LMU’s Summer Internship Funding Program has provided grants up to $2,500 to undergraduate students so they can pursue unpaid or underpaid internships that may not have been possible due to the cost of living and commuting to complete the experience. Due to COVID-19, this need is more urgent than ever.
Michael Teasdale, ’20 had just landed an amazing summer internship at Illumination Entertainment in Santa Monica. The only problem was that it was only three days a week and he needed to find a way to make enough money to stay in LA.
Thankfully, he applied for and received a stipend of $2,300 from LMU’s Career and Professional Development (CPD). “Once I got the funding from CPD, it was like a breath of fresh air. It was a lot of financial burdens at once, including finding and moving to off-campus housing,” said Michael.
Internships allow students to test an industry, enhance their knowledge and skillsets and sometimes, earn a little money while doing so. Unfortunately, there has been a 35 percent reduction in the length of a summer internship due to a delay in the start date, 29 percent of companies are moving interns to a virtual program, and 15 percent are reducing the number of interns. These figures are expected to increase as the pandemic continues.
Not only does this deprive LMU students from gaining valuable working experiences, it could jeopardize potential future job and career opportunities. Perhaps more significant, it means an unanticipated financial disruption.
“I’ve heard from a lot of my friends that their offers are being rescinded,” said Michael. “To be able to tell a potential employer that ‘I’ll work for free because my university is willing to pay me for it,’ is an easy sell compared to students trying to find something that’s paid. Those internships are becoming sparse quickly.”
Help students like Michael, during this unprecedented crisis by supporting LMU’s Summer Internship Funding Program.