Ariel Internship FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Ariel?

Ariel is the name given to the college-funded internship program at the Santa Fe campus. The Ariel Internship Program, created in 2004, provides stipends to undergraduates for a limited number of summer internship opportunities regardless of financial need. Modeled after the Hodson Internship Program at the Annapolis campus, the Ariel program is competitive.

What is the purpose of the program?

St. John’s College does not endorse internships during the intense academic year due to its demanding structured curriculum. However, the college acknowledges that internships have become a significant component in modern academia. This program provides the opportunity for undergraduates to gain career-exploration experiences similar to those available to students in other institutions. It also allows students to dedicate themselves to the internship experience by eliminating the need for summer employment by offering a generous stipend.

Who can apply and how much is available?

Only current full-time undergraduates at Santa Fe may apply for Ariel funding (Annapolis students apply for Hodson funds). The maximum award in Santa Fe is $4,000 for full-time internships with a minimum of 300 contact hours, but stipend amounts vary depending on each situation, including amount requested and duration of the internship. Transfer students from Annapolis may apply while enrolled in Santa Fe, as may graduating seniors and students planning on taking a year off. International students are also eligible, but must first meet with the Office of Personal and Professional Development to discuss the specific guidelines.

Why are there two separate programs?

Each campus has its own endowment, which specifies how the funds are disbursed. In addition to the general internship fund, the Santa Fe campus has a limited amount of funds specifically designated for biomedical. Contact the Office of Personal and Professional Development for instructions regarding funding for an internship in this field.

How many stipends will be awarded?

The number of stipends varies depending on how much funding is available and the amount of each student’s request.

Why is it called Ariel?

The name Ariel is derived from the mischievous sprite in Shakespeare’s The Tempest. It also serves as an acronym for Award for Relating Intense Education to Life.

How do I apply?

Application packets are available in November and must be submitted by mid-February. The application is designed to prepare you for what you might expect from a graduate school application. Components include an application form, a resume, an essay, and two letters of recommendation (at least one from a tutor). In addition, each application must include details about the student’s activities during the proposed internship(s) and a rough budget of anticipated summer expenses while pursuing the internship (room & board, transportation, insurance, miscellaneous—entertainment, laundry, prescriptions etc.).

How do I get an internship?

The Office of Personal and Professional Development is available to assist you while you research and apply for an internship, but only you are capable of identifying your interests and determining which avenues you wish to pursue. Be aware that some high-profile internships are extremely competitive, so it’s best to begin your research as soon as possible (some deadlines can be as early as October!). You do not have to have an internship secured by the Ariel application deadline, but providing information on the organizations you are pursuing is a necessary part of the application. (It is OK to apply to multiple programs in order to increase your chances of being accepted to one.) Please know that stipends awarded for pending internships are contingent upon securing the internship. This means that if you are awarded funds but the internship falls through, you will have to decline the award (and an alternate recipient may be selected at the discretion of the Internship Committee).

How are the award recipients selected?

The Ariel Internship Committee, comprised of faculty and staff, considers each application individually on its overall strength and focus. The primary criteria are interest and career exploration potential for the student. Financial need may be addressed during deliberations, but it is not a determining factor. A student may only receive one Ariel stipend in a given year, and no student will be awarded more than twice. Decisions of the Internship Committee are final.

What types of internships are awarded?

The list is long and varied, with the common thread being passion for a particular field of interest. Past internships include everything from the most popular (medicine/science, law/government, education/youth) to the unconventional (internships with a guitar craftsman, a midwife, a composer, a musk ox farm, a prison). A list of previously awarded internships is available from the Office of Personal and Professional Development, as are the student reports about each internship experience.

Can I go overseas?

Not in most instances. We have found that interest in internships abroad tends to be more about the overseas experience than the career aspiration. Besides, overseas assignments are too high a liability and safety risk for the college and there are plenty of opportunities in the United States. If you have a strong interest in a particular region of the world, consider organizations stateside that serve that region. (You are allowed to work in the stateside location of an overseas organization.) There are two exceptions to the overseas rule: 1) US citizens may under rare and pre-approved circumstances pursue select federal government assignments abroad and 2) international students are allowed to intern in their own country, provided it is an established organization.

What if I have a couple of internships I am interested in?

As long as the internships are similar, you may submit multiple scenarios with your application, with the understanding that you will select only one if funds are awarded. If you have two divergent career goals and plan to pursue both, you will need to discuss this with the Office Personal and Professional Development in advance.

What if I can’t accept the internship unless I am awarded the stipend?

Be sure to make it clear to the host organization that your acceptance of the internship is contingent upon receiving an Ariel award. Most organizations, especially those offering unpaid internships, know that financial assistance may be a significant factor. On the other hand, if you are awarded Ariel funds before securing the internship, telling the organization that you have secured financial support may improve your chances of being accepted.

What if I really want the internship but didn’t get the stipend?

Only you can decide if you still want the internship, even without a stipend. Be resourceful to find additional funding; the Office of Personal and Professional Development may be able to help.

I really need the stipend. What if I don’t get the award?

The best way to secure both the internship and receive Ariel funds is to invest the time and effort to make sure your proposal is sincere and compelling. If money is a major consideration, try broadening your scope to investigate related opportunities that offer a stipend or salary. If you apply yourself, a good summer job can be just as rewarding as an internship.

What if the internship I found offers a stipend? Can I still apply?

Yes. Again, the primary criteria for awarding stipends are interest and potential benefit to the student. Financial need is not an essential selection factor, but that doesn’t mean that you should just ask for the full $4,000 if you can get by with less. If you can afford to do so, requesting less than $4,000 might increase your chances of receiving funding because it would allow us to award stipends to more students.

What are the deadlines?

  • Applications are due by mid-February.
  • Decisions announced before Spring Break.

Why are the deadlines so early?

The dates allow us to make the announcement prior to spring break in order to give you the opportunity to begin making summer plans, whether you received the stipend or not.

For More information About Ariel

Download this FAQ as a PDF. For more information contact the Office of Personal and Professional Development, Weigle Hall, Room 13.

Pier Quintana
Assistant Director of Personal and Professional Development
St. John’s College
1160 Camino de Cruz Blanca
Santa Fe, NM 87505

Fax: 505-984-6167