Internship fund offers financial assistance to undergraduates

By Ashley A. Williams

Internship fund offers financial assistance to undergraduates

By Ashley A. Williams
The Toppel Career Center is accepting applications from University of Miami undergraduate students who could be eligible to receive monetary aid as they pursue summer internships.

While a senior at the University of Miami last year, Morgan Henry had plans of interning at Bendixen & Amandi International, a market research company, for the summer semester. There was just one obstacle in her way. In order to cover her living and parking expenses, she would need to pick up a second job. 

One day, while scrolling through her email, she noticed she had been forwarded a flyer advertising the first-ever Toppel Internship Fund, an opportunity for undergraduate students who are accepted to paid or unpaid summer internships to receive competitive awards from $500 to $3,000.

“The application was really simple,” said Henry. “All that I had to do was answer a few questions about how the funds and program would help my internship experience and career development.” She was awarded financial assistance and never had to get that additional job. Henry graduated in December 2019 from the College of Arts and Sciences with a bachelor’s degree in political science and anthropology.

The mission of the Toppel Career Center is to prepare students to make well-informed decisions as they explore the evolving career landscape. More strategically, Toppel wants to make it financially feasible for undergraduate students to be leaders in their communities through the internship fund.

“For the second year, we’ve partnered with the Division of Enrollment Management to reduce the financial challenges some undergraduates may face,” said Kelshay Toomer, assistant director of internships. “Christian Garcia, our executive director, and I each have been in a situation where we weren’t able to participate in a summer internship due to funding. We wouldn’t want that to be the case for any of our students.” 

Having the support of the Toppel Internship Fund opened doors for more than a dozen students last year. This year, Toomer and her colleagues are hoping to increase the visibility of the internship fund and the number of applicants by connecting directly with students.

According to Toppel’s website, applicants must meet certain qualifications to be eligible for the award, including being a full-time student, not being under any judicial sanctions, and the internship must be in the United States.

Sophomore Matthew Balcer, a finance major, also took advantage of the internship fund last semester when he interned with a property management company in his hometown of New York City.

“The fund helped me pay for transportation and for food-related expenses during the duration of my internship,” said Balcer, a first-generation college student whose parents moved to the U.S. from Poland. “I was excited to receive some money to help me.” 

Most recently, Toppel announced that the application deadline has been extended to Friday, May 1, because of the coronavirus outbreak. Toomer said the selection committee will meet virtually to review each application and decisions will be announced no later than May 15.

For questions, contact toppel-internships@miami.edu or 305-284-5451. Or apply directly online.