Washington Internship - Before Applying
Preliminary Considerations before Applying for an Internship
- What is the best semester for an internship? Students should weigh carefully which semester is the most appropriate time for an internship. Students who hope to turn their internship experience into a possible full-time job offer – which does occur at times – should consider an internship during their last semester at Stockton. That will enable interns who are offered jobs to transition easily into their full-time positions. Other students are motivated almost entirely by internship experience, the enhancement of their resumes, and the development of para-professional skills, without necessarily hoping to leverage their internship into a permanent job in Washington. For these students, any semester – after the sophomore year – would be a good time to be in Washington.
- Some students are in majors with fairly structured curricular requirements. If students cannot be away from Stockton during the Fall/Spring semesters, then a (10-week) summer internship may be the best option. Also, for students who cannot do an internship during their undergraduate years, a post-graduate internship is available for students who have recently graduated. While the post-graduate internships are substantially less expensive than an undergraduate internship, financial assistance is typically not available because the interns are no longer students. Another consideration is that there is significantly less competition for the more coveted internship positions during the Fall/Spring semesters. During the regular academic year, there are many more internship opportunities than students to fill them. The competition for internships is especially intense during the summer. However, all Stockton students who are accepted into The Washington Center are guaranteed an internship placement; this is also true during the summer when the competition is much greater.
- Talk to parents. It is absolutely essential that students discuss with their parents what a Washington internship entails. This should be done well before a student begins the application process, especially if parents are contributing financially to a student’s undergraduate education.
- Review program/graduation requirements with a preceptor. Students receive 12 academic credits for a Washington internship. Of these, 8 credits are for the internship itself and 4 credits are for the course all students take during their Washington internship. An additional option is for students to take a GIS independent study in addition to their TWC seminar and receive 16 total credits. Before an application is submitted, students should consult with their preceptor to decide – before the internship begins – where the 12 (or optional 16) credits should be allocated, i.e., either to program, cognate, or ASD requirements. However, because the internship experience is quite intensive, students should only consider taking the GIS independent study if they absolutely need 16 credits during their internship semester in order to graduate on time. Interested students should discuss this option with their preceptors and the Campus Liaison.
- Review Financial Assistance Status. There are several considerations that students should bear in mind as they make arrangements to pay for their internship.
- First, the costs of the Washington internship program are paid directly to Stockton College, just like any other semester. Again, the fees are for flat-rate tuition, a General Educational student fee, and a housing fee.
- Second, whatever financial assistance (e.g. scholarships, grants, loans) students usually receive during the Fall/Spring is applied to their balance for the semester they are in Washington, D.C. Students interested in summer internships should determine whether their scholarships/grants/loans extend into the summer.
- Third, generally, an internship semester in Washington, D.C., costs about the same as a full-time semester at Stockton (i.e., the tuition and student fees for four courses, room and board, books, and personal expenses).
- Fourth, Stockton College gives each of its interns an $800 stipend to help defray the costs of a Washington internship. The stipend is generally received at the mid-point of a student’s internship in D.C. These funds can be used to pay down a student’s outstanding balance to The Washington Center. Or, the money can be used for commuting expenses, meals, and personal items.
- Fifth, The Washington Center also offers on a competitive basis scholarships of various amounts. In order to be considered for scholarships, students need to submit their applications before the “Competitive Deadline” for each individual semester. There are also a few fully-funded internship opportunities. These are few in number and they are exceedingly competitive. However, every semester at least one, or more, Stockton interns receive some form of financial assistance from The Washington Center. There is not a separate application for scholarships. Students merely have to mark the scholarship categories on the first page of the application form in order to be considered.