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SIF Application Process



Currently registered undergraduate students (CC, SEAS, GS) who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply:

  • A rising sophomore, junior, or senior in good academic and disciplinary standing with at least a 3.0 G.P.A.
  • A recipient of Columbia grant-based financial aid. Please check with your school's financial aid office to confirm you are eligible.
  • Secured an unpaid or low-paid (less than minimum wage) internship at a startup* for summer 2017 prior to the application deadline.

*For the purpose of this program the term startup will be defined as a company that has been in existence for 5 years or less, is growing quickly but whose ultimate success is far from assured. Please note that this definition is not limited to technology companies and can be applied to a variety of industries—for profit or non-for profit. 

Applicants who do not meet these criteria and have 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 the SIP program. 


  1. Submit the online SIF application prior to the deadline of Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 11:59 pm.
  2.  Four of the six documents will be uploaded with the SIF application. The letter of recommendation and employer verification form will be completed using the link provided: 


Please provide a written personal statement limited to three pages, double-spaced, size 12, one inch margins, addressing the following:

  1. Description of the opportunity:  Describe in as much detail as possible the internship (the organization, your role/responsibilities). List duties, projects to be completed, deadlines, etc.  Talk about why you want to work at the particular organization. In particular, explain how this company meets the provided definition of a startup.
  2. Learning Objectives:  Provide your responses to these questions
    • What do you intend to learn through this experience?
    • What goals do you hope to achieve through this experience?
    • How does this experience fit into your overall academic interests and/or interest in entrepreneurship and startups
  3.  Supervision:  Describe in as much detail as you can the supervision to be provided.  Include what kind of instruction, assistance, training, etc., you will receive, and from whom you expect to get it.  Note when and how you will be evaluated and who will do it.
  4. Commitment: Students selected for the Startup Internship Fund are required to participate in all the different opportunities associated with the program, including: 
      • Professional Development Webshop - This "Internship Success" workshop will help students learn important skills and tips to succeed in their internships including how to initiate projects and responsibilities, work on a team, communicate with their supervisor and network.
      • Reflection session (September 15, 2017) – Students will participate in an interactive workshop to learn effective ways to communicate their internship experience to potential employers.
      • Formal written reflection from student (due September 9, 2016) - Students will write a thank you letter/reflective essay to their donor(s).
      • Budget reconciliation (due September 15, 2017) - Students will provide a detailed account of 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.

      PDF icon sif_budget_2016.pdf288.48 KB