Frequently Asked Questions

The Purposeful Work Internship Program supports students as they explore interests, deepen skills, and build networks; connects students with employer partners that plan to hire Bates students each summer, and provides the opportunity to apply for funding, thanks to the generosity of donors. Click on the questions below to learn more.

Deadlines
  • For the Purposeful Work Competitive Funding Program, the deadlines are March 1, 2023, and April 4, 2023, and May 3, 2023.
  • The Employer Partner program job posting deadlines vary by employer. Positions are being added to Handshake weekly. Check back often!
Eligibility

Which class years are eligible?


For summer 2023, all sophomores and juniors are eligible to participate in the Purposeful Work Internship Program.

Are international students eligible?


Yes. Students must apply for either CPT or OPT to get work authorization. Click here for more information.

If I take a Leave of Absence in Spring 2023 am I eligible?

If you have selected to take a leave of absence during spring 2023, in order to be eligible to apply to PW internship funding for summer 2023, you must have applied and received approval to return for the fall 2023 semester.

We encourage you to apply by February 15 so you can receive your results by the March 1 deadline. This form completion will also give you access to sign up for fall courses and be a participant in the housing selection process. You can find your Return Form here.

If you have any additional inquiries please contact purposefulworkinternships@bates.edu.

I participated in the Purposeful Work Internship Program last year. Am I eligible to participate again?


Yes. Visit Handshake for additional details regarding the rubric. In years where student demand exceeds available funding, priority will be given to students who have not been awarded Purposeful Work Internship funding previously through this process.

I applied for funding from the Purposeful Work Internship Program last year. Am I eligible to apply again?

Yes. Visit Handshake for details and to access the funding application. In years where student demand exceeds available funding, priority will be given to students who have not been awarded Purposeful Work Internship funding previously through this process.

I am studying abroad. Can I still participate?

Yes. All of the program requirements are designed with the flexibility to complete them whether you are on campus or off. Visit Handshake for details.

I think I completed the required eligibility steps; how do I know for sure if I’m in good standing?


Purposeful Work Internship Program staff will manually update your Handshake status within 24 business hours of your completion of program requirements. You will see a “Purposeful Work Internship Program 2022/2023” label on your Handshake profile on the right-hand side of your Profile page listed under Labels.  Once all of these labels are applied to your account, you will be able to submit applications to core employers via Handshake. If you have individual questions, email purposefulworkinternships@bates.edu.

What do I have to do to be eligible to apply for funding?

You must complete three simple steps: log into Handshake and read the full job description then visit the Center for Purposeful Work for a resume review. Complete the short answers and budget and send your employer the Employer Verification Form. Visit Handshake for details.

What do I have to do to be eligible to apply to PW internships with employer partners?

You must complete two simple steps: log into Handshake and visit the Center for Purposeful Work for resume and cover letter feedback. Please note within the job description if there are additional requirements for each job.

Are there requirements during the summer?

Yes. Students will participate in weekly reflection prompts or Zoom meetings and students will complete Pre-, Mid- and Post-Internship Surveys.

How do I know if my internship is eligible for the Purposeful Work Internship Program’s funding?

Your summer internship must be between 250 and 300 hours. The internship must have demonstrated, concrete job responsibilities as reflected in a job description. There must be a specific supervisor for the internship.  For complete application requirements and details, please visit Handshake for details.

Funding

If selected to receive an internship award, what amount of funding will I be awarded?


Participants in the Purposeful Work Internship Program may receive up to $5,000. Individual internship awards vary.

What criteria are used when determining which students will receive internship awards?

Rubric:
Because student requests exceed available funding annually, award decisions are based on the quality of the application, the students’ proposed learning goals, the strength of the internship opportunity and its connection to an individual’s exploration of purposeful work, and demonstrated financial need.

The selection committee will use the following rubric when considering individual applications:   (Scale of 0-3 with a score of 3 as the highest.) 

1. Quality of Application

  • Spelling/Grammar
  • Answered Questions Effectively
  • Complete Application

2. Quality of Experience

  • How does the experience contribute to the exploration of purposeful work?

3. Class Year

  • Junior 2
  • Sophomore 1

4. First-Generation Student

  • Identify as first-generation student 1
  • Do not identify as first-generation student 0

5. Financial Need (as determined by financial aid status)

  • High 3
  • Medium 2
  • Low 1
  • No Need 0

6. Statement of Need (as determined by statement in application) OPTIONAL

  • Extenuating Circumstances 2
  • Compelling Circumstances 1
  • No Additional Need 0

7. How Well This Experience Is Explained as Virtual/In-Person?

  • Student has presented a well-thought out plan and cited specific examples 2
  • Student has presented a plan without citing specific examples 1
  • Student has not presented a plan 0

8. Received PW Internship Funding Previously: -3

9. Received PW Internship Funding Previously and did not complete requirements: -2

 If you have any issues or questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to purposefulwork@bates.edu.

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. This includes funding awarded through this competitive application process and funding received for PW internships with Bates-subsidized core employers.

Where do I apply for funding?


The online PW Internship Funding Request Application can be found here.  The first deadline to submit a complete application is Wednesday, March 1st.

When is my funding application due?


There are three application deadlines:

  • March 1, 2023, at 11:55 PM: 1st Round Funding Request Applications Due
  • April 3, 2023, at 11:55 PM: 2nd Round Funding Request Applications Due
  • May 3, 2023, at 11:55 PM 3rd Round Funding Request Applications Due

When will I hear back whether I’ve been awarded funding?

The Selection Committee will review applications and notify students within two weeks of the application deadlines. For example, if you apply by March 1st, you will hear by March 11th. If you apply by April 3rd, you will be notified by April 15th.

Do I have to have been offered an internship to apply for funding?

Yes.

If I have been selected to receive PW funding and then decide to accept a different internship, may I use my funding award for a different opportunity?

No. You are applying for funding for a specific internship, and funding decisions will be made based on what you tell us about the specific internship.

How competitive is the funding application pool for this summer?

We anticipate that it will be competitive.

Due to our efforts to support as many students’ exploration as possible through this program, priority will be given to students who have financial needs and who have not been awarded Purposeful Work funding through this process previously.

If I have been accepted for a PW internship with one of the employer partners (e.g., MOFGA), do I need to submit a funding application?

No. Students accepted by a Bates employer partner are guaranteed funding – from the employer or from Bates. The Purposeful Work Internship Program has allocated internship awards for PW internships with employer partners whose employers do not pay directly. Email purposefulworkinternships@bates.edu to confirm the specifics of your situation.

If I am selected to receive an internship award, when will I actually receive the award?

Internship awards will be received via direct deposit in multiple parts during the summer.  Specific information about this will be provided upon notification of the award.

Employer Partners

Who are the employer partners? Or, what are the Purposeful Work internships?

Employer partners in diverse industries and locations collaborate with the Purposeful Work Internship Program with the intention of hiring a Bates student each summer. All Purposeful Work internships with employer partners are paid – either by the employers themselves or through internship awards from Bates College. In summer 2023, Bates students have direct access to over 60 core employers with internships in the arts, education, entrepreneurship, environment, finance, government, healthcare, law, marketing, nonprofit, science research & development, technology, and urban planning. Sophomores, and juniors who complete program preparation requirements are eligible to apply for Purposeful Work internships with employer partners. Visit Handshake and search for internships with “PW 2023” in the title for details and to apply.

Can I only participate in the program if I apply to one of the PW internships with employer partners?

No! You have the opportunity to apply to or create an internship that is of interest to you and your career exploration. In summer 2022, nearly half of the students in the Purposeful Work Internship Program interned with organizations outside the core employer network. As long as your internship is between 250 – 300 hours total, has demonstrated, concrete job responsibilities as reflected in a job description, and a specific supervisor, it is an eligible opportunity for this program.

I applied for an internship and haven’t heard back from the employer. When will I?

It varies. Whether a employer partner or an employer not formally affiliated with the Purposeful Work Internship Program, employers take different approaches and have different timelines. In many cases, employers only contact candidates invited to interview.

Other Summer Grants

Are there other Bates-funded summer opportunities?

Yes! Bates offers many opportunities for you to make the most of your summer, from challenging research experiences and life-changing civic engagement projects to exciting internships and international travel fellowships. Check out Handshake for hundreds of summer research, civic engagement, volunteer, employment, and internship opportunities.

We encourage you to also explore options with the Dean of Faculty’s Office and the Harward Center.  For more information, check out the Summer Funded Opportunities page.

Summer Budgeting and Housing

How do I plan a budget for the summer?

Take a look at FY23 Purposeful Work Sample Budget Form as you consider how to use your summer earnings to the maximum.

How do I figure out how much it will cost to live in x city this summer?

Check out this cost of living calculator with NERD WALLET. You can find what the average rent, transportation, and food costs are around the country. It is important to consider these things as you plan your budget for the summer.

Will this program or the Center for Purposeful Work help me find summer housing?

No. You are responsible for finding your own housing. If you are interning with a Bates-funded internship through the Purposeful Work Internship Program within the Lewiston/Auburn area, you can pursue on-campus housing at Bates. You might also refer to the Summer Housing and Transportation Guide available in the Resources section of Handshake for ideas. Talk to other Bates students as well – for example, during the orientation. You might be able to find leads of others looking for roommates or interning in the same city as you.

Need to Know More?

What do I do if I have questions?

Review www.bates.edu/purposeful-work/internship-program/. Many of your questions are likely answered there. Need more guidance? Contact purposefulworkinternships@bates.edu.