CCAP Secures Student Funding for Summer Internship Opportunities
A recent graduate and a rising sophomore have received the inaugural 2019 Internship Funding Award from the Center for Career and Academic Planning (CCAP) to help fill the gap for unpaid/underpaid internship opportunities that each are pursuing this summer.
Megan Black, a 2019 graduate of the mental health counseling program, received funds to support her efforts as an unpaid intern therapist for Rochester Regional Health. Joseph Current, who just finished his freshman year at Fisher and is a pharmacy early assurance student, also received an award to support his pharmacy intern role at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in his hometown of Buffalo, New York.
The funds were raised as part of the College’s Crowdfunding@Fisher initiative coordinated by the Office of Institutional Advancement in late November of 2018. CCAP took part in the initiative with an eye towards raising funds for unpaid/underpaid internship opportunities. Through donations by staff, faculty, alumni, and friends of the College, the campaign raised $2,500.
Students then had the opportunity to obtain funding by completing an application that included a personal essay and budget. The essay asked for each student to address how receiving the financial award would help them gain critical experience in their chosen field and included a budget explanation to justify the requested monetary amount. The winning applications were chosen by a committee of faculty and staff.
In addition, CCAP created an opportunity to help students serving credit-based internships defray the cost of tuition for those summer experiences.
“We know many students want to do internships, and based on their very busy schedules during the academic year, they look to summer for those opportunities. But summer is also a time when many of our students work to create income to pay for college expenses, so unless the internship is paid at the same level a job would be, an internship can be a financial loss. So, we looked for a way to offer some help,” said Dr. Julia Overton-Healy, director of career services at CCAP.
As a result, eight students received tuition support for summer internships or research experiences. The students represent a variety of majors, including management, biology, psychology, sport management, accounting, and marketing. Students are supervised by faculty members, and they were required to complete a rigorous application, including a self-report survey on career-readiness and workplace dispositions, data that will be used to learn how internships influence key variables most desired by employers, regardless of academic discipline.
“We hope this is the start of ongoing support for students who want to serve internships, conduct research, or have other pre-career experiences. We don’t want financial strain to be a barrier against these opportunities” said Dr. Eileen Lynd-Balta, associate provost. “We used the model established by our Center for Student Research and Creative Work, which is directed by Dr. Kristin Picardo. It’s been successful in promoting undergraduate research, so we wanted to adapt it for internships.”