Summer Programs and Alternatives to Interning

NOTE: FNC iMag has partnered with Intern Memo, a free email newsletter with a mix of event listings, intern stories and career advice specifically for interns. Read on for their tips and advice.

It’s late in the school year and in the day of opportunity, the sun is setting. If you’re nervous that you’re going to be unemployed when summer rolls around, it might be time to start making other plans.

For the uncertain among you and for those who are all “ugh, I could never cut it in a nine-to-five,” there are some pretty amazing alternatives out there that can actually advance your career. So when you suddenly panic midway through senior year because all your slacker friends inexplicably have amazing jobs lined up, you won’t be in such a tight spot.

Your options are manifold. First there’s the run-of-the-mill summer program set up through your school — “dece” if it’s on campus; awesome if they send you abroad. Then there’s this thing called a “Fellowship.” Chances are most have passed you by, but go to your OCS anyway and see what’s left. It’s insane what colleges will pay you to do if you just take the time to fill out a grant application. It’s like, “Oh do you feel like receiving several thousand dollars for independent study?”

“Uhh, I don’t know. That one page application seems pretty cumbersome!”

Maybe that’s an exaggeration, and maybe employers can tell if you try to parlay two weeks of thesis research into a summer’s worth of productivity, but a grant, maybe some travel and a summer course seems like a pretty good summer to us.

If that’s too wayward for you, Intern Memo suggests checking out these month-long business immersion programs as a substitute to an intensive internship. They’re offered at schools like Dartmouth, Stanford, U of Chicago, SMU, Babson, GW, NYU, Berkeley and UVA and do a fantastic job of preparing you for the working world. The Tuck Bridge Program at Dartmouth, for example, “is a four-week total-immersion business program for upperclassmen and recent graduates. Teamwork and one-on-one business skills are taught within the context of classes, projects, and real working world experience. Students leave the program ready for the business world with skills in finance, economics, and marketing.”

These programs are perfect for liberal arts students with an interest in business and will give you a competitive advantage in the full-time hiring cycle. The only kicker is the cost. The programs range from $6,000 - $9,000, so apply as soon as possible before the financial aid runs out.

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