Ethics and the Professions Internships | University of Portland

Ethics and the Professions Internships


The Ethics and the Professions Internship (EPI) program offers six to eight UP students an 8-week summer internship experience in public and private sectors across the greater Portland area.

As they learn about the elements that make up the work of these organizations, each intern meets regularly with different members of their placement organization for 1:1 conversations about mission, values, habits, decision-making--all active in the formation of one's coherent character as a person and a professional.

Interns also have weekly check-in sessions with Dundon-Berchtold Institute staff and cohort meetings for focused conversations about the ethical themes that emerge from their experiences. Throughout the summer, each intern also engages in an independent Ethics Exploration project on the topic of their choice related to ethics and the working world. 

The application window for Summer 2023 is now open: ETHICS AND THE PROFESSIONS INTERNSHIP PROGRAM (Summer 2023). Application materials (including letters of reference) are due by Friday, 17 February.


Program Overview

  • Meaningful 8-week summer internship placement at a vibrant partner organization
  • Weekly 1-on-1 ethics conversations with different professionals within the placement organization
  • June-July (+ Orientation in late May)
  • 29 hours/week (20 hrs. of internship work + 9 hours of complementary programming)
  • Summer pay: $16.17 per hour (approx. $3,000 after taxes)
  • Regular gatherings with internship cohort and DBI staff
  • Independent research project on personally chosen topic around ethics and work


Placement Matching

Applicants apply specifically to the EPI program and are interviewed by staff in the Dundon-Berchtold Institute (DBI). Once finalists accept a position in the EPI cohort, they are then matched to partner organizations by DBI staff based on how interns’ skills, interests, and qualifications fit different organizations’ expressed needs. Interns will have the opportunity to connect with the internship hosts before the start of their internship experience. (See below for more details on past placement organizations.)


Required Qualifications

  • Must have taken PHL 220 by the start of the internship experience
  • Going into Junior or Senior year or 21+ years old
  • Anticipated graduation date of December 2022 or later
  • Good academic standing
  • No other UP/campus job commitments* (May-July)
  • Willingness to work either in-person or remotely**
  • Independent transportation to internship site and UP campus (for in-person internships)
  • Consistent access to a reliable (1) internet connection, (2) computer, and (3) phone (for remote/teleworking internships)

*To abide by UP’s student employment policies on hours worked per week, EPI interns are not able to engage in any other campus employment while participating in the EPI program in May-July.

**Amid the ongoing pandemic, we ask all hired interns to commit to the entirety of the EPI program even in the event of changes between in-person and remote internships as necessitated by COVID restrictions.

Please direct questions about this program to Dan McGinty (


Program Highlights

student standing by blue Make-A-Wish wall


Interns are matched to partner organizations from the public or private sectors for robust, project-based work experiences. Across the 8 weeks, interns improve their communication skills and time management, add different software to their resumes, and increase their knowledge of and confidence in the professional space.

Past and ongoing partner organizations include Make-A-Wish OregonPortland Monthly Magazine, WorldOregon, and Catholic Charities Oregon.

student talking with staff member in front of large window background


Under the guidance of their internship supervisor, each intern meets with different members of their placement organization each week for 1:1 conversations about organizational mission, personal vocations, and the roles that values and habits play in the pursuit of a coherent morality.

Similarly, toward the end of the 2-month experience, interns are paired intentionally by DBI staff with one additional conversation partner whose professional space resonates with that intern’s career interests.

groups of students standing together


For the duration of the EPI program, DBI staff meet regularly with the interns individually and as a cohort. These conversations offer consistent support for the students as they navigate different internship successes and challenges.

From diverse readings to guest speakers, the program covers multiple work-related themes, including organizational culture, ethical decision-making, personal-professional values, and getting and receiving feedback.

student sitting at desk with laptop and thumbs up to camera

EthEx Projects

As part of their paid time in the program, each intern conducts an independent Ethic Exploration (EthEx) project, choosing a work-and-ethics topic of interest to them and delving into different resources. By the end of the summer, each student creates an informal deliverable (e.g., reflection essay, podcast, poster) to capture their learnings on their topic.

Past EthEx projects have focused on houselessness, faith and work, maternity leave policies, ethical fundraising, humanistic leadership, the value of confrontation, privacy in journalism, and more.


What do past participants say about the program?

Daniela Gutierrez

Daniela Gutierrez - Class of 2025
EPI Internship: WorldOregon

"I think the ethics conversations during my internship have given me helpful tips on how to navigate a career search and even how to analyze organizational culture. After graduation, I will hopefully have a career opportunity or even grad school, and I am more comfortable with my ability to make a decision with what I choose for my future."

Learn more about Daniela Guiterrez

David Montanez

David Montanez - Class of 2022
EPI Internship: Make-A-Wish Oregon

"Internships are important because the teach you a lot about what to expect in a job. Internships give you the ability to see what you like and how to act in a professional environment. You can pick up on the work culture pretty quickly and this will give you good insight on what you would like in a workplace."

Learn more about David Montanez

Jack Jensen

Jack Jensen - Class of 2023
EPI Internship: WorldOregon

"During my ethics conversations, my questions focused a lot on important virtues to develop in the workplace and how people respond to ethical dilemmas that arise in their work. These are fascinating questions, and I would love to build on my experience here by pursuing them in graduate school and/or in my own life."

Learn more about Jack Jensen

Rid Malynn

Rid Malynn - Class of 2024
EPI Internship: Make-A-Wish Oregon

"My greatest takeaway from this experience was learning to value my own work, have more confidence in myself and my abilities, and know my worth within a company. It is easy to feel small when you are an intern for a well established, very busy company. But diving into ethical topics related to the professional world played a central role in building my confidence and giving myself the credit I deserve. This experience has given me the tools to advocate for myself, learn my limits, and value my role as a part of the team."

Learn more about Rid Malynn

Asia Gates

Asia Gates - Class of 2021
EPI Internship: WorldOregon

"With the emphasis of ethics in the internship, I have noticed the intertwining of ethics, my strengths, and who I hope to be in the future all intersect. With this new awareness, I hope to hold onto my ethical takeaways to carry with me in future ventures."

Learn more about Asia Gates

Tim Arifdjanov

Tim Arifdjanov - Class of 2023
EPI Internship: Catholic Charities Oregon

"I applied because I have an interest in ethics and wanted an internship where I could do good work. I have always been someone who enjoys thinking about how I can live a good life and do the right thing. This internship fit right into that, so I knew it would be something I enjoyed, and it was an experience I wanted to be a part of. "

Learn more about Tim Arifdjanov

Riley Bass

Riley Bass - Class of 2022
EPI Internship: Portland Monthly Magazine

"Understanding the value of other people’s time and wisdom is something that I will carry with me forever. Everyone has something to teach you if you take the time to listen and ask the right questions, so don’t be afraid of the conversation! I’ll be able to take that skill and appreciation with me whether it is during a professional interview or while getting coffee with a new friend. "

Learn more about Riley Bass

McKenzie Clark

McKenzie Clark - Class of 2023
EPI Internship: WorldOregon

"The internship allowed me to explore a professional space that had been previously closed to me. I was able to apply techniques and theories that I had learned in the classroom to the work that I was doing at the organization. The application of skills into the real-world was invaluable. "

Learn more about McKenzie Clark

Lauren Carlos

Lauren Carlos - Class of 2021
EPI internship: Portland Monthly Magazine

"What intrigued me most about the EPI program was the opportunity to sit down each week for a 1-on-1 conversation with a working professional and engage in honest, open conversations about ethical dilemmas at work, organizational mission, culture, and decision making."

Learn more about Lauren Carlos

Noah Lamberger

Noah Lamberger - Class of 2023
EPI internship: WorldOregon

"I have an interest in applied ethics and was eager to learn about how different people and workplaces address and navigate professionalism."

Learn more about Noah Lamberger

Dulce Sanabria Garcia

Dulce Sanabria Garcia - Class of 2021
EPI internship: WorldOregon

"One of my favorite moments has been having the opportunity to listen to the other interns about their particular experiences and reflections in their own placement organization. I think I definitely learned a lot from them and gained curiosity and knowledge about industries outside of my own interests."

Learn more about Dulce Sanabria Garcia

Jordyn Mayer

Jordyn Mayer - Class of 2021
EPI internship: Portland Monthly Magazine

"I applied for the Ethics and the Professions Internship program because I was interested in the opportunity to challenge myself intellectually and professionally and utilize an ethical perspective to frame different issues in the workplace while having conversations about the role of ethics in professional ambitions and work environments. "

Learn more about Jordyn Mayer