Last year, when University Career Services began its British Bulldogs internship program, competition for the positions was fierce as 385 students applied for 14 jobs.
At a Thursday evening meeting attended by about 60 interested students, UCS director Philip Jones said he expects the number of applications to increase this year, despite the fact that London is among the world’s most expensive cities and all but a few of the positions are unpaid. Individual companies and organizations affiliated with the program will accept 16 students for ten-week summer internships in London.
“It will be a competitive process,” Jones said.
Housing, which Jones said is the biggest single expense associated with working in London, is provided by the program for students who are selected for unpaid internships. Students who were involved in the program last year said they found their internship experiences meaningful even without monetary compensation, but the free housing played a significant role in their decisions to participate.
“I knew that I probably wasn’t going to participate in the program if housing wasn’t going to be provided for us,” said Mark Aziz ’05, who worked in Parliament with the Shadow Secretary of State for Defense. “But even though I wasn’t going to be paid, it was a valuable experience.”
Like those Yalies who participated last year, students involved in British Bulldogs this summer will need to cover their own airfare, visa costs and living expenses, Jones said.
Students also said program coordinators, in addition to arranging for students’ accommodations, organized opportunities for them to meet area alumni and visit other Yalies’ internship sites including the London Symphony Orchestra, Parliament and Sotheby’s.
“We all benefitted from everyone else’s job,” Jessica Rivkin ’05 said. “Everyone loved their internship. There was not one person who came back with a negative experience.”
Rivkin said living with other Yalies in facilities provided by the program was beneficial not only in terms of cost, but also because it gave the students a sense of community and allowed them to share their experiences with each other.
While Rivkin said she considered applying to the program again this year and would “definitely” do it again if given the opportunity, Aziz said he enjoyed his time in London but wants to try working elsewhere in the future.
“I’m more partial to countries that are sunnier and a little bit hotter,” he said. “I don’t think I would do it again, but I had a fantastic experience and would definitely recommend it to anyone … London is a lot of fun during the summer.”
Jones said the applications to the program, requiring students to submit letters of intent and resumes for up to two positions, are due a month earlier this year because of visa delays some students experienced last year. He said sponsors of the internships will make their decisions by late February.
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