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Employer FAQs

Below are many commonly asked questions by employers about SIGP. If you have additional questions after reading this page, please contact the SIGP program at sigp@northwestern.edu or (847) 491-3700.

SIGP Overview

What is SIGP and who is eligible?

SIGP stands for “Summer Internship Grant Program.” It is a funding source for undergraduate students who have accepted (or are planning to secure) an unpaid internship or summer experience. The program also includes a career development component. All undergraduate students returning for the following academic year are eligible to apply for SIGP. Students’ quality of application and level of demonstrated financial need are considered in the review and award process. You can learn more here: What is SIGP?

Is SIGP only a summer program?

SIGP funding is only available to students during the summer quarter. However, NCA has resources to support employers recruiting all year-round. If you’re looking to hire a Northwestern student through a structured internship program during the academic year, options include Chicago Field Studies, Medill Journalism Residency, SESP Practicum, and Engineering Co-op.

Hiring SIGP Recipients

I have an unpaid internship opportunity, is it eligible for SIGP?

To qualify for SIGP, students must participate in an unpaid, career-related experience for at least 250 hours over the summer (June-September) and have a designated supervisor. If your experience is part-time (<250 hours), it is still eligible for SIGP; students can combine experiences to meet the requirements of the program.

How do I hire a SIGP student?

If you’re interested in hiring a SIGP recipient, you can post your internship opportunity in Handshake or reach out to the SIGP program coordinator at sigp@northwestern.edu. We can indicate your opportunity as “SIGP eligible” in Handshake and share the posting directly with SIGP recipients still seeking an internship.

How do I post an unpaid internship opportunity?

Employers can post internship opportunities in Handshake. New employers should create a profile in Handshake and request approval from Northwestern. Once you’re a registered employer, you’re able to post internship and job opportunities for students. More information is available here: Post a Job or Internship in Handshake.

Is SIGP a placement program?

No; SIGP is a not a placement program. If you have an unpaid opportunity to share with SIGP recipients, NCA can distribute information about the opportunity. We will also share resumes of SIGP recipients seeking unpaid opportunities with an opt-in resume book. Employers manage their own interview and hiring process directly with potential candidates.

What is the timeline if I want to hire a SIGP recipient?

Typically, SIGP adheres to the following timeline: 
  • Late March – SIGP application deadline; students don’t need a position secured to apply
  • Early May – Students are notified whether they’ve been selected for the grant (many students begin their internship search earlier in the spring)
  • Early June – SIGP recipients need to finalize summer plans including employer, start-date, supervisor, and offer letter. 

Will NCA provide a resume book?

Yes; SIGP recipients who are still seeking an unpaid opportunity can opt-in to a resume book that we will share with interested employers in late May.

Can I hire more than one SIGP student?

Yes! If you have more than one unpaid opportunity, you can hire multiple SIGP recipients.

Our company is fully remote; can I hire a SIGP student?

Yes! SIGP recipients can pursue in-person, virtual, or hybrid internships/experiences.

SIGP Employers

What are my responsibilities as an employer if I hire a SIGP student?

SIGP recipients are required to provide their supervisor’s contact information and an offer letter before they begin their internship. The SIGP coordinator will reach out twice over the summer – once in June and again in September to check-in and request any feedback. There is no action required on behalf of the employer.

Does the student get academic credit for their internship?

No; SIGP recipients do not receive academic credit from Northwestern. Some SIGP recipients enroll in a zero-credit option if academic credit is required by the employer.

Can a student get SIGP more than once?

Yes; students are eligible to apply for and receive SIGP more than once.

Can I pay the student?

SIGP recipients need to be working in an unpaid internship in order to remain eligible for funding. Employers can offer small stipends or benefits and/or cover basic expenses like meals or transportation.

Can I continue working with the student beyond the summer?

Yes! If you’re interested in hiring the student for an opportunity beyond the summer months, you’re welcome to do so. The student will not continue to receive grant funding, however.
Questions? Please contact Maggie Smith, SIGP Coordinator, at sigp@northwestern.edu