Journalism major Alex Ellefson '14 is considering a career as a foreign correspondent, so when he scored an internship at a newspaper in the Middle East, he figured he had found the perfect experience to polish off his college résumé.
But it would be expensive to spend the summer in Jordan, where he had been offered a spot at The Jordan Times — even though he'd already received two small scholarships to do so. Enter the Magner Career Center's Internship Stipend Awards, a competitive program through which Ellefson received $2,500.
"The stipend was extremely helpful," says the senior, who is the editor-in-chief of The Kingsman newspaper. "I was thinking of trying to raise money, but the stipend covered the rest of my costs."
The program was established by the Magner Center a decade ago to enable students to accept off-campus volunteer or low-paying internships that they would not otherwise have been able to afford. Stipends are awarded based on the number of hours and weeks applicants will work. Financial need is also considered.
"It was definitely the greatest summer of my life, hands down," says Ellefson. "I met a lot of interesting people and had a lot of adventures."
Two of the highlights for Ellefson, who also studied Arabic while he was there, were getting a front-page story for his interview with a gunshot victim and covering a big drift racing competition.
Gaul Porat, a senior majoring in film production who was also supported by one of the stipends, spent the summer in Los Angeles interning at a production company called Straight Up Films. He worked reading scripts under the company's creative director. Porat, who received $3,000 for his internship, also got a chance to assistant produce a public service announcement.
Porat says he did some networking and cold-calling to secure the internship in the first place. "What I learned while I was there," he says, "is that nothing is handed to you" — and that makes the Magner Career Center stipend even more remarkable.