Scholarship for Unpaid Internships

The Scholarship for Unpaid Internships aims to reduce financial barriers and support students in pursuit of high-quality internships that will help them develop new skills, apply classroom learning in a real-world setting, and garner experience in the non-profit or government sector. Students selected for this scholarship will work with staff at the UW Career & Internship Center during winter and spring quarter to secure an unpaid, or underpaid, summer internship in the non-profit or government sector.

Funding for this program has been made available through the Gerald J. Baldasty and Randal A. Beam Career Internship Endowed Fund for Students, the UW Career & Internship Center, and generous donations from UW alumni, donors, and staff.

Application closed for summer 2021

  • Program Benefits

    • In the words of our scholarship recipients, here are some of the benefits of their internship experiences and the scholarship program.
    • “Working over the summer at Leading Women of Tomorrow enhanced my skills not only as a writer, but also as a researcher and public speaker.”
    • “I learned that I like helping others and making them understand that they’re not the only ones with a difficulty in the subject, that everyone’s has those questions throughout their college experience.”
    • “I got to take something that I directly learned from my internship and immediate apply it to another project I have.”
    • “I’ve always wanted to have an internship, but I think this [the scholarship program] made it manifest.”
    • “Working with Synetic was very affirming that this field is right for me.”
    • “This internship caused me to wonder if I want to pursue a career in journalism… This internship has definitely changed my trajectory in terms of careers.”
    • “Looking for internships is hard for me, and you [the program staff] were great! You took your time in providing me virtual internship options which was a great help.”
    • “I certainly could not have afforded to devote the whole summer to this kind of project without the support of the scholarship.”
  • Program Eligibility

    • Students who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply for the scholarship:
      • Enrolled undergraduate student at UW-Seattle in good academic standing
      • Interested in completing an unpaid or low-paid internship experience in either a non-profit or governmental (local, state, or federal) organization in the summer of 2021. Low paid is defined as receiving less than $500 during the academic quarter from the supervising employer or organization.
      • Work with the Career & Internship Center to find an eligible internship and then obtain confirmation of your internship participation by the site supervisor.
      • Applications are accepted from students of all citizenship statuses (international and undocumented students are eligible to apply)
      • Preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate financial need.
      • Plan to enroll at the UW in autumn quarter 2021 following their internship
  • Program Requirements

    • Recipients of the scholarship are required to:
      • Meet with UW Career & Internship Center staff at least once prior to starting their internship to support their ability to find and maximize a summer opportunity.
      • Complete their internship experience as defined by a learning agreement created with their internship site supervisor. Minimum 10 hours per week.
      • Complete a program evaluation survey at the conclusion of their internship experience.
      • Conduct an exit interview with UW Career & Internship Center staff to provide feedback on their experience to help improve the program in subsequent years.
  • Financial Details

    • Selected scholars who successfully secure an eligible unpaid internship will receive $2,500 disbursed directly to their student account – half at the beginning of the experience and half after successful completion of all scholarship requirements. This funding counts towards the student’s financial aid eligibility and could disrupt their current financial aid package. If you have concerns regarding financial aid implications, please talk with the scholarship program staff and UW Financial Aid.
  • Application Information

    • Apply was due 11:59pm on December 20, 2020

      Complete the application Google Form here including:

        • Essay questions about how an internship will contribute to your personal, academic, and/or career development
        • Essay question about how this scholarship funding would benefit you
        • Current resume

      All applicants will be notified in January 2021 of their application status.

  • Questions

    • Contact Dan Herb, Internship Success Manager, at

Past Scholarship Recipients

  • Summer 2020

    • Name: Shea Formanes
      Major: English
      Internship Site: Leading Women of Tomorrow
      Description: During my summer internship at Leading Women of Tomorrow, I worked as a Digital Media and Contributing Writer for the organization’s blog, where I pitched, researched, wrote, edited, and published articles and blog posts. In addition, I was responsible for selecting keynote and diversity & inclusion (D&I) speakers for the first-ever LWT Chapter Summit. I actively researched, scheduled meetings, and negotiated availability, logistics for the event, and compensation with multiple politicians, lawmakers, and senators.


    • Name: Margarita Quintana-Salas
      Major: Chemical Engineering
      Internship Site: North Seattle College
      Description: I interned at North Seattle College, working under Professor Kalyn Owens as a Teacher’s Assistant for her two Chemistry courses. I set regular office hours for students to drop by and I would answer their questions and go through homework and/or practice problems together. I also provided my email in case the office hours didn’t work with the student’s schedule. To better understand where confusion might arise from students and to be better prepared for future questions, I viewed their lectures, worked on their quizzes and homework.


    • Name: Emily Smith
      Major: Drama
      Internship Site: Synetic Theatre
      Description: While interning at Synetic I designed and implemented a new archival system, created a standardized strike plan that can be applied to every production and streamlined transitions between plays, and helped implement a CRM system that will be used to track employee progress and make sure the company is meeting its EDI goals. Overall, I learned how to be a good production manager in a crisis like COVID, as well as some of the fundamentals about how a theatre is run that are missing from my undergrad education with the school of drama.


    • Name: Briyanna Stewart
      Major: Sociology
      Internship Site: Northwest Film Forum
      Description:  During my internship with the Northwest Film Forum, I worked independently creating artist profiles for POC filmmakers. I helped and shadowed editors, and I reviewed film submissions for the local sightings film festival.
  • Summer 2021

      • Coming soon!