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Career Services Internship Scholarship Program

$810
15%
Raised toward our $5,300 Goal
7 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on June 14, at 11:59 PM PDT
Project Owners

Career Services Internship Scholarship Program

Although the campaign has ended, you can still support this project:

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Funding for Unpaid Internships

Career Services’ mission is to empower Cal Poly students to achieve a lifetime of meaningful career success. One of the best ways students can ensure future career success is by gaining relevant professional experience during their time at Cal Poly. Establishing funding for unpaid internships is a tangible way to create more equity and opportunity for students who face financial barriers. 

Research clearly suggests an internship experience (regardless of compensation) greatly impacts both the short and longer-term career success of students.

A National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) study indicated that students who completed at least one internship: 

  • Received a job offer more quickly

  • Had a higher first-position salary than those who did not

  • Averaged $8,097 more per year higher in salary 

Many internships are unpaid and are especially common in government, non-profit, arts, and public service industries which creates financial, and, ultimately, career barriers for low-income students interested in these fields.

According to a 2014 NACE survey of 43,000 graduating seniors, 61 percent had some form of internship experience during college, with more than half being unpaid. A separate study commissioned by The Chronicle for Higher Education and cited by the Brookings Institution suggests that internships are the most important factor when it comes to hiring a recent college graduate, which can difficult to find for students who cannot afford to accept unpaid positions.

Your donation will allow us to offer funding for unpaid internships for the first time and assist students who are lacking the financial means to gain invaluable career experience.

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Program Overview  

Career Services Internship Scholarship Program will offer two awards to students who have already secured internships, research, and/or related pre-professional experience that demonstrates career motivation and professional ambition. Award selections will be based on the following criteria addressed in the student application: 

  • Potential substantive learning experience and benefits offered through internship 

  • How the internship experience supports career interests and future professional growth 

  • Financial need and impact of scholarship award 

  • Professional quality of resume and clear demonstration of General Eligibility and specific award criteria 

General Eligibility

To be considered for awards students must:

  • Have secured an unpaid internship within non-profits, government, education, arts, public service, or another organization that does not traditionally pay its interns

  • Currently enrolled undergraduate students who will return to Cal Poly as an enrolled student after the internship. Graduating seniors are not eligible to apply.

  • Demonstrate impact of award, including financial need

*Internships must be compliant with the Fair Labor Standards Act

Partnership with Financial Aid

  • Awarded monies would go into a designated Financial Aid scholarship fund.  

  •  Career Services will form a student internship application review process with input from Financial Aid

  • Financial Aid will distribute funds to awarded students.

The program will manage one-time, non-renewable awards.

Levels
Choose a giving level

$10

One Student Meal

Thank you for your gift! Students participating in unpaid internships often struggle to cover their daily living expenses, especially if they do not have access to free housing. Your contribution of $10 will fund one student meal.

$30

Work Transportation

Thank you for your gift! Your contribution of $30 will fund a scholar's transportation costs, whether that be a weekly metro card or a tank of gas.

$50

Professional Attire

Thank you for your gift! Your contribution of $50 will assist an internship scholar in looking workplace ready by funding the cost of their professional attire.

$100

Week's Worth of Groceries

Thank you for your gift! Your contribution of $100 will fund a week's worth of groceries for an internship scholar.

$200

Monthly Utilities

Thank you for your gift! Your contribution of $200 will fund the cost of monthly utilities such as gas, water and internet, among other amenities.

$400

Month's Worth of Groceries

Thank you for your gift! Your contribution of $400 will fund a month's worth of groceries for an internship scholar.

$1,000

Month's Rent

Thank you for your gift! Your contribution of $1,000 will fund a month's rent for an internship scholar.

$2,500

One Scholarship Funded

Thank you for your gift! Your contribution of $2,500 will support one fully-funded scholarship award recipient in achieving their professional goals.

$5,000

Goal Reached!

Thank you for your gift! Your contribution of $5,000 will support two fully-funded scholarship award recipients in achieving their professional goals.

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