Updates due to COVID-19

We realize this is an extremely difficult time for all of our students, as you navigate your next steps. We want you to know that we acknowledge your concerns and want to assist and support you in all the ways that we can.

As the COVID-19 situation unfolds, we will share relevant information, provide guidance and encouragement, and offer strategies for moving forward. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us individually and to the general Purposeful Work email address (purposefulwork@bates.edu) with your needs and questions.

Virtual Appointments:


We continue to offer virtual appointments for students and alumni. If you can make a virtual appointment on Handshake, please do so directly. (Login to Handshake, go to the upper tab “Career Center” and then click “Appointments”.) If you cannot, please email purposefulwork@bates.edu with your needs and availability (M-F, 9AM-4PM EST). Please include your best phone number in your request and note your preference for virtual contact: phone, Zoom, Google Hangout, or other. You will receive email confirmation of your scheduled appointment. A staff member will follow up with you should we need additional information to coordinate your appointment.

Resumes and Cover Letters:


There will be two PW staff members on call every weekday 1-3 pm to review resumes, cover letters, and answer questions via email. If you send an email to purposefulwork@bates.edu by 3 pm, we will respond by 4:30 pm EST that same day.

To all prospective Purposeful Work interns:


As the COVID-19 situation unfolds rapidly, Bates has put all summer research grants, fellowships, and internships on hold for the moment. That includes all funding of Purposeful Work internships.  We will give you more information as quickly as we have anything definitive to report. 

We’ve made this decision because we suspect the pandemic will impact your internship in a number of ways, including but not limited to:
 – Travel restrictions to parts of the United States or other countries
 – Disruption to or changes in project schedules as determined by supervisors or on-campus advisors
 – Cancellation of internships  by employers, or community partners altogether

We hope this will not be the case but want you to be aware of the possibility of these impacts.

For students who have applications under review, we have also put these decisions on hold. 

For students who have already been selected by their Core Employer and who would utilize funds from the Center for Purposeful Work, these internships have been put on hold. Employers have also been contacted about this decision.

For students who have already been selected by their Core Employer with the Core Employer paying students directly, we are communicating daily with site supervisors to stay updated on their ability to host a Bates student. 

For students planning to apply for funding using the April and May deadlines, we have paused those processes and will no longer accept applications.  Our hope is to reopen funding when the way seems clearer.

Know that we are thinking of you and will communicate with you as soon as we have any more information. Thank you for your patience as we try to accommodate our programs to new realities. 

On-Campus Jobs with Purposeful Work (2020-21):


To those who may have applied or are planning to apply to the Purposeful Work Fellow, Office Assistant, or Digital Marketing Assistant role: at this time we are pausing all hiring for Fall Semester 2020/21. Like so many, our staff is working to respond to the most current news re:COVID-19 and its effect on our work with Bates students, staff and faculty. Please know that we look forward to having you back on campus soon and engaging in purposeful work together.

Job Shadows:


Purposeful Work Job Shadows that have not yet occurred must be moved to a virtual format and cannot take place in person. Instead of an in-person visit, we suggest a 30-60 minute conversation with your job shadow sponsor via phone, Zoom, or any other teleconferencing technology of your choice. Job Shadow Sponsors have been notified about this change and told that you will contact them to arrange the virtual meeting. 

Job Shadow Travel Reimbursements:

  • If any student incurs expenses associated with canceling job shadow travel because of COVID-19, we will arrange for reimbursement. 
  • If you traveled for your job shadow before March 11 and were pre-approved for College Key Travel Funds, we will process your reimbursement via email. 

Please email jobshadow@bates.edu with questions or to begin the reimbursement process.

Events, employer information sessions, workshops:

We will move as many of our existing events and workshops as possible to a virtual format. In order for us to facilitate communication about events with students quickly and easily, please RSVP to events via Handshake. We will continue to post new virtual events on Handshake, publicizing them through Handshake and other means.