Washington DC Summer Internship Award

Summer 2020 Award Description

The Wharton Undergraduate Division offers limited funding on a competitive basis to Wharton undergraduate and graduate students who accept an offer for an internship at a government entity, non-profit organization, or think tank in the Washington, DC, metro area. The internship must be either unpaid or pay less than $500 per week for undergraduates or less than $1,000 per week for graduates and must focus on economic public policy issues.

Undergraduate students1 may apply for a taxable award2 of up to $500 per week to for up to 12 weeks, for a maximum of $6,000 for the summer.

  • Undergraduate internships must be at least 8 weeks in duration.
  • Awards for part-time internships (fewer than 35 hours per week) will be adjusted accordingly.
  • Students receiving some compensation or funding from other sources that falls short of $500/week may apply for supplementary funding to make up the difference.

Graduate students1 may apply for a taxable award2 of up to $1,000 per week for up to 12 weeks, for a maximum of $12,000 for the summer.

  • Graduate internships must be at least 6 weeks in duration.
  • Awards for part-time internships (fewer than 35 hours per week) will be adjusted accordingly.
  • Students receiving some compensation or funding from other sources that falls short of $1,000/week may apply for supplementary funding to make up the difference.

In exchange for funding, recipients will be expected to:

  1. Write one blog post during the summer on a topic relevant to the internship.
  2. Serve as an “ambassador” for Wharton in Philadelphia, practicing good public relations and maintaining a level of professionalism both on and offline including on personal social media platforms.
  3. Complete an evaluation at the end of the summer about your internship experience.
  4. Pay it forward: help identify and promote worthwhile Washington, DC, internship opportunities for fellow Wharton students.

1 Students who, at the time of application, have not yet received their undergraduate degree but have matriculated for a graduate degree will be considered as undergraduates.
2  Monetary awards constitute taxable income. If you are a U.S. citizen, taxes will not be withheld from your award, but you will receive a 1099 tax form from the University of Pennsylvania at the end of the year for tax reporting purposes. If you are an international student, the University will withhold 30% of your award amount for tax purposes, barring any tax treaties that may exist with your home country. International students can find information about Penn’s tax policies at the Office of the Comptroller.

How do students apply?

All Wharton undergraduate and graduate students in good standing are eligible.

Applicants are required to submit an unofficial copy of their Penn transcript, a description of the internship opportunity, and a personal statement explaining how the internship fits with their academic and career goals. All of these documents are taken into account in making a funding decision.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, but spots are limited; it is recommened to apply early.

The review committee will be reading applications on a rolling basis. Should your summer plans change after you have submitted an application, please alert Dr. Utsav Schurmans, Director of Research and Scholars Programs, and Ben Schneider, Associate Director for Student Programs, as soon as possible.

Any questions should be directed to Ben Schneider at schne@wharton.upenn.edu and Dr. Utsav Schurmans at schurman@wharton.upenn.edu.

How do I find a summer internship?

Search for “Washington internship” on the Career Services website to get started.

Learn about finding an applying for federal jobs here. Then, check out USAJOBS.gov for executive branch positions. A list of federal agencies that hire through the USAJOBS can be found here.

Sources for additional opportunities include the White House Internship Program and the Senate Employment Bulletin.

If I apply, should I also seek additional funding sources?

Because of the limited number of DC summer internship awards, students are advised to also seek funding from other sources. For instance, Career Services has a summer funding program. And Student Registration and Financial Services offers summer funding for highly aided rising juniors or seniors.

Where can I get more information about research opportunities?

Subscribe to the Undergraduate Research listserv to receive information on upcoming student opportunities:

  1. Go to wharton.upenn.edu/mailinglist
  2. Choose the Find a Wharton List link on the top of the page.
  3. Search for the “undergraduate-research” mailing list.
  4. Click the “Subscribe” link.
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