Want to Consider Options Beyond Full-Time Jobs? Pursuing Fellowships after Graduation

As Jumbos consider how their majors relate to the world of work beyond Tufts, it can be confusing to map out a timeline when you are trying to focus on classes and activities for the semester. For some students, you may have only had time to focus on classes and extracurricular and still need experience before looking for a full-time job. For others, you have so many career pathways that you can choose from, it’s overwhelming to focus on only one route. No matter what thoughts are swirling around in your mind, many students overlook pursing a post-Tufts fellowship. These options can offer additional career clarity as well as provide an invaluable orientation into an industry, help you to continue to network with professionals, and expose you to working in a different part of the country/world outside of your comfort zone.

What is a fellowship?  A fellowship can be a program or project that an organization has thoughtfully designed for an individual to not only gain experience but to expose the fellow to professional mentors and career development activities in an professional industry. Fellowships also serve a purpose for the organization, as they allow the employer to benefit from the contributions of different fellows over a short period of time. For this and many other reasons, fellowships are usually offered during a specific time frame.  A typical fellowship might occur in the summer immediately after receiving a Bachelor’s degree, but is more likely to last 6 months to a year, and may even be up to 2 years or longer depending on the needs of the organization.

Are fellowships paid or unpaid?  Fellowships can be paid or unpaid.  There are many ways to search for fellowships based on your career development needs. Some of the more well-known fellowships are usually funded and may offer participants a structured format that includes an opportunity to design a research project or presentation with other fellows. Fellowships might offer a monthly stipend that supports research, housing, or other professional development areas (training, graduate school prep, attendance at conferences, etc.)

Are fellowships competitive?  Depending on the fellowship sponsor, the degree to which the fellowships is fully-funded, and the selection criteria, the competitiveness to receive a fellowship can vary. It is important to be aware of fellowships in advance so that you can note their application process and deadlines for applying.  You may want to create a spreadsheet to help you compare the different types of fellowships that interest you and use this as a means to organize your application process and timeline.

What fellowships are available?  Fellowships exists in every area. You can use your Handshake account and search by keyword “fellowship” or “fellow” and then select industry using the Handshake filter options to see what’s available.  The Tufts Office of Scholar Development also has a database of fellowships that you can browse. We encourage you to look at the Tufts Career Center info on Fellowships or look at the resources within your career community of interest for additional information. Below are a few notable and unique fellowships, but there are many more that exist in a variety of areas!

  • Paul Knight Internship Program in Conservation. The program is designed to fund projects that further the protection of the environment or provide ecologically sound outdoor recreational opportunities.  Undergraduate students from any major and law students interested in the environment are eligible for the Knight Internship.
  • Academy of Television Summer Internship Program  The Television Academy Foundation’s summer Internship Program provides over 40 industry-wide internships to college students nationwide. The program gives both undergraduate and graduate students in-depth exposure to professional television production during an eight-week summer period in Los Angeles.
  • AICPA John L. Carey Scholarship The John L. Carey Scholarship provides financial assistance to liberal arts and non-business degree holders who are pursuing both graduate studies in accounting and the CPA licensure. This award is funded by the AICPA Foundation and is intended to encourage students with little or no previous accounting education to consider professional accounting careers.
  • Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing  AG Bell  offers several scholarships for full-time students who have a pre-lingual bilateral hearing loss in the moderately-severe to profound range, use listening and spoken language, and who are pursuing a bachelors, masters or doctorate (not law or public policy) degree at an accredited mainstream college or university. This is a merit-based scholarship program and award selection is extremely competitive
  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation German Chancellor Fellowship The German Chancellor Fellowship allows recent university graduates to spend one year conducting a project of their design with the host of their choice in Germany. The project can be in any field, but should be research-based and create a positive social impact. Benefits include full financial support, a language course, and a study tour culminating with meeting Chancellor Angela Merkel.  German language proficiency is not required.
  • Allen Lee Hughes Fellowship and Internship Program Named for the Tony Award-nominated lighting designer, the Allen Lee Hughes Fellowship & Internship Program offers personalized training opportunities with Arena’s ensemble of resident artists, technicians and administrators.  The goal of the program is to cultivate the next generation of theater professionals by providing the highest standard of training through immersion in the art and business of producing theater. Arena Stage provides in-depth, hands-on experience with seasoned professionals.
  • Amelia Earhart Fellowship The Amelia Earhart Fellowship program helps talented women, pursuing advanced studies in the typically male-dominated fields of aerospace-related sciences and engineering, achieve their educational goals. The Fellowship enables these women to invest in state-of-the-art computers to conduct their research, purchase expensive books and resource materials, and participate in specialized studies around the globe.
By Malakia Silcott
Malakia Silcott Associate Director