As a first-year student, there are many ways to build experience through internships, research, volunteering, student club activities, and on-campus jobs. Here are a handful of opportunities to get started.

On and Off-Campus Internships & Work Experiences

Internships and work experiences offer great opportunities to explore different industries and work environments, as well as build valuable skills.

Center for Career Education Internship Programs

CCE Internship Programs:

- Career Exploration Summits

- CCE Alumni Mentorship Program (CAMP)

- Navab Fellowship Program

- Virtual Internship Program (VIP)

On-Campus Employment

There are two types of on-campus employment both with different eligibility requirements: federal work-study jobs and casual jobs.

January Application Development Experience Week-long immersion program in the statup ecosystem of NYC. Open to first years in CC and SEAS; $100 program fee
Pre-Professional Advising Listserv

Pre-law and pre-health listservs promote opportunities on and off campus: CC/SEAS Pre-Professional Advising and GS Pre-Professional Advising.

Congressional and White House Internship Program Advising Provides assistance to undergraduates interested in spending the summer interning in either the local or Washington, DC office of a United States Congressperson.

Volunteer and Social Impact Experience

Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, as well as brush up on your leadership and teamwork skills while exploring areas or causes of interest to you.

Community Impact Volunteer to serve the local community through a variety of programs
Double Discovery Center Volunteer and paid teaching assistant positions. Serves over 1,000 low-income and first generation college-bound youth

Academic and Field Research Experience

Getting research experience during your time as an undergraduate can aid in your pursuit for graduate school or certain career opportunities. There are many opportunities available to conduct research alongside faculty at Columbia or other universities and research institutes.

Research with Arts & Sciences Faculty Arts & Sciences faculty of all disciplines are keen to include undergraduates in their research. Learn how to get involved.
Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship The Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University offers on-campus research opportunities for the summer term
Research with Engineering Faculty Engineering faculty members actively encourage student involvement in research as an integral part of the educational process
Summer@SEAS: Summer Research Program Students will be able to identify research opportunities (supported by the Dean’s Office or NSF-REUs) in SEAS for the summer through this link. Research opportunities outside of Columbia will also be posted
Summer Ecosystems Experiences Fieldwork in unique natural settings (India, Jordan, and Brazil) combining lab work with classroom instructions

Student Activities and Leadership Experience

Getting involved with student organizations offers the chance to meet likeminded students, explore your interests, and gain leadership skills.

Student Clubs and Organizations Join one of Columbia’s 500+ student groups, many of which offer ways to explore career paths, offer employer connections and events.


Examples of student organizations include: Engineers Without Borders, Student Council, Columbia Organization of Rising Entrepreneurs, Women’s Business Society, Columbia Spectator, and many more!

Funding Opportunities to Gain Experience

There are numerous programs on campus that provide funding to selected students to participate in summer experiences related to their career or academic studies. 


CCE Administered Internship Funding Programs

- Andrew Hyman Fellowship in Public Service Fund: Eligibility: CC students; no financial aid requirement

- Columbia College Alumni and Parent Internship Fund: Eligibility: CC students receiving grant-based financial aid

- Columbia Engineering Internship Fund: Eligibility: SEAS students receiving grant-based financial aid

- Columbia Undergraduate Startup Internship Fund: Eligibility: CC, SEAS, and GS students receiving grant-based financial aid

- Eric Holder Internship Fund: Eligibility: CC students; no financial aid requirement

- Prtizker Pucker Summer Internship Fund: Eligibility: CC students; no financial aid requirement

- Scheidt Internship Fund for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities: Eligibility: CC students; no financial aid requirement

- Work Exemption Program: Eligibility: CC and SEAS students receiving grant-based financial aid

Columbia Presidential Global Fellowship — Study Abroad Funding Provides first year undergraduates with funding/ professional & academic support for Columbia summer study abroad program
Congressional Internship Stipend Program Provides assistance to undergraduates interested in spending the summer interning in either the local or Washington, DC office of a United States Congressperson