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Hiatt Career Corner: Grants available for summer internships

Published: December 5, 2008
Section: Opinions

For Rachel Nadas ’09, the Louis D. Brandeis Legacy Fund for Social Justice enabled her to pursue her passion to empower the disenfranchised.

Rachel spent last summer as an intern at Farmworker Justice in Washington, D.C., helping the non-profit advocacy organization with environmental and occupational health campaigns for migrant workers. Although the internship was unpaid, the funding program provided her with a $3,500 stipend to cover travel and living expenses in the nation’s capital.

“Working at Farmworker Justice was a wonderful opportunity that I would not have been able to pursue without the generous stipend,” said Rachel, an International and Global Studies major from Raleigh, North Carolina. “I am interested in working at a non-profit organization committed to doing good work, and I had the chance to experience that environment on a day-to-day basis over the summer. I definitely got a lot out of the internship.”

During her internship, Rachel researched the avian flu and learned that migrant workers would be more susceptible to an avian flu pandemic than the general population. She also examined the health effects of certain pesticides on workers. Rachel wrote summaries that appeared in Farmworker Justice’s newsletter and her research was used in reports prepared by her supervisor.

“I felt the work I was doing was important to the organization and that my contributions were valued by my colleagues,” Rachel said. “I wasn’t just sitting around making copies all day.”

Rachel received her stipend through the new Louis D. Brandeis Legacy Fund for Social Justice internship program, which provides funding ($3,500 domestic, $4,000 international) for students working at mission-driven organizations committed to social justice. The program, established through a generous gift from a Brandeis alumnus, has been doubled for summer 2009 and will now award up to 20 internship funding grants through the Hiatt Career Center and its World of Work Fellowships.

Placement professionals agree that internships give students an important jump on their post-graduation job search, particularly in this challenging economic environment.

“Not only do internships allow students to conduct an in-depth exploration of a specific field or industry, but they provide students valuable real-world work experience to build their resumes and make themselves more attractive to prospective employers,” said Joseph Du Pont, the director of the Hiatt Career Center. “This program exposes students to careers in social justice – one of the pillars of Brandeis- allowing them to explore careers that have a social impact.”

Application deadlines for summer internship funding programs range from January 20 to April 4. For more information, contact Rusmir Musić ( or x63618), the assistant director for experiential programs at Hiatt.

Editor’s Note: Jessica Paquin is the academic internship administrator for the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences/Hiatt Career Center