Since 2011, the Pomona College Internship Program: Summer Experience has funded nearly 600 domestic and international internships. Because working in the summer is a necessity for many Pomona students, taking advantage of unpaid or low-paying internships is not always possible. To make it possible for all interested students to participate, the College offers stipends to cover the cost of living and travel expenses.
In summer 2019, 100 students received funding for internships in 50 cities across the globe, including roles at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., Pacific Forum in Honolulu, and UNESCO in Greece. The application process includes a budget proposal, resume, cover letter, short essay responses, references, and a panel interview with a committee of faculty and staff.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who May Apply?
Students must be currently enrolled at Pomona College and returning for the fall semester (includes approved fall off-campus programs). Additionally, students must be in good academic standing (not on academic probation) and have completed some amount of research/exploration of career interests. F-1 international students are welcome to apply, however CPT is required. Undocumented & DACA-mented students are also welcome to apply.
How do I Apply?
There are two separate application processes for International & Domestic funding. The application process consists of the following:
- Resume (should be the one you used for the internship/opportunity you applied for)
- Cover Letter (should be the one you used for the internship/opportunity you applied for, NOT addressed to PCIP or the CDO)
- Short Essay Responses
- Detailed budget of expenses with justification of costs (view sample budgets)
- PCIP International Application or PCIP Domestic Application submitted via Fluid Review
- Unofficial Transcript
- Two (2) References - one must be from a faculty member at The Claremont Colleges (no recommendation letters are required)
Applications missing any materials will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed by the Selection Committee. Students are strongly advised to attend drop-in hours or make an appointment with CDO staff to get their materials reviewed prior to submitting an application.
If selected as a semi-finalist, PCIP Summer Experience applicants will be invited to interview with the Selection Committee. Semi-finalists must be available for an on-campus interview. Only applicants participating in approved off-campus programs will be granted skype/video interviews.
What are the Application Timelines/Deadlines?
The International Application typically opens in early January. The Domestic Application opens in early February. Both applications may be accessed via Fluid Review.
Summer 2020 Timeline - TBA (check back in the fall 2019 semester)
Important: in order to accept a PCIP: Summer Experience award offer, you must be able to provide your employer's offer letter or email indicating you've secured the opportunity.
Students may submit an application for both awards, but if offered funding, may only accept one award.
How are Candidates Evaluated?
Every completed application received by the specified deadlines is first reviewed by the Selection Committee (Career Development Office, Pomona College staff, & Pomona College faculty members). Applications are evaluated on the following criteria:
- Currently enrolled as a student at Pomona College and returning for the fall semester
- In good academic standing (not on probation)
- Professionally formatted cover letter and résumé (or C.V for research experiences)
- Detailed budget of expenses with justification of costs (example)
- Strong articulation of what specific learning experience the applicant is hoping to receive from the summer experience
- Compelling rationale as to why this experience is critical to the applicant’s career development (i.e. does the experience allow the applicant to explore a potential career of interest, or is it relevant to the applicant’s future career goals)
- Explanation of how award will impact the student’s ability to participate in the experience
- Qualifications of the host organization
- Unpaid or low-paid ($1,500 or less)
- Ability to provide a minimum of 240 hours of supervised work within a 6-8 week period
- Does not require tuition, or any other fees
- Is not owned or run by a member of your immediate family, or a current undergraduate student.
For international experiences:
- Evidence of research and/or understanding of cultural dynamics, and the maturity to be able to successfully navigate a new culture.
Candidates invited to interview with the Selection Committee are considered Semi-Finalists. Semi-Finalists will be notified of selection and instructed to sign up for an interview slot. Interviews are crucial to the review process & are weighed just as heavily as the initial written application.
After all Semi-Finalists are interviewed, the Selection Committee will determine which candidates to award. If selected to receive an award, the candidate will be considered a Finalist. Finalists are required to either accept or decline their award offer. Finalists who accept their award will complete required paperwork and documentation for award disbursement. Those who wish to decline their award offer will be given separate instructions.
Important! Priority consideration is granted to:
- Students who would not be able to pursue the proposed opportunity without an award
- Rising seniors who have not yet engaged in an experiential learning opportunity that is necessary for a successful launch upon graduation
- Students who have made a shift in career direction, either through a change of major and/or though the identification of a new path for which they lack significant experiential learning
How Much Funding Can I Receive?
Funding varies from student to student and is based on a number of factors. The Career Development Office (CDO) reviews every finalists’ budget when determining award amounts. In addition to the information and resources provided on applicants’ budgets, the CDO conducts additional research to ensure the amount awarded is commensurate with expenses associated with the location of the experience. The CDO has the right to adjust applicants’ budgets accordingly. Full award amounts will be disbursed to students at the beginning of the summer. Students are responsible for appropriately allocating funds for projected expenses.
Important: Awards are not intended to replace wages. Instead, it is meant to help alleviate supplemental costs associated with pursuing an unpaid or underpaid experience including, but not limited to, living (housing), transportation (travel to city of employer, daily tolls/commuting costs), and food. View sample budgets here.
Eligible expenses include:
- Travel to internship location: airfare, train, car, etc. Include your mode of transportation, dates of travel, and departure locations.
- Food (a majority of your budget should include groceries, but you can account for some meals dining out)
- Utilities (if separate from housing costs)
- Local Transportation (include your mode of transportation)
- A maximum of $100.00 total can be allotted for incidentals, or costs that can help cover insufficient estimates.
Ineligible expenses include, but are not limited to:
- Appropriate work attire
- Personal travel (site-seeing, personal visits, etc.)
- Travel to your hometown from Pomona College (airfare, train, car, etc.). You are eligible for travel to your hometown at the conclusion of your summer experience.
- Work-related travel expenses (i.e. travel to off-site meetings, fieldwork, etc. that are required by your position). These types of expenses should be covered by the organization if they are requirements of your position!
- Work-related equipment (i.e. materials required to perform your job responsibilities). These types of expenses/items should be provided by the organization if they are requirements of your position.
Tax Implications: Based on the size of your stipend and the items you spend the money on, there may be tax implications. The IRS considers the award as income to the recipient. When filing tax returns, it may be required to report the amount of the award. Please consult a tax professional with any questions or assistance. Visit the Financial Aid website to learn more.
What Experiences Qualify for Funding?
Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make
connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths. Internships also
give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent. The CDO uses the definition
of internships provided by the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE):
An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory
learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional
Internship experiences should consist of the following:
- Provide "real-world" experience beyond the classroom.
- Involve reciprocity, i.e., a mutually beneficial experience for both the student and the internship provider.
- Include a high level of supervision, training, and mentoring.
Job shadowing and remote internships are ineligible for PCIP funding.
Eligible Summer Experiences must be:
- Unpaid or low-paid ($1,500 or less)
- Minimum of 240 hours of supervised work within the 6-8 week period (30-40 hours per week)
- Offered during the summer (after the last day of spring finals through the first day of fall classes) for a minimum of 6 weeks. Opportunities exceeding 8 weeks are eligible; however, awards will only provide financial assistance for a maximum of 8 weeks. Any costs accrued beyond 8 weeks are the responsibility of the student.
- Supervised by a professional in the organization who agrees to the program guidelines
- Connected to the applicant's overall career goals or exploration
Ineligible Summer Experiences include:
- Paid opportunities (More than $1,500)
- Projects that fulfill the criteria of SURP (Summer Undergraduate Research Program)
- Programs with any fee component (tuition, room and board, study abroad, etc.)
- Internships or projects receiving Pomona College course credit
- Independent projects
- Non-credit course or training program
- Remote opportunities – work must be conducted on-site
- Organizations run by members of students' immediate family, or current undergraduate students
How do I Find an Internship?
Students can access Handshake to search for internship opportunities and other experiential learning opportunities. Via Handshake, students have access to a number of resources to guide their internship search. Students are encouraged to view the PCIP Summer Experience resource page in Handshake for a list of past PCIP internship placements (international & domestic).
How Do I Find Summer Housing?
Students looking for summer housing may refer to the following resource for housing resources and opportunities in major cities throughout the US: Finding Summer Housing. Note: This resource is not comprehensive in nature. It is merely a starting point for further research.
Students are encouraged to exercise good judgment and due diligence in researching housing options.
PCIP Summer Assignments & Annual Poster Conference
As a condition of receiving an award, short assignments are required while on site. The culminating project of the summer is a poster that PCIP students present during the Intensive Summer Experience Poster Conference for Internships and Research. The Poster Conference gives PCIP Summer students an opportunity to share their experiences with the campus community and takes place early in the fall semester.
Assignments include the following:
- learning agreement
- monthly journal entries
- informational interviews
- presentation at annual Intensive Summer Experience Poster Conference
- thank you letter(s) to donor(s)
Award recipients must comply with all set deadlines and requirements. Should a recipient default on their contract they may become ineligible for future Career Development Office funding opportunities.