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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!

  • The application runs  March 1, 2021 - May 2, 2021
  • 20-min Interviews May 12 & 13, 2021 
  • Awardees notified May 31

Note: 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 for an internship(s). However, internship offers need to be made by May 12 for students who are selected students to participate in the interview portion of this application process. Internships need to be finalized by May 31 in order to be selected for an award.

Link to the Application: https://forms.gle/vm4J2aFVoqhuXPdd6

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 2021 internship/work experience will be impactful for their career trajectory and demonstrate financial need.

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

There are up to five $2,000-2,500 fellowships that will be awarded based off the following criteria:

  • Shows how the experience has potential for substantive career learning experience.
  • Financial need and impact of fellowship to ease need in order to engage in opportunity.
  • Completion of application, submission of a professional resume, and met eligibility criteria.
  • Interview to articulate work opportunity (20-minute interviews will take place May 12 - 13).
  • Internship must be confirmed by May 12; however students do not have to have accepted the offer by the time you interview, you can still be deciding on the opportunity fit.
  • 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 2021 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). However, graduate students need to have secured an internship/work opportunity by May 12, 2021, in order to proceed to the interview step of the process.
  • Awarded students will be required to submit proof of internship/job. 
  • As part of the application, students will demonstrate the impact of the fellowship on their career as well as financial need. This fellowship was established to help make it feasible for students to complete non-paid or low paying opportunities, and those opportunities will get priority. 

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

Career and Professional Development Impact Statement: ​Please write a statement (500 words max) which 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?

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

  • Describe financial need and how this funding would support you.
  • If applicable, describe how this funding could alleviates 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.