Financial issues may no longer be a deterrence for students seeking unpaid internships with the help of a new program developed by TCU Career Services.
Career Services announced the Internship Scholarship Program two weeks ago, making TCU one of ten universities in the U.S. to offer the program, Susan Sledge, the employment development manager for Career Services, said.
“We have seen over the years that students want to take advantage of internships, and they're proactive," Sledge said.
However, Sledge explained that sometimes the companies students are interviewing with are nonprofit, have histories of unpaid internships or cannot afford to pay their interns.
"This program provides funding to students that most likely will not receive compensation for their hard work," Andrea Lung, a graduate intern for Career Services, said.
“Whether or not we agree with an internship being unpaid, the fact still remains. It’s an unpaid internship, so now the student has to decide, 'Can I even afford personally to take this job?'” Sledge said.
Tyler Bonilla, a sophomore strategic communication major, said if he were to receive an unpaid internship, he would apply for the scholarship.
"[The program] gives everyone an opportunity to intern and have valuable experiences that they will need for the rest of their lives," Bonilla said. "I think it's great that the school wants to support their students."
Sledge said there are two decisions involved in deciding whether to take an internship –whether the student can afford to take the internship and if the internship would help the student.
The program is in the process of fundraising money through alumni, corporations and the university.
Sledge said students would be chosen by an advisory committee that would evaluate the students’ applications. The committee would then determine the award based on the proposal, duration of the internship and expenses indicated by the student.
"Texas Christian University Career Services is committed to providing its students many opportunities and experiences to become aware of, explore and plan for a career," Lung said. "Internships enhance the student’s experience as well as provide a great opportunity for growth toward a future career path."
According to Sledge, the program has received 10 applications for scholarships so far and is open to TCU students only. Applications for the scholarship are due April 12.