Undergraduate Internship Initiative


In publications from Fortune to Fast Company, employers agree that the best graduates come into the workforce with a combination of strong academic preparation and practical on-the-job experience gleaned from internships. The need for internships is particularly true for liberal arts students, whose exceptional communication, problem solving, and strategic thinking capabilities can be put into practice and garner the attention of potential employers through meaningful internships. Among various experiential learning opportunities, the Gallup-Purdue Index points to internships as one of the “Big Six” key college experiences that prepare students well for life and enhance their chance of completing their degree on time.

To provide real world opportunities that prepare Purdue Liberal Arts students for inspired careers and bold leadership, the College will create Job-Ready to make internships a viable option for more of our students. To that end, the College is committed to providing up to $2K in financial support to students who choose to pursue unpaid and low-paid summer internships. Eligible internship sites include not-for-profit organizations, government, social enterprises, and for-profit firms. The College will commit $50K from the CLA Dean’s Fund gift account for this purpose for summer 2016 and will seek additional philanthropic support for this initiative moving forward.

Job-Ready will bring students’ critical skills to organizations addressing important issues while providing students with hands-on work experience. Students whose internships are unpaid or low-paid may apply for financial support enabling them to cover basic costs incurred while interning. Job-Ready objectives will be: (1) To provide employers with access to CLA students’ unique skills; (2) To encourage CLA students to pursue summer internships and to make unpaid and low-paid internships a viable option for more students; and (3) To enrich CLA students’ understanding of relevant issues and opportunities to be a force for good in their lives after graduation.

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