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Community Service FAQs

Funding for Summer 2018 Community Service Non-profit Internships

Frequently Asked Questions (updated 1/8/2018)

What is this funding program?

These internship funding opportunities are open to Union students interested in working full-time (27-30 hours/week) during the summer with an underprivileged population at a non-profit organization in a hands-on community service role directly with the clients served.  Students secure their own internship opportunity and then apply for the funding.  For assistance identifying internship opportunities, please contact the Becker Career Center.

What is a non-profit organization?

A non-profit or not-for-profit organization is one which exists for charitable reasons, and from which its shareholders or trustees do not benefit financially. Legally it does not declare a profit, but instead utilizes all revenue available after normal operating expenses in service to the public interest; non-profits typically have tax exempt status.

Non-profit organizations are found in a variety of community service areas including: education, healthcare, social/human services, the arts, environment, law, economic development, and more! Preference will be given to students securing opportunities in which they will provide direct hands-on community service with an underserved population.

What is the difference between the funding opportunities? 

For the past several years, Union College has received endowed funds to support students interning at community service non-profit organizations. For summer 2017, funding is provided by the Class of 1973 35th ReUnion Community Service Internship Endowment; the Roger H. Hull Summer Community Service Internship Endowment; and the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Mohammad A. Omar ’94 Memorial Community Service Internship Endowment,.

Class of 1973 35th ReUnion Community Service Interns (3)-$3000, 30 hours/week, 10 weeks, any US location

Roger Hull Community Service Intern-$3000, 30 hours/week, 10 weeks, Capital District location (*The Capital District generally extends west to Cobleskill, northwest to Amsterdam, north to Lake George, east to the Massachusetts border, and south to Hudson)

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Mohammad A. Omar ’94 Memorial Community Service Intern - $2750, 27 hours/week, 10 weeks, any US location

Where do I get an unofficial transcript [part of application]?

Students can print their own unofficial transcript from Web Advisor; use the Academic Audit Report. Students may also obtain an unofficial transcript online through the Registrar’s Office. 

What is a letter of endorsement [part of application]?

A letter of endorsement is written by a contact at the non-profit organization (preferably the intern’s supervisor) indicating support for the student’s role as an intern. Indication must be clear that the student has had a conversation with the supervisor at the organization, and a discussion has ensued covering the terms of the internship, including projects and the student’s full-time (27-30 hours/week) status during the summer.

How much money will I earn? How will I get paid?

It depends on the Internship award. For the Class of 1973 35th ReUnion Community Service Intern and the Roger Hull Community Service Intern the award is $3000 for the summer. For the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Mohammad A. Omar ’94 Memorial Community Service Intern, the award is $2750 for the summer. Recipients will be paid through direct deposit or mailed paychecks distributed every two weeks throughout the summer.

What is the timeframe of the internship?

The start and end dates of the internship are flexible between the student and the supervisor, keeping in mind the total hours required for the internship. Typically, students work 27-30 hours/week for 10 weeks.

What is required of me after the internship?

Student interns are asked to write a 2-3 page summary of their summer experience and a 1-2 page thank you letter to the funding organization. In addition, students are requested to participate in an intern event during fall term to share their summer experiences. Past events include: poster session, participation on an internship panel, informal luncheon, PowerPoint presentation.

What are my chances of being selected for the internship?

This depends upon the number and quality of applications received. Typically, we fund 5 students and receive approximately 20 applications. All interested students are encouraged to apply.

How can I make my application strong/what does the committee look for?

The committee will look for a well thought out letter of intent indicating the applicant’s career goals and how the internship will provide a hands-on community service role with an underserved population to assist in meeting them, as well as strong letters of recommendation and a solid letter of endorsement from the organization.  Applications must be complete and on-time to be considered.

How can I find an organization that meets my interests/values/needs?

Attending an Internship Search Orientation or meeting with a career advisor at the Becker Career Center can help you get started with your search.  There are many non-profit organizations in the Capital District, as well as around the country, from which to choose.  In addition, you may want to check out the following resources:

Career Fair

February 13, 2018, 4-7pm at College Park Hall, Union College

Employers from various industries, including non-profit organizations will be on-campus to discuss internship opportunities.

Non-profit Funded Internship Binder

Overviews written by previous interns; stop in the Becker Career Center and peruse it today!

HireU and other internship search databases

Search resources


How important is my. . .GPA, major, career goals, class year, resume?

All of the pieces of the application are essential, although your major will have no bearing on the selection. Preference will be given to upperclassmen only when all other criteria are equal. The most important piece is the personal statement—applicants need to convey their interest in and passion for the internship and provide a link between the experience and their career goals/interests. This also is where applicants can demonstrate how they will provide direct, hands-on community service with an underserved population.

Can I apply if I’m an international student?

Yes, provided you have met with the international students advisor to secure the proper paperwork to be eligible to work in the US.

Can I apply if I’m going to be abroad winter, spring or fall term?

Yes.  Finalists who are on term abroad during spring term will be contacted for a telephone or Skype interview. Interns who will be on term abroad during fall will make arrangements to complete their evaluation work prior to leaving the area.

Can seniors apply?

No, the funding is only for Union students who will be matriculated at the College in the fall.

Can I apply if I have already received funding in the past?

All completed and on-time applications for the funding will be considered.

Is summer housing provided?

Summer housing is not provided with the funding; however, students may contact the Office of Residential Life to inquire about on-campus summer housing options.

Where should I submit my application?

Application materials are to be submitted all together through HireU as PDFs. Letters of Recommendation can be included in the application through HireU OR recommenders may submit a letter/email of recommendation directly to Rochelle Caruso, either by email or print copy. Please contact Rochelle Caruso at carusor@union.edu to let her know if it will be sent separately Letter of Intent can be directed to Rochelle Caruso or Selection Committee.

What if I have additional questions?

Questions, not answered here, can be directed to:  Rochelle Caruso at the Becker Career Center (518) 388-6176 or carusor@union.edu.