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Non-Academic Careers

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Are you looking to leverage your advanced degree to land a non-academic job? Explore further to translate the skills and knowledge you have gained from your program and pursue a variety of in-demand careers within industry.

Use this page to get familiar with relevant strategies, transferable skills, and additional resources to support your plans.

Obtain Campus Funding

Graduate Student Internship Fellowship

Need a way to fund your summer internship? Looking to get experience outside of your department? Need financial help to fund an exciting opportunity? Apply for this year's Graduate Student Internship Fellowship!

Please Note: Applications are currently closed and will reopen in Winter 2021.

For questions, please email: GradStudentInternshipFellowship@sa.ucsb.edu

Internships can unlock countless opportunities for graduate students to develop transferable skills that cannot be gained through their graduate studies but are nonetheless crucial to their career success.

The purpose of the Graduate Student Internship Fellowship is to assist graduate students with attaining experience related to career goals and professional development. The Graduate Student Internship Fellowship will be awarded to students who demonstrate how their Summer or Fall 2020 internship/work experience will be impactful for their career trajectory and demonstrate financial need.

The Graduate Student Internship Fellowship is made possible for this year through GSA fees and is coordinated by Career Services and GSA. 

There are four-five $2,000-2,500 fellowships that will be awarded based on the following criteria:

  • Potential for a substantive career learning experience and valuable growth beyond the academic program
  • Financial need and impact of fellowship to ease need in order to engage in the opportunity
  • Completion of application, submission of a resume and met eligibility criteria
  • 20-minute interview to articulate work opportunity (will take place from May 12 - 14, 2020)
  • Selected candidates will participate in a 20-minute interview to articulate work opportunity which will take place remotely on May 26, 2020
  • The work experience is meant to be an opportunity for students to learn job & career skills in a non-academic setting. This now includes remote opportunities (in response to COVID-19).
  • This opportunity must be a work opportunity/internship/job that is not a part of an academic requirement/expectation of the program. For students who are in programs where the internship/job is required or expected (e.g., CCSP psychology students, Bren Master’s students) to be eligible to apply, you need to do another internship beyond your program general requirements.
  • Priority will be given to students who have a work opportunity that lasts over 4 weeks or 160 hours minimum.
  • This fellowship is about professional & career development. This is not open to students who are seeking an opportunity to solely advance their research and academic goals (e.g., this is not dissertation funding research).
  • The setting of the work experience needs to be in a professional setting (e.g., non-profit, for-profit setting). Remote settings qualify. This is not open to students attending a training course.
  • Open to all graduate students who are enrolled through the quarter after their internship/job ends. Graduating students in Summer 2020 are not eligible.
  • Graduate students do not have to have an internship secured in order to apply; you may apply to this fellowship while you are in the process of applying to the internship(s).
  • Students will be required to submit proof of internship/job. 
  • Demonstrate financial need and impact of the fellowship award. This fellowship was established to help make it feasible for students to complete non-paid or low paying opportunities. This is not open to students who are receiving a salary or hourly wage. 
  • Remote internships are now considered eligible as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Info Session: January 31, 4:30-5:00 at the San Clemente Center
  • Application opens: March 2, 2020
  • Application deadline: May 17, 2020, at 11:59 pm
  • Interviews with Selected Applicants: May 26, 2020. These will be 20-minute interviews, and remote interviews are an option if needed. 
  • Awardees Notified: June 4

There are 2 essay questions that are part of the application:

Career and Professional Development: ​Please write a statement (500 words max) that describes what career/job skills you expect to gain from participating in your work opportunity. Please address:

  • ​What are your larger career goals (after graduation) and how would this experience help you achieve your goal(s)?
  • What will you be doing during your job/internship? What will you be learning/accomplishing?
  • What skills/knowledge do you hope to gain that you wouldn’t get from your graduate program?
  • If applicable, how do your academic interests relate to this opportunity?


Demonstrate Financial Need: Please write a brief statement (250 words max) that describes financial need and how the fellowship would be used to facilitate your ability to do the Summer/Fall 2020 internship job experience. Please address:

  • Describe financial need and how this funding would support you
  • If applicable, describe how this funding could alleviate other academic positions/jobs
  • If applicable, explain any additional funding you may be receiving for this internship/job
  • Please include a budget identifying how the fellowship funds will be used


A strong application is one where the applicant has explained:

  • How job opportunity/internship will benefit their career interests and future professional opportunities
  • Talk about how your academic success has led to your interest in the current field
  • What career/job do you want after you graduate and how does this work experience help you achieve that goal
  • Be clear in how this work experience would be an opportunity to learn new skills in a non-academic setting
  • Selected applicants will proceed to the interview round
  • 20-minute interviews will be from May 26, 2020
  • Please be prepared to further explain your work opportunity and how this fits into your career/professional goals

Can I apply if I am receiving some money for this job opportunity/internship from another funding source (e.g., another fellowship, funding from my department)?

Priority will be given to students who demonstrate financial need. Students who are seeking non-paid or low paid opportunities will be given priority. If you have received other financial support that does not automatically disqualify you. In your statement, please describe how this fellowship funding will help you. However, this is not open to students who are receiving a working salary or hourly wage.

Can I apply if I am doing a volunteer opportunity?

The aim of this fellowship is awarded to support students in experiences related to career goals and professional development. If the volunteer opportunity is career-focused then you can apply. If the volunteer experience is something you do to enhance your general well-being or because of an interest, then this fellowship opportunity isn’t for you, as the aim is to advance career/job skills.

What types of students are eligible?

  • International students- yes
  • P3 status- no
  • Postdocs- no
  • Graduate students who are seeking an internship in Summer or Fall 2020, as long as they are enrolled the quarter after the internship is done. Graduating students who are seeking an internship after they have graduated are not eligible.

Can I use this to help with my dissertation?

This award is not to fund dissertation research. However, if your internship experience overlaps with some of your dissertation work that is okay as long as the internship is for you to gain experience working in a non-academic work setting.

When can I do my internship/work opportunity?

Your internship can occur from May 2020 - June 20201.