This year, Rollins is having its first summer semester of the Center for Career and Life Planning’s Internship Funding Program. The purpose of the Internship Funding Program is to increase access of high-impact internships for students who can not fund their own experience over the summer.
It is run by Liz Bernstein, the assistant director of internship programs, and Norah Perez, director of experiential learning.
Bernstein and Perez noticed that on a national level, students who are more affluent get greater access to the high-end internships that future employers will look for when they are hiring. Students who cannot afford those internships are put at a distinct disadvantage.
It is important to note that there are limitations to this program. First, the qualifications are extensive.
To apply, students must be a current undergraduate student, have at least 30 semester hours, have secured or be actively pursuing an internship that lasts a minimum of 9 weeks, have their internship approved to receive college credit, and be of good academic standing with Rollins. They must also commit to taking the academic internship course, which has a $500 fee.
Second, the fund sets maximum scholarships. The maximum amount that they can offer a student in aid for a local internship is $1,500. For a non-local internship that includes housing, the maximum is $2,500.
Finally, the application process for the program is extensive. There is an application form along with a budget plan where students will specifically fill out their financial needs, from the $500 dollar internship class fee to housing and gas money if they will not be working for a local internship.
Students will also need to attach their current resume and a one-to-three page statement of purpose that connects this internship to their academic and future career goals.
Until now, students looking for affordable internships had been directed to apply for the SHIP grant, which is the Scholarship for High-Impact Practices that is offered through Student Affairs. This scholarship includes funding for research conferences, service-based trips, and internships.
This new program is specifically for internships and includes more funding. It will also benefit the SHIP grant, since less students will be competing for funding and more help will be available for students not seeking internships.
“We believe that this first program will be able to fund anywhere between 10 to 15 students depending on student need,” said Perez.
“We anticipate that we’ll have to make some very difficult decisions,” said Bernstein. “It’s very likely that not all students who apply will receive funding.”
In the decision process, the first thing that will be looked at is the financial need. Those who have a higher need will be prioritized, followed by their reasons for seeking the funding and how it connects to their future goals.
Bernstein expressed the office’s excitement to launch the funding and encouraged students to apply. “We know the application process is very rigorous, but we hope that doesn’t scare anybody away.”
Students are encouraged to send Bernstein emails with any questions or concerns, and there will be a workshop on Tuesday, April 17 all about finding internships and perfecting resumes. It will held in Olin Library, room 210 at 12:30 p.m.
The deadline for all application materials for the Internship Funding Program is Monday, April 23 at 5 p.m.