Sophomores Katy Welp and Jessica Gorski Win Internship Grant at SophoMORE Connections

Hannah Fuchs

At the SophoMORE Connections event this past January, sophomores Jessica Gorski and Katy Welp each won $4,000 in a lottery for an internship grant.

SophoMORE Connections, which provides a chance for the sophomore class to explore potential career paths by networking with various alumni, took place from January 16 to January 18 this year. This is the second year Colgate’s Center for Career Services has organized Sophomore Connections and the grant lottery also occurred last year. Alumni Relations, Career Services, the Class of 2016, Dean of Faculty and the Institutional Advancement sponsored the series this year.

For lottery eligibility, each sophomore was required to attend a career cluster, a session dedicated to a certain industry such as law or non-profit, and to attend the networking event on Friday night.

The $4,000 dollar award guarantees summer internship funding to the two women who would ordinarily have to apply through Career Services and compete against many applicants.  Last year, 183 students applied for summer internship funding and only 75 students received the funding. Both Welp and Gorski must still complete the application process for Career Services to receive final approval.

“Last summer I had an internship doing research, so I think I would like to use the grant to do research again or volunteer abroad,” Welp said.  Gorski is also currently exploring her options for grant use.

“I’m a Spanish major, and I think going to Spain and doing something there with education or volunteering would be a really cool way to use the money the best I can – I really want to become fluent, but also want to do something beneficial for the non-profit sector,” Gorski said. “It’s all very tentative now, but I’m putting the pieces together because I know this is an opportunity I won’t be lucky enough to have again.”

Besides winning the grant, Gorski and Welp both found the SophoMORE Connections event to be a valuable experience.

“I think this was a great way to get sophomores thinking about what they want to do and how to best use their summers to figure it out,” Welp said. “I was able to make helpful connections with alumni.”

Gorski similarly felt she gained worthy insight from the event.

“I actually came out of the SophoMORE Connections event with a lot of clarity, which was something I was not really expecting,” Gorski said. “I went into the event with a very broad idea of what I’m interested in doing with my future, but no clear concept of how I would follow through with my ideas. After attending a couple of panels, I was able to speak with the woman in the Peace Corps about her experience and the application process, so I was really happy I came out of it feeling a lot more knowledgeable about the things I’ve always been interested in.”

Above all, the grant has allowed these two sophomores to further clarify possible career paths and to maximize access to career opportunities.

“Without the grant, I couldn’t have even dreamed of considering going out of the country,” Gorski said. “I probably would have worked all summer and I don’t think an unpaid internship would have even been on my radar. It definitely opened a lot of doors for me, which made it all the more exciting.”

Although many students did not receive funding last year, students are still encouraged to apply if they meet the requirements outlined on the Career Services Summer Internship Funding page.

“We are anticipating even more applicants for summer internship funding this year, but we also have more funding to give,” said Alumni Engagement Coordinator Jillian Arnault.

The deadline to apply for the Summer Internship Funding is March 6.

Contact Hannah Fuchs at [email protected]