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.

All details, deadlines, and applications can be found in the Purposeful Work Internship Program 2019 page in Handshake. There will be three, separate rounds of opportunities to request funding.  The deadlines for these rounds are:

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.

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 walk-in hours to have their resume and cover letter reviewed. For more information about walk-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 2018/19 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 2018/19” + “cover letter reviewed 2018/19” + “skillscan complete 2018/19” = “purposeful work internship program 2018/19”



The generosity of the Bates community makes this financial support possible.

The Purposeful Work initiative is supported in part by The Catalyst Fund — a collective gift from current and past members of the Bates Board of Trustees that funds the Engaged Liberal Arts, Purposeful Work and Opportunity, and Excellence. To date more than $1,000,000 has been raised in additional gifts to support Purposeful Work, including leadership gifts to create the Campbell Fund for Purposeful Work Internships, the Rice Purposeful Work Internship and Program Fund, and the Matt, Kristin, and Nick Sonne Internship Fund, as well as generous support from The Libra Foundation. Internship awards are also made possible by a gift from the George and Helen Ladd Charitable Corporation and George E. Ladd, Jr., a benefactor of Bates College, establishing the Ladd internships. For information about opportunities to support internship awards, please contact Eric Foushee at efoushee@bates.edu.


In addition to the Purposeful Work Internship Program, check out the Summer Funded Opportunities website to learn about additional research grants and civic engagement fellowships.