Internships come in all shapes and sizes. They can help clarify your career goals, develop valuable connections, and teach or help to hone valuable skills. With a focus on helping you to identify experiences that align with your intellectual and professional goals, Beyond Barnard encourages students to connect with our resources early in your search for internships.
There are many ways to secure funding, support, mentorship, and other resources through internships at Barnard. Below, find several of the initiatives that exist to facilitate paid experiences for students at the College. Many are managed by Beyond Barnard; others (like the Laidlaw Research & Leadership Program or Summer Research Institute) represent campus-wide opportunities that entail partnerships among faculty, staff, and external funding organizations. What matters most is that these opportunities exist first and foremost to support students across all disciplines, academic interests, and career trajectories.
Not all students pursue internships that are strictly funded by Barnard! Many secure paid internships whose compensation is provided by external companies, nonprofit organizations, government entities, and individuals. Beyond Barnard provides advising on all types of internships, and students are encouraged to seek out general advising about internships—as well as specific advice on the below programs.
Questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Important information about programs and eligibility is below.
Beyond Barnard's Take on Internships
Internships often an invaluable step toward focusing career goals and preparing for life after college. Barnard's location in New York City provides a distinctive advantage for students looking to intern during the academic year, given the proximity to an enormous supply of non-profit, corporate, and governmental organizations. An estimated 75% of Barnard graduates complete at least one internship during their time at the College. More than 300 are funded each year by programs supported by Beyond Barnard.
Through internships, students gain work experience and develop skills and an understanding of different work cultures. Students also develop valuable contacts or mentors from internships and possibly obtain offers of full-time employment upon graduation. When applying for full-time positions, employers often expect students to have gained experience from internships, part-time jobs, and campus activities. In addition, there are certain fields where it is essential to gain hands-on experience in order to be competitive for future full-time employment opportunities.
Please read more about below internship programs, which provide funding to offset the cost of unpaid internships, along with supportive programming and workshops for participants. Questions? Email email@example.com.
Accepting an Offer
You can accept an oﬀer verbally, but always follow up your acceptance in writing:
- Recap the verbal offer as you understand it, including salary, start date and any other terms
- Follow up with concerns or questions that were not previously discussed
- End with a statement of appreciation for the offer
Accepting an oﬀer (either verbally or in writing) is a binding commitment. Once you have accepted:
- Notify all other organizations/companies that have made oﬀers and inform them of your decision
- Withdraw applications from any organizations with which you have been interviewing
Declining an Oﬀer
- Be positive when declining an oﬀer. It’s a small world. You may apply to the organization again or have contact with individuals in that organization in the future
- Express your appreciation for the oﬀer and for the interest and conﬁdence the employer has shown in you
- If you’re asked about your employment destination or whether you’ll continue your education, it’s appropriate to disclose that information to the employer
- If you’re asked for additional details, it’s up to you whether you disclose why you’ve accepted another position or what salary was oﬀered. Beyond Barnard can walk you through this process.
RENEGING on an Offer (Don’t do it!)
To renege is to go back on a promise, undertaking, or contract.
When you’ve accepted an employment offer and followed the above steps, both the employer and employee are expected to follow through on what has been negotiated and agreed upon. Remember, it’s a small world and your professional behavior today can impact future opportunities.
We always encourage students to consult with Beyond Barnard before pursuing an internship. We can help you apply for opportunities, identify paid positions that might get you the experience you need, or help you find funding that can offset the cost of taking an unpaid internship. The earlier you speak with an advisor, the more we can do to partner with you in your search. Schedule time in Handshake, visit during walk-in hours, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When an Employer Says they Require Credit for an Unpaid Internship:
The College does not offer academic credit for internships. In all cases, we encourage students to work with Beyond Barnard to identify internships that align with your academic and professional goals, and that fairly compensate you for your work. In partnership with the Dean of Studies Office, students can petition to receive academic credit for an independent study. Students can address any questions about pursuing an independent study to Beyond Barnard, their academic department, and their Class Dean.
That said, on occasion, employers only need is assurance that a student is participating in a College-sanctioned internship program. Students who have secured internships where employers suggest that credit is necessary may instead demonstrate that they are participating in the Beyond Barnard Internship Program. The funding provided by BBIP (see below) can sometimes serve as sufficient evidence of an affiliation with the College, and may be acceptable to employers as a substitute for academic credit. Questions about this can be addressed to email@example.com.
If your internship is unpaid, you should be familiar with the U.S. guidelines regarding unpaid internships for for-profit entities. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, interns are entitled to receive at least minimum wage unless the position may be categorized as a Trainee/Learner position. The U.S. Department of Labor has established a six-part test for “for-profit” organizations to determine whether a position qualifies as a Trainee/Learner position and may be unpaid.
- The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
- The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
- The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;
- The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern, and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;
- The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
- The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.
Again, please feel free to address questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students often believe (quite reasonably) that the only way to secure an internship is to apply for one. Sometimes this is the case! But the truth is that securing an internship can be more complicated. Certainly, we always recommend looking for posted internships on Handshake. But—on its own—looking on Handshake for opportunities does not count as a thorough search for internships.
Connecting with the Barnard Network
Often it is beneficial for students to begin searching for internships by connecting with other students or alumnae who work or intern (or used to work or intern) at a firm or organization of interest. At Beyond Barnard, we can help you connect with other students and alumnae through Barnard Connect or LinkedIn. Getting the perspectives and support of Barnard advocates can help you (a) build your own internship (and then fund it through BBIP), or (b) identify internship opportunities that may not be posted in the places where you are looking.
Getting to Know Organizations and Other Internship Programs
Not every organization knows to post internship opportunities on Handshake. They may use sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, or Idealist—or may only post on their own human resources platform. It is always beneficial to get to know the places where organizations post their internship opportunities and programs. Beyond Barnard helps students locate where organizations post their positions all the time!
Crafting Strong Materials
Once you know the kinds of organizations where you want to apply for internship opportunities, it's important to ensure that you have a strong resume and cover letter—and that your materials are tightly tailored to each opportunity. Again, Beyond Barnard hosts regular programs on creating these materials (recorded and shared on our YouTube Channel, and provides one-on-one advising (sign up on Handshake to meet with Staff or Peer Career Advisors).
For First Years
A student at Barnard's primary job is to be a student. From the very first day of NSOP, when students meet with Beyond Barnard staff, we emphasize that it's important to get acclimated to the academic experience of the College. Internships will be there when you are ready—and it's important that you give yourself time to adjust to the intellectual culture of the College. To this end, we advise that First-Year students wait until their second semester—or even better, their first summer—to pursue their first internship.
For Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors
As a First-Year Student, it may be too early to pursue an internship. But as a sophomore, junior, or senior, it's never (ever) too late. Some students pursue multiple internships in different industries and in different organizations during their four years at Barnard. Others secure an internship late in their tenure at the College. Still others never do an internship at an external organization, and instead conduct research during their summers and academic semesters. What's important on a resume is not the number or prestige of the internships that you secure in college. Instead, what's important is that you have pursued opportunities that align with your interests, and that you have both (a) learned something about yourself in the process and (b) built experiences that can help you articulate your skills.
Internship & Research Opportunities
The Beyond Barnard Internship Program (BBIP) is the College's flagship internship program, providing funding and supportive programming for more than 200 students annually. Designed to offset the costs of pursuing unpaid or low-pay internships, the Program pre-existed the creation of Beyond Barnard (when it was known as the Alumnae Donor Grant Program). Thanks to the generosity of a community of individual donors and philanthropic organizations, the Beyond Barnard Internship Program is 100% funded by external financial support.
The guiding principle of the BBIP is that all students should have equal access to internship experiences that advance their professional and intellectual goals, and that internships should entail structured training and support. BBIP grants and programs are available in fall and spring semester, with an additional application process for the summer. Students have access to stipends, supportive workshops, opportunities to network with previous program participants, and—in summer—subsidized campus housing for those interning in New York City.
To improve access, note that internships need not be secured at the time of application. Students can apply to the BBIP without having finalized their internship plans. Click here for more information about the Beyond Barnard Internship Program (BBIP). Questions can also be addressed to email@example.com.
The GRoWing the Arts Internship Program, made possible by GRoW @ Annenberg, provides funding and supportive programming for Barnard students who are completing summer internships in arts organizations. GRoW @ Annenberg, a philanthropic initiative led by Gregory Annenberg Weingarten, is dedicated to supporting humanitarian efforts across the globe, as well as innovative projects in health, education, the arts, the environment, civic and cultural life, and more.
The Laidlaw Research & Leadership Program offers up to 25 first-year and sophomore students each year access to funding for faculty mentored research and internships, alongside leadership development programming hosted by the Athena Center. The initiative is also supported by Beyond Barnard.
The Program is designed to develop a new generation of leaders committed to evidence-based truths and ethical leadership. Advance and drive change around the world through creative, collaborative, and interdisciplinary practice, alongside rigorous academic research.
Information is here. Please send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Fall 2021, Barnard College announced a new partnership with Bridgewater Associates—the New Pathways Bridgewater Scholars Program—which will unfold over six years and provide financial support for young women pursuing academic study in economics, math, statistics, and computer science, with the goal of encouraging more women to enter the investment industry through time. Beginning in 2022, the New Pathways Bridgewater Scholars Program now provides the training, exposure, and opportunities required for students to become workforce leaders in critical sectors of the labor market where women are underrepresented. This initiative will reflect the diversity of the Barnard student body, which is currently 41% students of color.
The program is open to applicants to Barnard College who express interest in conducting research in the fields of economics, math, statistics, and computer science. It provides access to a range of mentorship opportunities (including at Barnard and at Bridgewater Associates), along with funding to support research and internships. Prospective applicants to Barnard have the opportunity to express their interest in the Bridgewater program upon application to the College. Decisions about participation are made during the College application process.
Information is here. Please send questions to BeyondBarnard@barnard.edu.
The Summer Research Institute is the College's flagship funded summer research opportunity in STEM fields. Inaugurated in 2014, the SRI allows students to pursue funded, faculty-mentored research in biology, chemistry, computer science, environmental science, neuroscience, physics, and psychology. In addition to mentorship and funding, students have access to supportive workshops and cohort-building programs throughout the summer. All SRI participants present the findings and progress of their research at the Lida Orzeck '68 Poster Session at the conclusion of the program.