Internship Scholarship Program awards $253,775 for summer 2014

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    The Internship Scholarship Program awarded more than 123 scholarships to students with unpaid or low-paying internships for this summer.

    The scholarships varied from $500 to $3,000, with the average student receiving more than $2,000.

    The program is designed to support and encourage students to seek out unpaid internship opportunities that align with their long-term career goals.

    Susan Sledge, internship development manager in the Neeley School of Business, created the program after seeing a need for scholarships for unpaid internships.

    “Many employers offer incredible internships, but they’re unpaid,” Sledge said. “It was disheartening to see some excellent students win these top positions, but they can’t afford to take the opportunities.”

    TCU Career Services piloted the Internship Scholarship Program in 2013, and 153 students received scholarships last summer.

    “Students performed exceptionally well in the 2013 pilot, and we anticipate that again this year,” Sledge said. “They truly served as ambassadors for TCU, and it was wonderful seeing all that they accomplished.”

    Scholarship recipients will be working all across the nation this summer with organizations and corporations including Harper’s Bazaar, Major League Baseball, Jimmy Choo and “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon.

    Junior biology and business major Troy Gurney said he is thankful that the Internship Scholarship Program is allowing him to work as an emergency medical intern at Harris Methodist Hospital this summer.

    “The financial aid provided to me through this program has given me the chance to work a job directly related to my field of study,” Gurney said. “I might not have been able to work here if I hadn’t received the scholarship from this program.”

    Sledge said she is hoping that the success of this program will encourage future students to search for their dream internships, knowing that scholarships are available for unpaid internships.

    “We have an internship culture here at TCU, and our students are very aware and proactive about searching for great internships,” Sledge said.

    Internships are much more important now than they were 20 years ago, Sledge said.

    “Today, an internship is a requirement. An expectation. It is expected that students have at least two internships at a minimum before graduation if they want to be competitive,” Sledge said.

    Even though Sledge wishes all internships could be paid, she said she is excited about the future of internships for TCU students.

    “Just look at these incredible internships that the students have gotten for this summer, I’m thrilled they’re taking advantage of these opportunities,” Sledge said.