Career Development Program
In addition to receiving a grant for living and travel expenses accured during the summer of an unpaid internship, students are also required to participate in career development activities, programs and projects. Below are some ways we have helped students process what they are learning at their internships to better prepare them to contribute to their chosen career field and the Northwestern community.
Small Group Reflection
SIGP Fellows are assigned to small groups which are facilitated by University Career Services staff/ SIGP Career Coach. Fellows are given topics to reflect on including professional communication, work-life balance, ethics, decision making and more. After posting their reflections, Fellows are encouraged to comment on their group members' posts as well.
As a result of participating in these reflections assignments, SIGP Fellows have reported on the benefit of these group discussions, enjoying looking more in depth at what they are experiencing during their internships and considering what this means for their career planning.
Career Development Support
SIGP Fellows meet in person, over the phone or over Skype with their SIGP Career Coach as a check-in on learning goals and internship success at week 4 or 5 of their internship.
SIGP Fellows are asked to create or improve their existing Linkedin.com profiles.
This project helps Fellows develop an online professional resume and start to establish their professional online networks.
Informational Interviewing and Networking
Fellows are asked to interview professionals in their careers of interest or individuals doing a career they find they are wanting to learn more about. In addition, Fellows are asked to attend at least one in-person networking event over the summer.
Fellows report learning more about their co-workers and the different paths individuals take to arrive at a career choice through the informational interviews. With the networking event attendance, Fellows state they enjoy meeting alumni or professionals in their industry. They many times start a professional relationship that leads to more meetings and advancement in their career development.
To thank the donors to SIGP, Fellows are asked to reflect on their experience and what SIGP has meant to them through short essay responses at the end of the summer.
Fellows have reported enjoying being able to reflect on the summer as it comes to an end, as well as have the opportunity to thank those that help them overcome their financial frustration through generous donations.