Carnegie Mellon University

Summer Internship Experience Fund (SIEF)


Update: SIEF and COVID-19
April 22, 2020

The CPDC is closely monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation. We will continue to accept applications for the SIEF for Summer 2020 until May 15, 2020.

In light of the COVID-19 situation, the CPDC is allowing students who receive the SIEF to work remotely if their employer agrees to this. Current SIEF recipients who have applied for the SIEF as an on-site intern and plan to shift to remote work MUST notify the CPDC and submit an updated SIEF Expense Form.

If a student is interested in working remotely, both the intern and the supervisor will need to agree to the below guidelines.

Remote Work Guidelines

  • Students must have regular check-ins with their supervisor and must correspond directly with their supervisor at least twice a week either via phone, email, or Zoom.
  • SIEF recipients working remotely should have clear instructions and deadlines set by their supervisor throughout their internship.
  • Remote interns will also be expected to have regular feedback and supervision on their assigned projects.
  • Lastly, any remote interns will be expected to keep a log of their projects that can be submitted to their supervisor on a weekly basis to track their progress.

The CMU Summer Internship Experience Fund will be available to current undergraduate students who are participating in off-campus, low paying  (typically less than $12/hour) or unpaid internships located in the United States during the summer of 2020. This is a needs-based grant which aims to help offset expenses incurred during internships. The Career & Professional Development Center will be coordinating the dispersal of Carnegie Mellon institutional funds that have been set aside to enable students to have a high-impact summer experience.

The CMU Summer Internship Experience Fund is designed to encourage early career experiences that will support students' academic goals and career exploration. It is open to all undergraduate students; however, preference will be given to students in transition (undecided, transitioning colleges, etc.) and those who would not be able to participate in a low or unpaid internship without additional funds.  The maximum amount of funding awarded is $2,500.  

Students are able to begin submitting applications in Handshake beginning Monday, January 13, 2020. Completed applications (students have met with their consultant AND submitted an application in Handshake) will be reviewed on a rolling basis.  Applications will be accepted and reviewed until all funding has been awarded.

The SIEF application period has been extended and the new deadline for application submissions is now May 15th, 2020. 

  1. Secure an off-campus internship located in the United States.
  2. Bring your resume, your internship offer letter and summer expense report with you to meet with your career consultant at the West Wing Career Advising Center.

  3. Save the PDF application to your computer and fill in the form completely. Once complete, please save the file as "SIEF20_studentname." You will be able to apply to the SIEF by submitting your completed application and resume to the SIEF job posting on Handshake.
  4. The final step is to complete your internship and submit your completed internship questionnaire to career@andrew.cmu.edu.  

Which Students Are Eligible?

  • Current undergraduate Carnegie Mellon students returning to campus for the Fall 2020 semester
  • Students who have already received an offer for an off-campus, unpaid or low paying internship in the U.S. for Summer 2020

What Internships Are Eligible?

  • Internship experience must be shown to support students’ academic and career goals and development
  • Takes place during the Summer 2020 session: May 18, 2020 - August 9, 2020
  • Must be unpaid or low-paying (typically less than $12/hour)
  • Must be an off-campus internship
  • Must be a minimum of six weeks and/or at least 180 hours total
  • Must be supervised by a professional in the field throughout the entire internship
  • Summer research internships based in Pittsburgh are not eligible
     • Contact the Undergraduate Research Office (URO) for summer research grant and funding information

Before being granted access to apply on Handshake, you must:

  1. Meet with your career consultant to discuss your summer internship.
  2. At your CPDC appointment, you must present: your resume, summer expense report, and internship offer letter. 

If selected to be a recipient of this grant, you will be required to:

Complete the internship questionnaire from the CPDC about your summer experience and how it impacted your future career goals. Submit this to career@andrew.cmu.edu

Students are expected to find their own internships for this grant. The CPDC has many resources available to students on the website, at workshops and job fairs, and listed on Handshake. Students should consider attending our spring career fairs, as well as our early engagement events, Jumpstart and Internship Showcase:

  • Jumpstart - A networking and internship fair for Freshmen and Sophomores, undergraduates only.
  • Internship Showcase - Connect with other students to learn what a great internship experience can do for your job search.

We also encourage you to meet with your Career Consultant to assist you in this process.  In addition, check with your academic advisor and network with family and friends to find opportunities.

January 13th

Students can submit applications

 February 21 | March 20 | April 3 | April 24

Rolling Deadlines 

            May 15th (Extended Deadline)      

New final submission deadline 

           March 9th - April 24th          

Candidates receiving funding are notified

May 2020

Dispersal of CMU funds to students

September 2020

Internship reflection questionnaire due 

When is the application due?

Completed applications (students have met with their consultant AND submitted an application in Handshake) will be reviewed on a rolling basis in the order they are received until all funds have been dispersed, or May 15th, 2020.

What is the difference between an internship and a job?

An internship is any carefully monitored work or experience in which a student has intentional learning goals and reflects actively on what she or he is learning throughout the experience. Internships vary widely from organization to organization. Some common characteristics of an internship include:

  • Is a time-limited experience that usually lasts about three months and occurs during the fall, spring or summer semesters
  • Is generally a one-time experience
  • Must be at least 180 hours and/or 6 weeks
  • May be paid or unpaid
  • May be part of a learning plan that the intern and career consultant develop together
  • Is different from a short-term job or volunteer work and has an intentional “learning agenda” in a structured work environment
  • Includes learning objectives, observation, reflection, evaluation, and assessment
  • Has an existing employee working in the department/position to mentor and supervise the intern
  • Promotes academic, career and/or personal development