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Do an internship

Students are given this advice from the moment they start college.  It is sound guidance. According to a 2012 Chronicle of Higher Education survey, internships topped the list of attributes that employers are looking for when hiring recent graduates.  Internships enable students to gain on-the-job experience, develop marketable skills, and make contacts for securing a permanent job.  Unfortunately, internships are out of reach for many students.  Most are unpaid.  And between housing costs, tuition and fees, and other expenses, a typical internship requires a substantial financial commitment.  As a result, many students cannot afford to take what is widely seen as a crucial first step toward launching a successful career.

The JMU Washington Semester program provides an ideal platform for taking this first step.  The program enables students to pursue a full-time internship while completing upper-level coursework.  Because participants work full time for the entire semester, they are in a good position to get the most out of their internship experience.  Yet because of the significantly higher costs in terms of housing, transportation and meals, Washington Semester participants spend an estimated $4,300 more than they would during a normal semester on campus.

The additional $4,300 is a wise investment.  Washington Semester participants gain all of the advantages that come with completing a long-term internship.  Because they earn a semester’s worth of JMU credits, participation does not delay their progress toward earning a degree.  Interning during the semester relieves them of the pressure to intern during the summer, freeing them to earn money between semesters.

Reflections of past scholarship recipients

Ruth Esther Johnson -- FALL 2016 -- "Do not be afraid. Washington is a great place to be, enjoy your internship, try your best, and remember your goals."

Sydnie Kostelac -- SPRING 2017 -- "Forge true connections with the people that you meet -- whether it be at your internship, your friends from the program, your professors, or people you meet at networking events."

Shannon Shevlin -- FALL 2017 -- "From a deputy U.S. attorney general to some of the best securities lawyers in the country, I found it to be incredibly rewarding to have the privilege of interacting with these people on a daily basis."

To read more about these students' experiences in the JMU Waashington Semester, click to see profiles of past scholarship recipients.

Investing in our students

Your contribution to the Washington Semester Scholarship fund will support need-based scholarships for students seeking financial aid to participate in the program.  Each scholarship will be awarded in the amount of $4,300 to cover the estimated cost difference between a semester on campus and a semester in D.C.  In short, your generosity will help us extend this potentially life-changing opportunity to students who otherwise could not afford it.

Give Now to the Washington Semester Scholarship Fund


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