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Columbia Engineering Internship Fund



Columbia Engineering is pleased to announce the Columbia Engineering Internship Fund for summer 2014. The Columbia Engineering Internship Fund (CEIF) supports undergraduate students who have secured summer internships in engineering fields. This program, funded through generous alumni support, is designed to enable Columbia Engineering undergraduate students to gain real-world and research engineering experience. The Columbia Engineering Internship Fund:

  • Supports undergraduate students who have already secured unpaid or low paying summer internships or research opportunities
  • Provides stipends ranging from $500 to $5,000, depending on the nature of the internship as well as demonstrated student need
  • Supports both industry experience and research opportunities that provide hands-on engineering engagement when those opportunities would otherwise be financially difficult
  • Focuses on providing support for international internship experiences, though U.S.-based internships may be considered

The Columbia Engineering Internship Fund does not replace the Work Exemption Program (WEP). Undergraduate students who apply to the Columbia Engineering Internship Fund are encouraged, but not required, to apply to the WEP as well. Through WEP, undergraduate students have the option of applying for an exemption from the summer savings portion of their financial aid package as well as their academic year work expectations if they are engaged in unpaid activities, including summer internships.

Institutional funding through this program is made available with the sole intention of supporting students’ living expenses (such as housing, food and travel expenses).  This support enables students to participate in unpaid or low paid opportunities.  Funding is not provided in lieu of compensation for work and supervisors are required to acknowledge in the Employer Verification Form that participating organizations are compliant with the US Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and other applicable state and local legislation.


Currently registered Columbia Engineering undergraduate students who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply:

  • A rising sophomore, junior or senior undergraduate student in good standing with at least a 3.0 G.P.A.
  • A recipient of Columbia grant-based financial aid. If you are unsure if you receive grant-based financial aid, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid & Educational Financing.
  • Secured an unpaid or low paying engineering internship for summer 2014 prior to the application deadline.

Applicants who do not meet these criteria and incomplete applications will not be considered.

Please note, by submitting an application, you authorize the Center for Career Education to conduct academic, disciplinary and financial aid checks to confirm program eligibility and inform funding decisions. Certain University policy violations may disqualify you from consideration for Columbia Engineering Internship Fund funding.

Early Application Deadline

Wednesday, February 4, 2014 at 11:59 pm.

Final Application Deadline

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 11:59 pm.

How to Apply

Application Timeline

Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Columbia Engineering Internship Fund Committee begins accepting applications.

Wednesday, February 4, 2014
Early application deadline for students who have secured their summer internship and are ready to apply for funding - all applications for the Columbia Engineering Internship Fund 2014 program must be submitted through the online application and supporting documents must be submitted in full to LionSHARE by 11:59 pm. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
The Columbia Engineering Internship Fund Committee reviews applications.

Week of March 3, 2014
Applicants will be notified of their status in the program (accepted or declined). 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Final application deadline - all applications for the Columbia Engineering Internship Fund 2014 program must be submitted through the online application and supporting documents must be submitted in full to LionSHARE by 11:59 pm. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Wednesday - Friday, April 24 - 26, 2014
The Columbia Engineering Internship Fund Committee reviews applications.

Week of April 28, 2014
Applicants will be notified of their status in the program (accepted or declined).

About the Program

Columbia Engineering undergraduate students selected as Columbia Engineering Internship Fund grant recipients must commit to the following:

  • Professional Development Workshop & Dinner(May 7, 2014; 5 - 6:30 pm)
    This "Internship Success" workshop will help undergraduate students learn important skills and tips to succeed in their internships including how to initiate internship projects and responsibilities, work on a team, communicate with their supervisor and network.
  • Reflection Session(September 5, 2014; 2 - 3:30 pm)
    Recipients will participate in an interactive workshop to learn effective ways to communicate their internship experience to potential employers.
  • Formal reflection (due September 5, 2014)
    Recipients will write a thank you letter/reflective essay to their Columbia Engineering Internship Fund donor(s)
  • Budget reconciliation (due September 5, 2014)
    Recipients must submit a completed budget reconciliation detailing their summer expenses. 

If you are unable to fully commit to all these events, please describe why you cannot commit to an event on your application in the essay section on "Commitment." You will still be considered for the program.

Student Experiences

Bikesh Dahal

Bikesh Dahal, CE 2014

Internship: Sustainable Infrastructure Development Fund (SIDeF) 

Bikesh Dahal was born and raised in Kathmandu, Nepal. He came to the USA when he was 18 and attended William Jewell College for 3 years as a Physics major. He then transferred to Columbia University to pursue his dream of becoming an engineer and living in New York. He has been involved at various organizations and leadership positions throughout his college career. He was President of the Math society and Treasurer of the Physics Society at William Jewell College. Currently, he is doing research with Professor Terrell at his Tribology lab. This summer he will be working as a Project Manager for Sustainable Infrastructure Development Fund (SIDeF).

Yoachim Haynes

Yoachim Haynes, CE 2014

Internship: Grant Engineering

Yoachim is a rising senior pursuing a degree in Earth and Environmental Engineering. He is an international student joining us from the sunny islands of Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. He is passionate about both energy and water resource management as he views them both as two of the more pressing issues facing the world today.  He is also quite interested in the fields of marketing and event management, both of which he indulged in during his gap year before coming to Columbia. He is currently the President of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers. Outside of the classroom, Yoachim enjoys the occasional game of pool, traveling and spending time with his friends and family. He will spend this summer as an energy assistant in the energy services division of Grant Engineering, a start-up engineering consulting company in New York City. 


Marcellin Nshimiyimana, CE 2014


Internship: Engineers Without Borders, Uganda


I am Marcellin Nshimiyimana, a junior computer science major at Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science. I have followed the 3/2 engineering program from Sewanee, The University of the South. That is, I have studied 3 years at Sewanee and now I have two more years at Columbia University and I will graduate in 2014 with a BA from Sewanee and a BS in computer science at Columbia University. In a period of a month (May-23 to June-23), I will be in Uganda, working on the CU-EWB project. My team, along with Uganda’s local NGO’s Pilgrim, will install the Multi-Functional Platform (MFP) engines in two communities. We will also monitor the water harvesting system project, which CU-EWB implemented at the Beacon of Hope College.


I grew up in a small town, Byumba, in the North of Rwanda. This region has experienced a little of the 1994 Genocide devastation, so I was lucky to see all my family survive this incident. However, from elementary to high school, I used to see how other kids (who got affected by this Genocide) were struggling with their lives because they have nobody left to care for them. From this experience along with what I was learning from church, I felt like the only thing that would make me happy will be to see these kids living with hope. I never did anything about my ambition in Rwanda because I was still little, but when I came to college at University of the South, I started regularly getting involved in the outreach programs that were designed to offer volunteering services to different NGO’s in America. We worked with the Episcopal Community Services of Louisiana to rebuild New Orleans (from the Hurricane hit), the “Shake a leg” special needs outdoor programs in MIAMI, and the Gay Men's Health Crisis Center (GMHC) in New York. Although, I was working for a good cause, I never found a good way to apply my academic knowledge to the work that we were doing.


In my first year at Columbia (junior year), I joined CU-EWB chapter and traveled, during the winter of 2012, to Uganda to work on the CU-EWB’s MFP project. During this trip, my mentor, Professor Steve Forbes and I had a discussion about why villagers seemed to show little development despite all the outside help they get. One answer that he gave was the lack of communication or lack of reliable information access about what is going on in the marketplace. From that time on, I noticed that Information Technology can help villagers resolve this problem. As I am following the network systems track, I see my future heading toward integrating low cost Information Technology centers in rural areas where communication is a problem. Of course the question is always resources and the right study for a good model that will bring positive impact on the development of communities in which the project will be implemented.

Lucas Oliver

Lucas Oliver, CE 2015

Internship: Engineers Without Borders, Ghana

Lucas was born and raised in Rochester, NY, but spent an extensive portion of his childhood in northeastern Brazil. He is a dedicated karate student and teacher, has played the violin professionally for many years, and academically has a very technical mind which he has always wanted to use outside of the classroom. He is a Civil Engineering major and Applied Math minor in the SEAS class of 2015, and became involved with Engineers Without Borders just days after arriving on campus in his freshman year. This summer, Lucas will be traveling to Obodan, Ghana, to implement a water distribution and filtration system with the Engineers Without Borders organization. After graduation, he intends to continue his work in implementing sustainable infrastructure systems in developing communities.