The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Awarding students scholarships for internships

Any working professional can tell you that internships are an important part of transforming college students into members of the workforce.

Although internships involve a lot of hard work, they are crucial towards developing the working experience of university students. Internships not only increase the chances of receiving jobs in desired fields, but they also build up resumes and job experience in a field prior to graduation is an important asset that
employers always look for.

However, many prospective interns are worried about the idea of sacrificing so much time and effort for an unpaid internship that doesn’t offer any financial compensation. Unpaid internships can also involve a substantial amount of expense to the students themselves. Transportation can become expensive, not to mention the regular bills and expenses of everyday life.

A 30-day unlimited MetroCard provides adequate transportation throughout New York City for $89. A semester-long internship (usually around four months in length) can cost up to $356 on transportation alone. In today’s deteriorating economy, $356 is a lot of money to give up for hours spent working unpaid. The bottom line is that an unpaid internship can
become a costly affair.

In consideration of this issue facing many college students, it may be prudent for colleges and universities to offer their students small scholarships for securing unpaid internships. According to the Office of Student Financial Services, there is currently no scholarship offered to students who obtain an unpaid internship.

With the university installing HD-TVs in Montgoris and expanding restaurant franchises, there seems to be little justification for not being able to fund unpaid internships that would help students on their
journeys into the work force.

The University needs to make wiser financial decisions in order to aid students with their educational pursuits on and off campus. By not assisting interns financially, unpaid internships are a burden, disenabling students to have intern experiences they need in order to pursue their career. If the University were to compensate unpaid interns with bi-weekly funds that would aid them in maintaining their internships, this could be avoided.

One of the requirements that St. John’s places on their internship applications for their sponsored programs includes being a junior or senior student with a minimum of 60 credits on their transcript.

The University also requires that at least 12 credits should be completed in the applicant’s major with a grade point average of at least 2.75 or better.

Internship scholarships could easily be turned into a program that students apply for, considering the competitive nature that is often associated with internships.

The Career Center at St. John’s currently offers workshops and events geared towards preparing students prior to their internships. They also offer appointments with career counselors to personally discuss effective means of resume building and structuring cover letters. So why not offer financial scholarship for
securing a good internship?

While helping students find internships is a great service, helping them keep and make the most out of their internships is also a very important thing that the University should consider. Aiding students with their unpaid internships only further helps them develop as professionals and increase their
marketability upon graduation.

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