For students who want to get valuable experience from an unpaid internship but need financial support, NCA’s Summer Internship Grant Program (SIGP) can help. Since 2007, SIGP has offered grants to NU undergraduate students to pursue summer experiences in fields that do not typically offer paid internships, ranging from $2000 in its first year to now more than $3000. A record-breaking 255 students received grants in 2015. Currently, NCA is accepting applications for its 10th SIGP class through April 5, 2016.
Past SIGP recipients have interned at media companies such as NPR and the Nancy Yost Literary Agency, nonprofit organizations such as the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless and GirlForward, and government institutions such as the White House and the Department of Education. (See photos of some of the SIGP 2015 experiences from our #ThankYouSIGP contest.)
SIGP helps students delve further into their fields of interest. “If it wasn’t for SIGP, I would not have been able to have this incredible opportunity to fall in love with magazine journalism and learn more about the industry,” a 2015 SIGP recipient and Medill student said.
SIGP students are also required to engage in career development through informational interviews, networking, donor appreciation, and more. Funding for summer experiences not only helps recipients gain career experience, but also fosters personal growth.
“My views expanded a lot this summer, and I got to work at my dream not-for-profit organization while having the financial means to do so,” a SIGP 2015 recipient and School of Communication first-year said.
Students selected to receive grants will be notified by May 9. Students are not required to have an internship secured in order to apply, but must secure an opportunity by May 30 if offered a grant. Previous SIGP recipients may reapply.
So, what kinds of applications get funded? When applying, students should reflect on their learning goals for their internships and connect their academic and personal experiences to the career field they want to pursue.
Upcoming (optional) information sessions are March 15 and March 29 from 5-6 p.m. at 620 Lincoln St. The presentation is also available to listen to and watch remotely.