Grants Aim to Accelerate Student Career Aspirations

October 17, 2023

St. John Fisher University offers Career Accelerator grants to provide support to undergraduate students who are actively pursuing experiential opportunities in alignment with their career aspirations.

Students work on a presentation in a Basil Hall classroom.

This initiative, established in 2020, was designed to assist students in covering the expenses associated with experiential learning and career preparation. When the initiative began, only one award was available, but thanks to the generous contributions of Fisher alumni, the program has now expanded to offer three different awards.

The Michael O’Conor ’78 Career Accelerator Award provides support for Fisher students pursuing in-person internships in the greater New York City area including, but not limited to, stipends toward living expenses, subway/bus passes, and other expenses incurred as a result of the internship. The award amount limit is up to $1,000.

The Career Services Career Accelerator Award, which can fund requests up to $500, supports out-of-pocket expenses associated with experiences such as unpaid or underpaid internships, job site visits, required field or observational trips, fees for graduate school entrance exams and application fees, required fees for licensing/credentialing, professional conferences, registration fees for short courses/certifications/programs not offered by Fisher, uniforms/professional attire, or equipment required for research and not provided by the sponsoring organization.

Finally, the Deli Rogers ’92 Career Accelerator Award provides funding for students to purchase professional clothing for interviews or internships, and the award limit is $200.

Previous Career Accelerator Awards have empowered students to secure clothing for internships, fund their NYS Teachers exam, alleviate transportation costs, acquire scrubs, cover expenses for the LSAT, and manage NYCLEX fees, among many others.

Hayly Fredrickson, a senior majoring in biochemistry, utilized the Career Accelerator Award to support the expenses associated with her voluntary internship opportunity.

“After I accepted a volunteer intern position to work with veterinarians at the SPCA Serving Erie County, I was worried about the additional costs of this opportunity. However, the Career Accelerator Award helped me cover these additional costs and I was able to gain unmatched veterinary experience from assisting with procedures, observing surgeries, and working closely with the professionals there. The experience will be helpful to me in other veterinary settings and I can carry what I have learned through graduate school,” said Fredrickson.

​​To be considered for these grants, students who are interested must complete an application form available on Handshake. Applicants are required to provide a detailed budget outlining anticipated expenses, supported by relevant documentation such as mileage logs, bus fare receipts, hotel fees, and other related costs. The application process also requires an essay explaining how the experiential opportunity will contribute to the applicant’s advancement toward career goals. Students can only receive one award each academic year and recipients can apply the following year.

During the selection process, several factors will be considered, including the applicant’s financial need, academic standing, and conduct records. The award amounts will be determined at the discretion of the reviewer(s) based on these considerations.