Summer Internship Grant Program Information for Donors

What is SIGP?

orientation group shotIn 2007 the Associated Student Government, Northwestern Alumni Association, and University Career Services collaborated to develop the Summer Internship Grant Program (SIGP) to fund stipends for ten students completing unpaid summer internships. In addition to money, the program provides a structured reflection process designed to help improve students' career decision making.

In 2011 generous donations from NU alumni provided funds for 57 grants of $2500 each for students completing unpaid summer internships.

What would my donation fund?

Alumni donations go directly to students to pay for living expenses during the summer.

To be eligible for the grant, students must meet all of the following criteria:

  • A current undergraduate student who will be enrolled for at least fall quarter of the following academic year.
  • Pursuing an internship in a traditionally unpaid field or role.
  • Receiving 0.25 units or less credit for the summer internship.
  • Not receiving any money from the employer or other funds from Northwestern.
  • Has internship secured by May 31.

How are students selected?

Applicants submit answers to essay questions that address:

  • What students have learned about themselves through academic studies and extra-curricular activities that have impacted their career goals.
  • The internship role that would fit their interests and learning goals for the summer.
  • How they would use what they learned during the summer to enhance the NU community.
  • Impacts to their family's financial situation that may not be reflected in their financial aid rating.

A selection committee made up of representatives from across the University, including past SIGP recipients, UCS staff and alumni representatives, evaluate the applications and select grant recipients in the spring.

The summer program

During the summer grant recipients participate in a bi-weekly on-line discussion of career-focused topics designed to provide tangible outcomes that aid in their career decision-making and job search.

In summer 2011, reflection topics included:

  • Expectations vs the reality of their internships
  • Supervisors' leadership styles
  • How the organization's culture did or did not fit their needs
Reflections were completed within LinkedIn groups to foster student-to-student learning and build familiarity with the networking tool.

Specific outcomes of the reflections included:

  • A professional LinkedIn profile to use in building their networks.
  • A description of their strengths that could be used in prioritizing the remainder of their time at Northwestern and in interviewing.
  • An understanding of current issues in the irrespective fields.
  • Strategies for building effective relationships with supervisors.
  • Questions to ask when assessing a prospective employer's culture.

During the following school year, recipients give back to the program as SIGP Ambassadors, contributing to the marketing and administration of the next year's program.

How to Donate

To donate, please go to and write in "SIGP" in the "My Designation" field at the bottom of the form.

For major gifts or questions about your donation, please contact Amy Kahn, Director of Development.

For questions about the program, please contact Betsy Gill, SIGP Program Manager.

Frequently Asked Questions