As a student at Northwestern, Bill Glastris spent a quarter in San Francisco working for legendary rock concert promoter Bill Graham. Glastris called it the most meaningful part of his college career.
"It's funny because what I do now has nothing to do with that," said Glastris, founding principal of Prospect Partners, a Chicago-based lower- and middle-market private equity firm. "But that experience changed me."
Glastris (WCAS82, KSM84) and his wife, Carolyn Moses Glastris (WCAS83, KSM89), are helping current Northwestern students obtain their own life-changing internships. The couple supports University Career Service's Summer Internship Grant Program, which over the past three years has provided 70 $2,000 stipends to students who accept internships in traditionally unpaid fields.
The grant program helped Lalith Polepeddi, a senior biology and computer science major from Denver, pay for his travels to Ghana, where he interned for a month last summer at the Health Outreach Peer Education Centre. Northwestern students affiliated with GlobeMed, a national student group dedicated to global health equity, helped fund the construction and expansion of the clinic in southeastern Ghana.
"The internship I had in Ghana fundamentally changed how I look at medicine," said Polepeddi, who had previously focused on disease strictly in genetic terms. "Medicine must place humans in the context of their environment to get a full diagnosis."
Other recipients used the grants to intern at organizations such as the Gender Violence Recovery Center in Nairobi, Kenya, and Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo.
Glastris, who came to campus with his wife in the fall to meet with several grant recipients, said he sees potential for expanding the program. "But it needs to grow in the right way," he said. "My sense is that a lot of alumni would like to be involved with something this impactful."