Career Internship Fund Supports Student Success

The Knowledge in Action Career Internship Fund awards grants to eight students for spring semester.

February 5, 2014

KACIF Spring 2014 Recipients stand in a group

Knowledge in Action Career Internship Fund awardees Madison Boggs, Anh Tran, Sean Hoffman, Kate Christman and Tracey Knott.

By Brittney Dunkins

The George Washington University’s Career Services Council announced eight recipients of awards provided by the Knowledge in Action Career Internship Fund (KACIF), a competitive grant program for students pursuing necessarily unpaid internships.

Launched last year through the generous support of alumni and parents, the internship fund provides grants ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 to support the larger academic and professional goals of students.

The most recent awards build on the inaugural round of 37 grants provided for internships during summer 2013.

“We are grateful, delighted and proud,” Assistant Provost for University Career Services Rachel Brown said. “Grateful for the generous support of our alumni and parent donors who make the fund possible; delighted with the breadth and depth of the meaningful internships that KACIF has supported; and proud of our students who are making a difference through these internships."

The five undergraduate students and three graduate students comprising the spring cohort represent four schools, including the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Public Health and Health Services, the College of Professional Studies and the Elliott School of International Affairs

Among the diverse group of government agencies, nonprofits and entrepreneurial  firms where students will engage in experiential learning are the U.S. Department of State, the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, Gold Mountain Coffee Growers and the Polaris Project.

Madison Boggs, a senior studying international affairs, will serve at the Polaris Project, an anti-human trafficking organization. The experience has given her the skills she needs to pursue her interest in preventing human trafficking, she said.

“The Knowledge in Action Career Internship Fund is incredibly important because it allows students to pursue their passions and dreams, regardless of their financial situation,” Ms. Boggs said. “I applied for the Knowledge in Action grant because I was passionate about the work I was doing at Polaris Project. This opportunity allowed me to stay at Polaris and continue to do the work that I love.”

Tracey Knott, a graduate student in the Security Policy Studies program, is pursuing an internship at the Department of State. She said that because of the grant, she was able to see firsthand how her classroom experience is preparing her for a career in diplomacy.

“I came to GW because of the great security program, but also because of the university’s location,” she said. “I’ve had the chance to work with very smart, passionate people who have dedicated themselves to informing our policymakers about key issues.”

Danica Brown, a senior interning in the Office of Policy Integration at AARP, said that KACIF is an example of the university’s focus on career development.

“The Knowledge in Action Fund is important because it enables students to pursue necessarily unpaid internships without the financial burden. It also signals that GW supports students in their endeavors to better prepare for the workplace,” she said.

Students interested in applying for the summer 2014 round of  KACIF funding can begin submitting their applications on March 28. The deadline for submissions is April 8.

The next round of awards will be announced in mid-May.