The Bright Futures Internship Scholarship Fund was launched in 2009 by the University Career Center & The Presidentís Promise. The fund provides University of Maryland undergraduate students with need-based scholarships to help offset expenses associated with participating in an unpaid internship.
Internships are an essential part of the University of Maryland experience, allowing students to apply classroom theory to real-world work settings. Once considered a luxury, internships have become a necessity for our undergraduates given the current labor market. Employers increasingly expect to see work-related experience in their new hires. A staggering 95 percent of employers said work-related experience is a key factor in hiring decisions, according to an annual survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Nearly half of surveyed employers converted their interns into new hires.
Understanding the importance of internships, the University of Marylandís goal is for every undergraduate student to have at least one internship prior to graduation. This goal can be challenging for students pursuing an unpaid internship, especially if participation in the opportunity imposes additional expenses. To address this problem, the University Career Center & The Presidentís Promise created the Bright Futures initiative. Bright Futures works with our donor community of alumni, parents and families to provide direct funding to students who might not otherwise have the financial resources to participate in unpaid or low paid internships. These important funds give students the chance to take part in essential and transformative opportunities.