Purposeful Work Internships

Through the Purposeful Work Internship Program, students explore interests, deepen skills, and build networks during the summer.  The program, open to first-years through juniors, gives students tools they need to deepen what they learn through their internship, as well as access to Bates-specific paid internships with core employers in diverse industries and locations, and the chance to apply for a summer stipend for any unpaid or low-paying internship.  Through the program, you will benefit from application feedback, goal setting, and reflection activities designed to help you maximize your experience, strengthen your resume, and build your connections.

After an enriching and reflective experience, students return to campus ready to connect their summer experience to their studies and present on what they’ve learned during their time in a professional environment.

Components of the program include:

  • Comprehensive and personalized learning experience
  • Career Counseling and Online Modules that will help strengthen application materials through the Bates Center for Purposeful Work
  • Participation in a virtual cohort to encourage reflection and discussion of personalized goals with fellow Bates students

Already have a summer internship and need financial support?

Due to the uncertainty of COVID-19, for students planning to apply for funding using the April and May deadlines, Bates has paused those processes and will no longer accept applications.  Our hope is to reopen funding when the way seems clearer. For more information, please click here.

Looking for financial support?
All students, regardless of socio-economic background, should have the opportunity to explore their interests, deepen their skills, and build their networks through internships. First years, sophomores, and juniors who have offers for unpaid or low-paying internships outside of the core employer network have the opportunity to apply for an internship award of up to $4,000. Internships must be a minimum of 300 hours for the summer.

In years where student demand exceeds available funding, award decisions will be made based on the merits of the case presented by the student for his/her learning goals, the strength of the internship opportunity, and the student’s demonstrated financial need. In making decisions on individual internship award applications, the Selection Committee reserves the right to consider the overall balance and diversity of internship opportunities, participants, and career exploration within the overall cohort.

Due to our efforts to support as many students’ exploration as possible through this program, priority will be given to students who have not been awarded Purposeful Work funding previously. Students will not receive Purposeful Work funding for more than two summers, except in rare cases.

Visit the Summer Funded Opportunities website to learn about additional research grants and civic engagement fellowships available to Bates students.

Looking for a summer internship?

Apply for paid summer internships with 70+ core employers across the country and world. Core employers prioritize hiring from Bates, giving you unique access to find out what it takes to run a hospital, mentor kids, learn to code, market chocolate, conduct clinical research…and more.
Purposeful Work internships with core employers are posted in Handshake and are updated frequently.  Please check back to this page frequently for updated listings.  In order to apply for any of these opportunities, you must complete the following eligibility requirements:
START the process by becoming eligible through the three required steps facilitated by the Bates Center for Purposeful Work.

Step 1: Complete SkillScan Express, if you haven’t already, and update your Career Interests in your Handshake profile.

Why? This online assessment helps you identify the skills you enjoy using every day and provides examples of career paths that require these skills. Your results may affirm what you know about yourself or inspire new ideas. Either way, your results will give you language to use in your resume, cover letters, and interviews communicating these skills to employers.

How? Click here. This online assessment only takes about 15 minutes. We encourage you to use the information learned to update “Your Career Interests” into your Handshake profile for optimum job search results. You are welcome to make an appointment with the staff at the Bates Center for Purposeful Work to debrief your results.

Step 2: Have your resume reviewed by the staff in the Bates Center for Purposeful Work.
This is something all students will be required to do each year to participate in our programs. For more information and helpful tips, please review our Resume and CV Guide.

Step 3: Have a cover letter draft reviewed by the staff in the Bates Center for Purposeful Work. For more information and helpful tips, please review our Cover Letter Guide.

Why? We’re here to help you put your best foot forward as an applicant, whether this is the first or the 50th time you’ve applied for an opportunity using a formal resume and cover letter.

Students are encouraged to use our daily drop-in hours to have their resume and cover letter reviewed. For more information about drop-in hours, please visit the Center for Purposeful Work website.

After these steps are completed, the corresponding label will be added to students Handshake profile. Acquiring the final label: purposeful work internship program 2019/20 is the “green light” label which will allow you to apply to any of the Purposeful Work Internship Program opportunities. Please remember, you MUST be eligible (completed all required steps) AT LEAST one full business day before the application deadline. Plan ahead!!!

Step 1 —> Step 2 —> Step 3 = PW Label!

“resume reviewed 2019/20” + “cover letter reviewed 2019/20” + “skillscan complete 2019/20” = “purposeful work internship program 2019/20”

Visit the Summer Funded Opportunities website to learn about additional research grants and civic engagement fellowships available to Bates students.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions? Find answers here or email purposefulworkinternships@bates.edu.

Check out this resource page in Handshake for the latest information and deadlines.

Questions? Find answers here or email purposefulworkinternships@bates.edu.

Varun (Sunny) Piplani ’21

Internship Site: Octagon Sports Agency

Location: Stamford, Connecticut

“As someone who dreams of becoming an agent one day, this internship was a dream come true. Octagon represents many high-profile athletes such as Michael Phelps, Simone Biles, and Aly Reisman. I developed marketing pitches and social media campaigns for athlete tie-ins and endorsement opportunities for current clients.”

Jayde Biggert ’20

Internship Site: Maine Immigrants’​ Rights Coalition (MIRC)

Location: Portland, Maine

“My time at MIRC enabled me to find ways of connecting my academics to my community engagement work in Lewiston and produce a final thesis about best practices in trauma intervention services for refugee and asylum seekers in Maine.”

Previous Summer Intern Highlights