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Undergraduate Internship Initiative


To provide real world opportunities that prepare Purdue Liberal Arts students for inspired careers and bold leadership, the College created Job-Ready to make internships a viable option for more of our students. To that end, the College is committed to providing up to $2K in financial support* to students who choose to pursue unpaid and low-paid summer internships off campus. Eligible internship sites include not-for-profit organizations, government, social enterprises, and for-profit firms. Job-Ready Awards do not support study abroad, field schools, or other internships that charge students to participate. The Job-Ready Awards are funded by philanthropic support to the College. To support Job-Ready, click here.

In publications from Fortune to Fast Company, employers agree that the best graduates come into the workforce with a combination of strong academic preparation and practical on-the-job experience gleaned from internships. The need for internships is particularly true for liberal arts students, whose exceptional communication, problem solving, and strategic thinking capabilities can be put into practice and garner the attention of potential employers through meaningful internships. Among various experiential learning opportunities, the Gallup-Purdue Index points to internships as one of the “Big Six” key college experiences that prepare students well for life and enhance their chance of completing their degree on time.

Job-Ready will bring students’ critical skills to organizations addressing important issues while providing students with hands-on work experience. Students whose internships are unpaid or low-paid may apply for financial support enabling them to cover basic costs incurred while interning. Job-Ready objectives will be: (1) To provide employers with access to CLA students’ unique skills; (2) To encourage CLA students to pursue off campus summer internships and to make unpaid and low-paid internships a viable option for more students; and (3) To enrich CLA students’ understanding of relevant issues and opportunities to be a force for good in the world after graduation.

*Job Ready Awards must be made for an academic term (spring or summer) when a student is enrolled. For students not enrolled in summer classes, the award must be processed before May 1 for the student to receive funds. Awards processed later can only be given to students who are enrolled at Purdue West Lafayette for summer.

Job Ready Awards are considered part of a students’ overall aid package. As such, awards will not be made that exceed the cost of attendance. U.S. citizens who receive Job-Ready awards must include the amount of the award in their annual tax return. A 1099 form (Miscellaneous Income) will be issued for amounts that exceed $600. 

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