SIGP 2017: Financial Support for Student Summer Experiences

NCA’s Summer Internship Grant Program (SIGP) is celebrating its 10th anniversary! From its beginnings in 2007 with 90 applications and 10 awards, SIGP has grown into a thriving and active program which provides financial support for undergraduate Northwestern students participating in unpaid internships across the globe. Last year, SIGP received 702 applications and gave 352 awards to students. Ninety percent of the students who received a SIGP grant reported that they would have had to turn down their summer experience or supplement it with a second job if it had not been for SIGP funding.        

“SIGP fundamentally allows students to pursue career goals and gain experiences without having to worry about living expenses,” said NCA’s Executive Director, Mark Presnell. “This allows students to gain experiences earlier in their career at Northwestern which will prepare them for success after graduation.”  

SIGP’s goal is to give students the opportunity to gain experience in fields that do not typically offer paid internships. Each recipient receives a grant of $3,000 to support their unpaid internship (Buffet International SIGP awards are the exception at $6,000 each).  

Past student recipients have interned at a range of organizations in the U.S. and around the world. From the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Prague Shakespeare Company to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Popular Science magazine, Northwestern students have pursued their dreams with freedom from financial stress. In 2016, SIGP recipients traveled to 25 states, Washington D.C., and 25 countries to intern in a variety of fields, including communications, journalism, government, the arts and more.  

One first-year grant 2016 recipient described their experience. “This opportunity allowed me to combine my communication, writing and design skills with my interests in financial services and business. I would not have been able to do so without the SIGP grant.”

SIGP is open to undergraduate students enrolled at Northwestern at least through fall quarter 2017. Students are not required to have an internship secured to apply, but must secure an opportunity by May 30, 2017 to receive their grant. Previous SIGP recipients may reapply. Information sessions will be held throughout March; their dates and details can be found on the SIGP website.  

SIGP will be accepting applications from February 13 to April 4, 2017, and students selected to receive grants will be notified by Monday, May 8, 2017.