Experiential Learning – Fellowships

Experiential Learning – Fellowships


Are you passionate about a specific issue? Want to learn about an organization or develop a project? Maybe you’re interested in studying abroad or advancing your fluency in a foreign language. Would you like to work as an apprentice for a high-level professional or simply get field placement on a variety of short-term projects? Well, all of these things can be included in a fellowship. A fellowship is your chance to develop research in a particular field and get paid for it! They are very competitive, but they look great on résumé; especially if you plan to go to graduate school. A fellowship is a type of grant that is designated for specific field of study. It’s available to both undergraduate and graduate students, and sometimes mid-career adults. Typically a university, independent organization, or federal group finances the fellowship and the opportunity can last between just a few weeks or even a few years. The benefits to a fellowship are endless. You can use the skills you’ve learned in school and apply them to work in your field. Through the fellowship, you can explore and test out career options while gaining experience and skills that help expand your résumé. And most importantly, you’ll make connections along the way and gain important references. Major libraries, museums, and universities, including CSUN, grant many fellowships. You can find lists on the Career Center and Graduate Studies web pages. You may even find fellowship opportunities in your specific department. Talk to professors, because even if they are not working on any projects they may know someone who is. If you are looking for a specific fellowship in the nonprofit and public service sectors you can find a detailed list of openings at idealist.org. Or you can find a variety of federal fellowships at websites such as FedMoney, USA Jobs, and Making the Difference.org. Searching for a fellowship outside your specific experiences or after college? There are many public service programs in Sacramento that offer fellowships to both students and mid-career adults such as The California Executive Fellowship Program, The Jesse Marvin Unruh Assembly Fellowship Program, The Judicial Administration Fellowship Program, and The California Senate Fellows. Ask yourself questions like, “Do I have a thesis that I want to build into an independent research project?” or “Do I want to work with others on public service projects?” By identifying your motives and goals you can narrow down your search and focus on specific fellowships most suited to you. And remember, the Career Center is always here to guide you in your search. Check out part two on how to prepare for a fellowship.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

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