The Professional-Leadership Internship Program is the most recent major enhancement for the Flinn Scholars Program, providing a unique opportunity for Scholars to form long-lasting professional connections with Arizona companies and organizations.
The program, which provides supplemental scholarship grant funding of up to $5,000 to participating Flinn Scholars, began in 2015 with five Scholars participating in internships with Arizona organizations. These included prestigious research institutes, a fast-growing bioscience firm, and a high-achieving charter-school network.
Scholars have made invaluable connections, including follow-on research opportunities and at least one situation where the Scholar was hired by the company for which he interned. In fact, each internship supervisor said they would hire their Scholar intern if they were in a position to do so.
The Flinn Scholar internship experience is distinctive among similar programs because of its emphasis on interacting with key leaders at the host organizations. Scholars are also given the opportunity to take on substantial projects that complement their academic studies. All internships are required to be off-campus to ensure that Scholars’ professional networks develop to the greatest extent possible.
Participation in the Professional-Leadership Internship Program is encouraged, but not required, of Flinn Scholars. The internship typically takes place during the third year of undergraduate studies, or in the summer preceding or following that year. Flinn Foundation staff members facilitate the placement of the Scholar with a local company or nonprofit organization and conduct significant outreach to potential internship host organizations.
The program is expanding in 2017 and beyond with a wider range of internship options available and a greater number of Scholars participating.