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College sponsors new Startup Internship Fund

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Columbia College is sponsoring a new Startup Internship Fund beginning in summer 2015 to allow students on financial aid to take advantage of unpaid or low-paid opportunities in the startup sector. The fund, run through the Center for Career Education and Columbia Entrepreneurship, will give students the opportunity to explore New York’s fastest growing industry while alleviating some of the financial burden associated with unpaid or low paid internships.

This new funding is available to undergraduates in Columbia College, The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science and General Studies who have secured positions at high-growth, innovative for-profit and not-for-profit startup companies that have been in existence for five years or fewer. It supports students’ living expenses, including housing, food and travel expenses. 

A maximum amount of $5,000 may be awarded, based on a student’s application and budget proposal. Funding is not provided in lieu of compensation for work and supervisors are required to acknowledge in the Employer Verification Form that, as participating organizations, they are compliant with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act and other applicable state and local legislation.

Students selected as grant recipients will also have the opportunity to participate in “Internship Success” workshops to help them learn important skills and tips to succeed in their internships, including how to initiate projects and responsibilities, work on a team, communicate with their supervisor and network. They will also be asked to attend a reflection session to learn effective ways to communicate their internship experience to potential employers and will be responsible for writing a formal written reflection, as well as a thank you to their donors.

Applicants must be recipients of Columbia grant-based financial aid and be in good academic and disciplinary standing and have secured an unpaid or low paid internship at a startup prior to the application deadline. The deadline is Wednesday, April 22, 2015.

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