Call it pouring coffee on the college’s dime.

Funding for unpaid internships will return for the second consecutive year, the Career Center announced Monday, boosting an already-growing effort by the college to increase career-related initiatives and opportunities.

Last year — the program’s first year  — around $440,000 was raised and then distributed to students, and funding for this year is well underway. Without citing exact figures, college officials optimistically hope to raise as much, if not more, funds.

“We hopefully will have the same amount of money as we had least year to provide students,” said Megan Nicklaus, Director of the Career Center.

The application process for funding goes live on January 27 and will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis. Those who did not utilize the program’s funds last year will be given preference over previous participants and graduating seniors, who are also eligible for stipends.

“As a stepping stone into the career-related world, there is nothing quite as good as an internship,” says the Career Center’s website. “Work experiences offered through a variety of internships help students ‘learn by doing’ and allow them growth and the opportunity to explore their passions through meaningful and applicable work.”

And the college is taking those notions very seriously.

The program’s continuance comes as the college works to revitalize the Career Center, headed by new staff  (Nicklaus began working at the college this summer) and now utilizing an increasing amount of college funds.

“The first deadline will be March 13, and then from then on, there will be a rolling application until the funds are depleted,” said Nicklaus.

The funding for unpaid internships is all raised and exists outside of the college’s operating budget.

“Right now it’s based on generous, very generous alumni support,” Nicklaus said, adding that there are currently no plans to move funding beneath the school’s umbrella.

“I know that the college is committed to helping students have this kind of real work experience, to have these opportunities, to really continue to build on the skills that they are gaining here through their course work and applying it in a business or a setting outside CC,” said Nicklaus.

To become eligible for funding, students need to complete an application that includes some demographic information, a statement explaining why the internship is important to the student, and an estimated itemized budget.

The amount of money allocated to each student can vary widely, depending on particular student needs.

“There is no set dollar amount; that’s where the itemized budget comes in, “ said Nicklaus, explaining that the amount that each student receives depends on their individual housing, transit, or other needs.

The unpaid internship program is also designed to be egalitarian, providing equal access to all students for internships.

“There is commitment to helping students continue to be able to take these internship opportunities and again provide equal access to them so that everyone has the opportunity to participate in an internship,” Nicklaus says.

The Career Center considers the funding that they raise and then distribute to students with either unpaid or underpaid internships a valuable resource for students on campus.

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Charlie Simon

Staff Writer

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