Internships and mentor programs are some of the best ways to get hands-on work experience while you are still in college. They provide valuable opportunities to build up your resume and gain marketable skills while networking with professionals in your field. Below are just some of the many programs geared to minority students:
INROADS places talented minority youth in business and industry positions that will prepare them for corporate and community leadership. Participants must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 throughout the program's duration. INROADS combines two to five summers of work experience - depending on the student's year in school - with year-round academic instruction, training and guidance. Students are assigned a professional mentor and receive a summer salary. In addition, many interns receive job offers from their sponsor company upon college graduation. Companies that have sponsored students in the past include: Ernst & Young, IBM, Merrill Lynch, General Motors, General Electric, Lucent Technologies and Boeing.
Management Leadership for Tomorrow
MLT is a non-profit organization committed to helping minority students plan business careers and guide them through college and into an MBA program. MLT will help students with career development, as well as a variety of other necessary skills. Participants are assigned a mentor with similar interests and experiences who can help students select graduate business programs and find full-time employment. Students also have access to internship, fellowship and volunteer listings.
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Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project
This eight-week fellowship program offers participating students an opportunity to actively contribute to scholarly research through the publication of King's writings. The program is open to college juniors, seniors, and first and second-year graduate students. Fellows gather research materials about King and the black freedom struggle, draft document annotations, and assist in the preparation of introductory essays for the volumes. Fellows also participate in weekly discussions with the Project's staff and guest speakers on various aspects of the civil rights movement. The program provides participants with single student, on-campus housing and a stipend of $2,880. Although the program is administered through Stanford University, past fellows have been students at universities throughout the country.
Quality Education for Minorities Internship Program
Geared to undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in public policy, the QEM program offers two types of Washington, D.C.-based internships: health-focused and science. The health internship focuses on enhancing HIV/AIDS education and awareness in minority communities. Science student interns interact with the agencies and organizations involved in making science policy. In addition to a 10-week internship, participants are required to become involved in a community outreach project during the academic year.
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Radio Television News Directors Association
This organization sponsors several internships for college students who plan to pursue a career in journalism. While not awarded exclusively to minorities, at least one internship gives preference to students of color. Most internships require applicants to have either a major, work experience, or demonstrated interest in journalism. Check the Web site for more details.
The Smithsonian Institution Minority Internship Program
The Smithsonian offers 10-week summer, fall or spring internships to minority undergraduates and beginning graduate students with a minimum grade point average of 3.0. Qualified students should be majoring in one of the disciplines in which the Smithsonian conducts research. Some of those are: American history, folk culture, anthropology, archeology, linguistics, evolutionary biology, environmental science, mineral science, planetary science, conservation, linguistics, ethnic studies, aeronautics and geology. Interns work on research or museum-related projects under the supervision of museum staff members. The position is full time, and interns receive a stipend of $400 per week, with additional travel allowances occasionally offered.
Coca-Cola Corporate Intern Program
Coca-Cola offers scholarships and internships to minority students who are college sophomores majoring in: chemistry, engineering, finance, human resources, information technology, marketing or business management. Interns will spend the summer working at Coca Cola and, depending on performace, can receive a scholarship and monthly salary. Internships are usually based in Atlanta and include housing and transportation allowances. Interns are given a high level of responsibility and are assigned to relevant business projects. Applicants must have and maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average.