, and recent graduates in a variety of fields. This program will help prepare you to pursue the full range of entry and mid-level research, technical and professional positions within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and organizations that support the DOE mission.
Pathways Internship Program The Pathways Internship Program provides year-round paid work experiences for current degree-seeking high-school, undergraduate, and graduate students. Interns may work during the summer, fall, spring or year-round and are eligible for non-competitive conversion upon program completion.
Pathways Recent Graduates Program The Pathways Recent Graduates Program is for graduates within two years of degree or certificate completion, and for veterans within 6 years of obtaining a degree. Fellows are placed in a one-year career development program that may be non-competitively converted upon completion of program requirements.


Apprenticeships provide the opportunity to receive hands-on and technical training, and possibly earn a stipend through the duration of your learning. Depending on the field you decide on, apprenticeships may be 12 months to as many as 6 years. Most apprenticeship programs are registered with the U.S. Department of Labor given that these technical fields require a certain level of training to ensure quality standard. This may sound similar to an internship; however, it is different because an internship provides a general work experience that can be applied to a variety of careers, whereas an apprenticeship is specific to one occupation.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor.

Why Are They Useful?

Through an apprenticeship you are able to:

  • Earn a wage
  • Gain hands-on training and experience in the profession you are pursuing
  • A sponsor may employ you after you finish the program's education
  • Further pursue education where a person may further expertise within their field

Who Organizes/Sponsors Apprenticeship Programs?

Apprenticeship programs can be sponsored by a business, consortium of companies, community colleges, organizations, or a range of workforce intermediaries.

Where Can You Find An Apprenticeship?

You can find apprenticeships by searching online, attending career fairs, or asking an employer directly. is also a good website to use to search for apprenticeships in your area.

Consider exploring the different higher education career services websites. As you can see, these career services resources are associated with colleges all across New Mexico. The colleges may also host a career fair from time to time, in addition, to the various resources that they offer at their respective institution.

Higher Education - Career Services

Research Experiences

Institution Research Program
National Science Foundation
National Science Foundation

Research Experiences for Undergraduates


IRD is always checking this page and updating conference information. If you would like to suggest a conference to be added to this list, please email at

Conference Location
Native American Finance Officers Association Annual Conference Mashantucket, CT
Food and Nutrition Conference 2022 Orlando, FL
24th Annual American Indian Tourism Conference Funner, CA
Communication and Public Engagement for Healthy People and a Healthy Planet Baltimore, Maryland
National Diversity in STEM Conference San Juan, Puerto Rico
National Tribal & Indigenous Climate Conference St. Paul, Minnesota
Southwest IAC Regional Summit Albuquerque, NM
Intertribal Space Conference Clinton, OK
2022 Southwest Regional Conference Santa Ana Pueblo, NM