KLI Sponsored Internship Program
By Grace Lee ‘17
The Kravis Leadership Institute’s (KLI) internship program has been an integral part of the organization since early on in its history. In 2003, KLI provided 15 partial or fully sponsored summer internships. The total Institute investment in the 2003 summer program amounted to just under $40,000. The internship program has continued to grow, and in both 2007 and 2008, there were close to 100 students that KLI was sponsoring each year. The Institute can be seen in many ways as the incubator of the larger sponsored internship program that is now an essential part of the student experience at Claremont McKenna College (CMC).
Summer internships play a crucial role in shaping the student experience at CMC. Every spring, students are in the midst of applying to and interviewing for summer internships and looking for ways to get funding for the summer, as many internships, especially those in the non-profit and government sectors, are unpaid. Many CMC students cannot imagine their college experience without the transformative summers they experience, working at nonprofit organizations around the world and in the US, even starting from the summer after their freshman year. Without the sponsored internship programs that CMC provides through the Kravis Leadership Institute and other means, many students may have otherwise been unable to work without pay in the summer and miss out on the opportunities that enrich their undergraduate experience.
KLI currently sponsors about 20 internships each year. Internship programs are divided in to two programs: the Sponsored Internship Program and the Partnered Internship Program. The Sponsored Internship Program includes the International Internship Program and the Social Sector Internship program. The social sector internship is for students who are pursuing domestic internships with social service organizations. The internship can be with government, non-governmental, or non-profit organizations. The KLI international internship program is a program for students who want to pursue a transformative international internship.
KLI’s Partnered Internship Program is currently made up of eight nonprofit organizations in the United States and abroad. The Institute has partnered with these organizations to provide sponsored internships for CMC students. Many partnerships are with organizations that are former Kravis Prize Recipients, such as Pratham and Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE). Pratham is the largest non-governmental organization that works to provide quality education to the underprivileged children of India, and FAWE is a nonprofit organization working to empower girls and women through gender-responsive education.
KLI has been one of the pioneering organizations in CMC that helped create a largely supportive system at the college to provide opportunities for students who need funding for summer internships. Many research institutes, such as the Berger Institute and the Center for Human Rights Leadership, as well as the Career Center provide opportunities for students to apply for sponsored internships.
Without a doubt, the Kravis Leadership Institute has made a tremendous impact in the student experience at CMC by leading the movement to ensure meaningful summer experiences for its students.