There are simply some skills that can not be learned in a classroom. ... When it came time to assess a contractor's needs or work confidently with a retail customer, those all came from experiences in my internship.
- Katherine Valaitis '13, intern at Sherwin-Williams
Although approximately twenty-five percent of all internships are paid, many excellent career-related internships in nonprofits, human services, the media and the arts are unpaid. While the experience and skills you could develop may be critical for your career field, supporting yourself can be a challenge. Here are a few suggestions:
If possible, choose part-time internship hours or alternating days, and work part-time or evenings in another job. Look for 24/7 jobs such as restaurants. Arrange in advance with your family for additional support for the summer of your internship. An internship is an investment in your future and helps to ensure better employment opportunities after you graduate. Saving money during previous semesters or summers, just as many students do for a study abroad program, can also be beneficial when you have an unpaid internship.
Hiram College recognizes that these options may not work for every situation or cover all your expenses during an unpaid internship or research project. Therefore, the college has alternative funding options.
- The Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates’ Career Ready Internship Grant* is available for qualifying students who have secured unpaid internships. This fund is available through the Summer of 2015 and provides hourly wages for internships. Contact Heather Balas, Director of Career & Academic Development to see if you meet the eligibility requirements for these funds.
- Robert C. and Helen Dix Scholars Program provides support for an internship in journalism or that is writing intensive.
- Ranney Webster Fund for Experiential Learning provides a stipend for unpaid or low-paying internships in any career field.
- Betsy Keefer '67 Endowed Internship Fund provides stipend for students working unpaid or low paying internships with nonprofit organizations.
- An application letter including a description of the internship, it's relationship to your future career plans and a clear statement of your learning goals
- The budget template detailing how the funds will be used as well and disclosing funding you will receive from other sources such as faculty research grants, part time work or other stipends. Download an Excel Spreadsheet or PDF.
- The budget justification sheet which explains why you need the funding you have requested on the template
- A reflection plan that is developed with your faculty advisor that explains how you will reflect on/learn from the internship experience such as a public presentation, a journal or a reflective essay which must be submitted to the selection committee following your internship. This can be in the form of a short essay.
- An acceptance letter for the internship from the potential employer
- A letter of support from the faculty advisor for the project
Examples of previous applications are available in Career Development, and we are always willing to help you develop a strong application. Please contact Career Development at ext. 5131. A faculty committee will read all applications and make the awards. Recipients of these funds will be expected to participate in an internship workshop, submit a thank you letter to Career & Academic Development, and create a poster about their experience to be displayed during the semester following the completion of the internship.
* Knowing that education has the power to change lives for the better, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates helps millions of students pay for college and repay their student loans. Through Community Investments, Great Lakes leads initiatives and funds programs that help students from traditionally underserved backgrounds start and complete a two- or four-year degree or other credential. For additional information, visit community.mygreatlakes.org.