Smith Career Center offers scholarship for unpaid interns

The Smith Career Center benefits students all year long by reading resumes, coordinating job fairs and setting up summer internships. Now, the SCC has gone further and created the Internship Fund Award, a scholarship for students with unpaid internships.

“We’re very excited to offer this award,” said Dawn Koeltzow, Associate Director of the Springer Center for Excellence in Internships. “This is our pilot year to see how things go.”

According to the Internship Fund Award application, its purpose is to “reduce financial barriers which prevent some students from pursuing experience in their career field of interest.”

Koeltzow said the fund will help support students with internships that are unpaid or with a low stipend.

“We will do anything we can to help break the financial barrier that students face,” she said. “We met with students [in the past] who said they didn’t have enough financial resources to partake in internships. We feel that [these internships] are so important for students’ careers.”

The award is available to students with sophomore, junior or senior standing at the time of the summer internship and the student must be enrolled as a full-time undergraduate at Bradley. Incoming freshmen and students who graduate in May are not eligible.

The scholarship will also help support students who receive an internship opportunity with alumni, Koeltzow said.

“There is a lot of alumni opportunities for students,” she said. “[The internships] might require travel and IFA could encourage students to take the opportunities. It will help them do that [with the financial award].”

The amount of the scholarship awarded will be based on student participation said Jane Linnenburger, Executive Director of the Smith Career Center.

“We will give away five awards of $1,000 or it could be more [awards with lower increments of money],” she said. “It will depend on student level of interest and the selection committee.”

Linnenburger said she was inspired to start the award after seeing the financial internship awards given out at bigger universities.

“We want students to recognize the value of these internships,” she said. “Students expect to earn wages in the summer to help pay for college, so this will help offset costs for students.”

The Marjorie and Bill Springer Center for Excellence in Internships will help fund the award.

“This year we decided to explore finding sources and see if we could divide the amount of funds from the Smith Career Center for this,” said Linnenburger. “[The Springer Center] was established in 2005, and it is endowed, so we can use some of the interest income from that source and others to devote to the funding.”

Applications are available in the Smith Career Center or on the center’s website. Applicants are encouraged to meet with their career advisors to discuss their applied, secured or accepted summer internship. Mandatory credit hours vary per college, as well as GPA and work hour requirements.

To qualify, students must submit the completed application, a personal statement and a letter of support no later than 5 p.m. on May 1. The internship must also be registered with the SCC, which students can do while meeting with their advisors.

Contact Dawn Koeltzow at dkoeltzow@bradley.edu with questions or concerns regarding the scholarship.