University News

Winter internship program expands to four cities

Innovate Winter Break offers students two-week internships in social enterprise fields

By
Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Employers in Boston, Washington, San Francisco and snowy New York, pictured above, will offer winter internship opportunities to students.

Innovate Winter Break, a program offering a two-week internship for students interested in working with social enterprises and nonprofit organizations, will expand this year to include opportunities in New York, Boston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

This year, about 60 employers ­— including DoSomething.org, Kinvolved, the Center for Inspired Teaching, Real Food Challenge and Generation Citizen — in four cities are offering Brown students internships during winter break.

The program, now in its third year, originally launched in New York due to the large number of alumni employers who were interested in creating opportunities for Brown students. Last year, 23 students worked for 19 organizations in New York and Boston, said Jim Amspacher, a career advisor for Careers in the Common Good at CareerLAB. The Swearer Center for Public Service and CareerLAB staff expanded the programs to comprise more cities and employers in response to high student demand.

Ten employers in Boston, 15 in New York, 14 in Washington and 19 in San Francisco are accepting interns this winter, according to the CareerLAB’s website.

“Alumni see this is as a good opportunity to get some work done for the organization but also to give back to Brown and to mentor students,” Amspacher said.

Students can apply to the program through the Job and Internship Board. Applicants can select their preferred employer and have the option of indicating a second-choice organization as well. Then, employers directly review applicants’ resumes and personal statements and select the student interns, says Greg Seiler, the CareerLAB’s international and signature internships manager.

“Some employers have special requirements they want included in the applications,” Amspacher said. “We ask that students tailor the personal statement to address the specific internship they are applying for.”

Students receive a stipend of $350 to cover anything from local travel to meal expenses during the two weeks of their internship. The program is funded by the Swearer Center’s Social Innovation Initiative and CareerLAB’s BrownConnect signature internship programs.

Monica-Ann Mendoza ’17 interned in Boston last winter with Generation Citizen, an organization that aims to increase civic action among middle and high school students. The organization sends college students to teach younger students about government and the democratic process, Mendoza said.

“It was really a great opportunity, and I’m grateful that Brown offered it as an option,” Mendoza said. “I felt really fulfilled and felt that I made a considerable impact on the mission of the organization.”

Participating students are expected to complete a project for the employer and a brief reflection at the conclusion of the internship.

“We want to have students provide us with what they learned or what they got out of the experience,” Seiler said. “It helps us evaluate the internship for future opportunities and gives us a better idea of what the student is doing as a part of their assignment.”

The internships will be taking place Jan. 4-15, 2016, and applications for this winter’s program are due today.

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