Monday, October 20, 2008

Tips for Paying for an Unpaid Internship

We may only be starting 4th week this week, but in just a few weeks, it will be time to start thinking about internships for next summer. Most students know that a summer internship during college is a great way to build up your resume and gain work experience - and according to a recent article in the New York Times, more experienced professionals are now taking internships - both by choice, to build up their professional portfolios, and by necessity, as the economy continues to struggle.

This article also addresses the financial burden that can come with an unpaid internship: "Money can be another serious issue for adult interns, especially if they have families and young children. Peg Hendershot , director of Career Vision , a career consulting firm in Glen Ellyn, Ill., said employees accustomed to earning a full-time salary and full benefits might have trouble accepting little to no pay unless they were independently wealthy or had some serious cash saved in the bank."

The fact of the matter is that money isn't just an issue for adult interns - it's a very real concern for current students as well. With that in mind, here are just a few of the ways that the College is working to provide funding to students, so that you can take that dream internship overseas, and not have to go broke paying your rent (in fact, the College has committed $1 million towards providing funded summer opportunties to undergraduates):

The Jeff Metcalf Fellows Program provides paid, ten-week internship opportunities to first through third years in the College. In 2008 there were over 230 opportunities available to students in a wide range of fields, including arts and culture, business and consulting, education and research, government and non-profits, science and technology and more. Bottom Line: $4000 for the summer.

The Summer Links Program is an intensive 11-week, paid internship program for 30 returning College and graduate students committed to public service, community building and social change. Started in 1997 and sponsored by the Dean of the College, Summer Links has placed 300 students in substantive internships with more than 130 nonprofit and public sector organizations throughout the Chicago area. Bottom Line: $4000 for the summer.

The Human Rights Internship Program offers a select group of Chicago students the opportunity to learn the skills and understand the difficulties inherent in putting human rights into practice. Since its establishment in 1998 the Internship Program has placed more than 200 students with non-governmental organizations, governmental agencies and international bodies around the world. Bottom Line: $5000 for the summer.

Summer Action Grants will offer a select few undergraduate students the funding to work or intern in the United States. Students will be selected on the cogent nature of their plan (including a budget and a backup plan). Students will also need to demonstrate how the experience will enhance their academic and/or professional goals and share their experience with the University of Chicago community upon return. Regional and thematic diversity of projects will also be taken into account. Bottom Line: The average grant is $1,500 but can be up to $3,000.
For more information about Summer Action Grants, contact rcward@uchicago.edu.

International Experience Grants will offer a select few undergraduate students the funding to work or intern abroad. Students will be selected on the cogent nature of their plan (including a budget and a back-up plan). Students will also need to demonstrate how the experience will enhance their academic
and/or professional goals and share their experience with the University of Chicago community upon return. Regional and thematic diversity of proposed projects will also be taken into account. Bottom Line: The average grant is $3,500 but can be up to $5,000. For more information about International Experience Grants, contact rcward@uchicago.edu.

The FLAG Program offers awards to defray the costs of intermediate or advanced language study abroad. Study programs must be at least eight weeks in duration of intensive language study (at least 15 hours/week) and located in a setting where the target language is predominantly spoken. Applicants must have completed or tested out of the 103 level of the target language by the program start date. For French and Spanish language applications, preference will be given to students who have completed some intermediate language study. Bottom Line: $3000 for the summer.

These are just a few of the funding options for students to pay for an unpaid summer internship - be sure to check the Summer International Travel Grants site for more opportunities, and the FROGS site for information about additional funding sources.

Make an appointment with a CAPS staff member for more information about other funding opportunities, including major specific awards, or if you're having trouble finding funding for a particular experience. Call (773) 702 - 7040 to make an appointment.

Questions or suggestions about finding funding for internships? Post them here.

4 comments:

Danny W. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Career Advising & Planning Services (CAPS) said...

Good question, Daniel. Check out this website for more information about funding for the MAPH internship program: https://caps.uchicago.edu/grads/masters/maph/faq.html.

brett said...

This is a great post. I just had one of the ‘Doh!’ moments and ran back to correct my own site before publishing my comment. You see my own comment form did not match what I’m about to advice. I get less comment than you, so never noticed any problem. I’ve changed it now anyway so here goes.
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