LINK Award Application Tips-Sarah Brown

“Each year, Brown awards financial assistance to students pursuing unpaid or low-paying summer internships. These awards allow students to explore career options and engage in experiential learning activities outside of the classroom. Students must apply for or secure an internship that is unpaid or that pays $1,000 or less before applying for funds.

The Brown LINK Award Program is funded by Brown alums and parents, the Office of Financial Aid, as well as other Brown departments, and is administered by the Center for Careers and Life After Brown.”


 

Below are Sarah Brown’s tips for putting together a great LINK award application

1. What organization and funding programs are you involved with at Brown (Basically what is your role for someone who doesn’t know you at all)?
I am the Internships Manager at the CareerLAB, working mostly on the BrownConnect initiative and the LINK/SEW funding process. BrownConnect LINK awards financial assistance to students pursuing unpaid or low-paying summer internships. Students must apply for or secure an internship that is unpaid or that pays $1,000 or less before applying for funds. The Summer Earnings Waiver (SEW) provides additional scholarship to replace the Standard Contribution (SC) from Summer Earnings Expectation that is on some students’ financial aid packages.
2. When is an appropriate time to begin thinking about the LINK award?
Our LINK/SEW application process is open when students return to campus for the spring semester. We traditionally have two deadlines: one in mid-March and another in mid-April. In order to apply for a LINK award, you must have at least applied for the internship you are looking to fund. This means that students need to be conscious of the LINK deadlines as early as January, when they start the internship search. Most internships are posted between January-March, with employers making decisions by April. I would say students need to be thinking about LINK as early as January-early February.
 
3. What characteristics make an application particularly compelling in your eyes?
The best students applications for LINK funding are those that can really connect all the dots between their academics and extracurriculars at Brown, and the goals they have for themselves post-Brown. We are not looking for students who can definitively say what they expect to be doing once they graduate, but we are looking for students who can make a good case for why the internship they are looking to fund is a great career/experiential learning experience given their current classes, interests, and some of the potential career paths they are considering after graduation.
4. Any tips for potential applicants?
Start early! The best applications are those that have been thoughtfully prepared by the student; they are clear, concise, and well organized. Because LINK is a competitive process, I would highly recommend coming to the CareerLAB’s PCA open hours to have your resume and personal statement reviewed.
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