Social Internships are bridges between theory and reality, between half-formed dreams and life-changing experience. During eight-week sessions in places such as Cape Town, Jamaica, or even New York, these summer internships give students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom and to impact a partner organization’s work. What may have begun as an alternative summer experience often extends into a lifelong mission of service.
At the Gigot Center, social internships have been a key component of our program almost since its inception. Both graduate and undergraduate students can further their understanding of the complexities and challenges of entrepreneurial ventures in developing countries. They also learn about sustainable and responsible development. The experience can be rigorous, but the work performed by the intern helps partner organizations extend their missions and have greater impact on surrounding communities.
THE INTERN EXPERIENCE
Our interns have researched and written white papers on low-income housing, microenterprise development and microfinance, national credit acts and black empowerment. They have created marketing strategies and financial models, implemented accounting systems, and improved operational strategies for micro-businesses. They have written business plans for a dialysis unit, an assisted living facility, a hydroponic farm as well as developed and taught community workshops to low-income entrepreneurs.
They work with notable organizations such as Grassroots Soccer, Catholic Welfare and Development, Ikamva Labantu, the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office, and The Business Place. In Kingston, Jamaica, MBA students teach an eight-week, senior-level course, Entrepreneurship and New Venture Development, to students at the University of West Indies.
SOCIAL INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
International internships involving MBA and Microventuring students:
- Kenya – Partnership with IU’s AMPATH Family Preservation Initiative
- Cambodia – Partnership with Pepy Tours
- Jamaica – Partnerships with University of West Indies and Jamaica Youth Business Trust
- Guatemala – Partnership with HANDS/Vista Volcanes
- Uganda – Partnership with Ford Family Program/Uganda Martyrs
Domestic internships in collaboration with the Center for Social Concerns:
- South Bend – Partnership with Dismas House/Dismas Designs
- Elkhart – Partnership with Soup of Success
- New Orleans – Partnership with Broadmoor Development
- Astoria, NY – Partnership with Sisters of the Good Shepherd/Handcrafting Justice
- Pittsburgh– Partnerships with Bethlehem Haven/Social Venture Partners/Sustainable Pittsburgh
- Appalachia – Partnership with Crossroads Rural Entrepreneurial Institute
In addition to the Center offerings, the
Gigot Center is working in collaboration with other University of Notre
Dame programs and centers to engage business and non-business students
in meaningful internship experiences, including the Center for Social Concerns and the Ford Family Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity, housed in the Kellogg Institute for International Studies.