Career and Leadership Development: Internship funding and facts

By Emmy Walters

Since 2008, endowments for Sewanee’s internship funding program have increased by over $88,000, with nearly $400,000 in endowments in 2013. These funded internships include Tigernet ACE internships (opportunities sponsored by University alumni for Sewanee students in medical practices, research centers, and laboratories), as well as internships received beyond the Domain. Career Services encourages students that receive unfunded internships to apply for Sewanee’s internship funding program. In order to be considered for endowments, students must secure an internship before applying for funding. Once applications are submitted, selection committees consisting mainly of faculty sort them into endowment categories for deliberation.

These categories include 36 endowed funds in fields such as business, economics, service, medicine, arts, research, and other general and specific professional areas. The amount they can award each year depends on the financial performance of each endowed fund: some years there is more money, some years, less. For the summer of 2013, 172 of 250 internship applications were funded, or 69%. These interns were funded in over 20 states and 12 countries.

As most internship funds are provided for sophomores, juniors, and seniors, Career Services encourages freshmen to spend their first summers working and exploring interests. However, there are a few freshmen that are able to gain funding for certain internships. As for students interested in applying for internships this summer, Internship Coordinator Elizabeth Wilson suggests that the end of the Advent semester/beginning of the Easter semester is the best time to start planning.

This year, the Career and Leadership Development office will provide internship crash courses in December and January, as well as multiple resources to help students explore possible interests in professional fields. Students should feel free to make an appointment at Career Services, whether or not they have any idea what they want to do. The University’s Internship Coordinators are trained to help students analyze themselves, guiding them toward opportunities to help explore and facilitate their strengths, talents, and interests. In addition to talking through ideas and opportunities with students, Career Services also provides free strength/personality tests such as the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator and Strengths Quest – tests that normally cost hundreds of dollars to take.

As the Career and Leadership Development office continues to expand and improve, students are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities the University facilitates to help explore and pursue potential careers.