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by Vault Education Editors | July 09, 2009


Getting an internship this summer was notoriously hard. Not only were college students vying for positions, but graduates and other young professionals were also submitting applications. Lucky for current students, colleges stepped up.

USA Today reports that this summer, a number of colleges boosted their on-campus summer job programs for students. Not your standard internships, these jobs ask students to get their hands dirty contributing to the upkeep of the campus--repairing dorms, restoring grounds and other facilities, planting flowers, etc. Students learn valuable life lessons (knowing how to paint a wall will come in handy in your first apartment), while getting involved in the behind the scenes world of their alma mater. The host colleges are also coughing up some dough and other benefits: participants receive housing, some meals, a standard minimum wage, plus at least $1,000 towards their 2009-2010 tuition costs.

A paid internship is like the Holy Grail of summer jobs. But there are some great unpaid summer internships that will stand out on a resume, making them worth the sacrifice. To help students afford these programs, some universities have bulked up their fellowship and other programs for summer projects. For example, Princeton University's Pace Center for Civic Engagement offers a number of fellowships and grant programs available for students who pursue internships in public service. These include the Class of 1997 Public Service Fund, which offers a $1,000 grant to undergrads who have a non- or low-paid internship with a public policy, government or nonprofit organization. In 2008, Amherst College began offering Citizen Summer/Fellowships for Action Funded Summer Internships through its Center for Community Engagement, and the college's career center provides money for students who accept internships in the arts and communications.

The moral of the story? Always start your internship search at your school's career center. The career counselors have internship and job listings, on-campus opportunities, company information and other resources to help you make your dream internship work for you.


Filed Under: Education|Grad School