Post-Graduate Internships and Fellowships
Is it possible to get a post-graduate internship?
Yes! Many organizations hire recent graduates who are looking for more experience in their field of study before pursuing graduate school or full-time employment. Employers understand the value of such experience and organizations are beginning to offer internships specifically for post-graduate students.
What are the benefits of a post-graduate internship?
Internships are great ways to gain experience in a field and employers often give priority to those who have had direct involvement in related positions. They allow you to gain a perspective on what a “real world” job in that field may be like and expose you to both the clearly evident and the less apparent aspects of particular working environments. Some companies even require that a candidate have a certain number of intern experiences or related hours before they can be considered in the hiring process.
Also, employers often use their internship programs as a way to screen potential full-time employees and evaluate their fit with both the larger field and the specific organization. Completing an internship before earning a full-time employment offer is a great way for companies to train and integrate their particular methods with an intern’s abilities, which will ease the transition to full-time employment.
Being an intern gives you an excellent opportunity to network with professionals in your area of interest. You have access to both your direct supervisors and others within the organization who may be willing to speak with you about their job functions, career paths, and provide other resources which will help you determine whether this position and organization are a good fit for your background, personality, and interests.
In case you’re still hesitant about the benefits, a 2010 Student Survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) found that graduates who completed internships were more likely to receive job offers, and were also offered higher starting salaries than those without internship experience (www.naceweb.org).
Finding a post-graduate internship
Network! This is one of the best ways to gather information about a field and create contacts within a particular organization or area of work. Often, having a personal connection within an organization will give you access to unadvertised opportunities and inside information about the company’s values and practices which will be beneficial in forming your cover letter and potential interview responses. If you have existing contacts within an organization, ask for an informational interview to learn more about them and the work they do. If you haven’t already contacted or met a professional in the company, do so! Search the Online Alumni Directory for any St. Olaf graduates who currently hold or have held positions there. If there aren’t any Oles, look through your LinkedIn connections (if you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, make one!) to see if you have any degree of connection to the organization through one of your current contacts.
The people who are actually working in the field and organization will have the most current information about potential paths and opportunities. Based on the information gathered from this and your previous experiences make a judgment about whether or not you would like to pursue an opportunity and whether it seems like a viable option.
How to sell yourself as a post-graduate intern
Though the market for post-graduate interns may not be as rich as that for undergraduate positions, if you are willing to do a little extra work you may be able to convince an organization that you would be a valuable investment. Offer your services and current skills, with emphasis on the fact that you are flexible and willing to learn on-the-job. It is important that you have done enough research on the organization to be able to suggest areas in which you would be able to contribute or projects which you could support. The more enthusiasm and concrete plans you can propose, the more appealing you will be to a company who may not have any existing positions available.
Specific Internship Postings
Ole Career Central
- Select “Internship” or “Post-graduate Internship” under “Position type”
- Both paid and unpaid positions in either Washington, D.C. or in embassies or consulates overseas
- Internships available for summer, fall, or spring
- Longer, paid positions with benefits available through the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP)
- Wide variety of programs throughout the branches of the federal government
- Duration from 3 months - 2 years
- Many in D.C. area but some throughout the country and overseas as well
- Both paid and unpaid positions
- Scientific research opportunities throughout the country
- Some positions under “Undergraduate Students” available for recent graduates
- Most half- to full-year positions, with possibility of renewing contract
- Stipends available for most, either monthly or for the full-term
- General search site which links directly to the “Post-graduate internships” section
- Can be sorted by Salary, Title, Company, Job Type, and Employer/Recruiter
- Full-time, one-year paid internship in London or New York
- Evening and weekend study to receive a Postgraduate Certificate or MBA in International Business Practice
- Full-time internships for fall, spring, or summer in Washington, D. C.
- $700/month stipend
- Variety of internships at a public policy research organization which presents market-liberal solutions for a wide range of policy issues including: health care and entitlements reform, constitutional law, energy policy, and foreign and military policy
- Along with other, specific responsibilities all interns perform clerical work, deliver of studies to Capitol Hill, and help set up for Cato events, including registering guests and carrying hand-held microphones at public forums and debates
- Internships and fellowships for students with varying levels of education
- Participate in cancer research in an assortment of disciplines
- Also provides links to other related fellowships and internships
What is the difference between an internship and a fellowship?
Though the roles of fellows and interns may appear similar, there are some important distinctions between the two. Fellowships are academic-based, whereas internships are more job-focused with the goal of gaining experience in the working world and learning more about a particular industry. Due to the academic nature of fellowships and the time needed to complete the work, research, or projects, fellowships are generally longer than internships, lasting a full year or more. Fellowships, especially teaching, are often associated with graduate programs but it is not necessary that one be enrolled in graduate school in order to complete many of the available fellowships.
Specific Fellowship Postings
Postgraduate Intramural Research Training Award
- Full-time, one- or two-year research positions with the National Institute of Health (NIH) for students intending to apply for graduate or professional school in a health field (ex. medical, dental, pharmacy)
- Main campus in Bethesda, Maryland with other laboratories throughout the country
- Stipend provided, amount dependent on years of previous experience
- Two-year program to prepare fellows for work in various areas of civil service
- Will have the opportunity to serve in various offices, bureaus, overseas embassies and consulates, agencies, and other branches of government
- This fellowship prepares you for conversion to a permanent position in the competitive service and/or to obtain career or career-conditional status
- Students must be nominated for some positions and have previously completed other eligible Fellowship programs for others
- 3 year award providing partial tuition support, an annual stipend for living expenses, and a research allowance for full-time graduate study and thesis/dissertation research at a U.S. academic institution
- For students intending to pursue graduate training in fundamental research in areas of physics, biology, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, computer and computational sciences, and environmental sciences
- Links to a variety of fellowships, both domestic and abroad
- Positions available for multiple disciplines
- Fellowships posted on the University of California Berkeley’s career center site
- Cover a broad range of interest areas and locations
- $40,000, $20,000, or $10,000 grant available for students with a goal to strengthen civil society