WOW FAQ

 

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What constitutes a complete application?

There are five parts to the WOW application: the online application; a resume; a copy of your Brandeis transcript; two (2) letters of recommendation; and a letter from your future supervisor offering you a position for the summer.  Please carefully review and follow the application instructions.  All materials must de delivered as by the deadline.  We do not accept partial or late applications.

What are the deadlines and schedule of notification?

Application is due April 1, 2014. Fellows will be notified by mid-April. You can see more on the WOW Timeline

What are the program requirements for length and number of hours of the internship?

 The internship must be a minimum of 8 weeks. Universal WOW internships must be at least 200 hours; the work schedule is usually 30 to 40 hours per week.  The Louis D. Brandeis Social Justice WOW internship must be full time over a span of 8 weeks. The internship should involve substantive duties and meet a set of goals agreed upon by the student and the sponsor/supervisor at the work site.

The length of time is important to the program as it exposes you to the world of work and its inner workings. Internships shorter than 8 weeks cannot be considered for WOW.

Who is eligible to apply?

Applicants must be current Brandeis University first-years, sophomores, or juniors, in good academic and community standing, and proposing an unpaid summer internship.  See other Eligibility criteria here.

 

International students must discuss their plans with the ISSO prior to applying to learn about any visa issues related to their proposed internship. If doing the internship in the United States, international students must be enrolled in a credit-bearing course in the summer (INT 92g for example) and have CPT authorization.  Contact ISSO for more information.

Is the program open to all fields of work?

Students can propose internships in any field; since students choose their internship sites, they should be motivated to explore the field as a potential career interest. The internship should involve substantive duties and meet a set of goals agreed upon by the student and the sponsor/supervisor at the work site.

Special subsets of WOWs are awarded for social justice and social work-related experiences. Students applying for these awards must have internships that fit the appropriate subject matter.  If you have questions about whether or not your internship fits within the criteria of the different WOWs, please contact Jane Pavese at jpavese@brandeis.edu.

Can I work in either the private or public sector?

Yes, you can. There are no restrictions on the internship field for the Universal WOW funds. 

However, internships for the Louis D. Brandeis Social Justice WOW must be with a non-profit organization.

I’m getting paid for my internship; can I still apply to WOW?

No.  The WOW program is designed to support student internships at organizations that do not have the resources to pay interns for their work. 

Can I do my internship during the academic year?

No.  The WOW program currently supports students pursuing summer internships only.

Will WOW sponsor me to do thesis research?

No.  Applicants doing thesis research are not eligible for WOW funding; the program’s aim is to support students pursuing workplace career objectives in organizational environments.

What should the Letter of Offer from my proposed sponsor/supervisor include?

The Letter of Offer confirms that you have been offered an internship at your work site, detailing (1) the time frame and number of hours, (2) the work that you will be performing, (3) acknowledges the goals that you and organization have discussed for your internship, and (4) suggests how you will be supervised/mentored during the summer. This letter is a crucial part of your application and should paint a clear picture of your proposed work there, and should be tailored to your skills and expectations. 

What happens if I don't have an internship secured by the deadline?

Unfortunately, we cannot accept partial or late applications.  However, many employers are willing to expedite their decision-making process if they are aware that you are applying for funding through your university.  Follow up with the organization to indicate that are hoping to apply for WOW.  You may choose to include this letter which explains the WOW program to employers.

Can I work in my home country or abroad?

Yes, applicants can propose internships in any country. However, please know that the Hiatt Career Center is concerned about your health and safety while traveling and living abroad. Please consult the State Department Travel Advisory when deciding on places where you would like to gain your experience. 

Can I win a WOW award twice in my career at Brandeis?

No.  Past WOW recipients (Universal, Social Justice, or Social Work) are not eligible to receive additional WOW funds in subsequent years.

If you have previously applied to WOW and were not selected, you are encouraged to apply again.  There is no limit for the number of times you can apply for WOW funding.

Can I do two separate internships that equal the required length and number of hours?

No.  The program is designed to fund a single internship at an organization providing an opportunity to learn about and explore a specific set of career related goals.  The benefit of one internship site is that it fosters a commitment between two partners – intern and employer – to an in-depth and sustained work experience where mentors learn about the student’s needs over time and the student makes a substantive contribution to the organization’s work.

How and when do I get my check?

Students are now required to participate in direct deposit.  To sign up for a direct deposit account, please visit the BUSS site.  Fellows will receive the stipend in the spring, prior to leaving campus.

Do I have to account for my expenses with receipts or other documents?

Selected WOW Fellows do not have to account for their expenses.  The program expects that students will pursue the internship for which they were selected and that the funds will support this effort.  If for any reason a participant drops out of the program, the Hiatt Career Center will discuss the feasibility of returning any remaining funds back to the program.

Will someone at Hiatt be available during my summer internship if I need assistance?

Yes, you will be assigned a Hiatt counselor who will check in with you at the beginning, middle, and end of your internship. You can always contact Hiatt over the summer for information and advice as you pursue your WOW internship. Hiatt is open during regular business hours throughout the summer. 

What if I am studying abroad in the spring?

The WOW website contains specific instructions and information for students currently studying abroad, where applicable. Hiatt will work with you to fulfil all program requirements.

If you are studying abroad in the Spring:

  • Please refer to the Application page for specific instructions on how to deliver your application and appropriate materials to us.
  • If you are selected as a fellow, we will work with you to obtain pre-departure information and your stipend.  

I got my internship through an organization that arranges opportunities for students with companies and institutions; am I eligible for WOW funding?

No. Internships that are secured FOR students by an internship placement service through a third-party organization are NOT eligible for WOW support. The WOW program’s focus is to fund internships that students identify themselves, at a specific site and based on a set of individualized career and learning goals. The search for an internship is a valuable skill in itself, as it will prepare you for subsequent job applications. 

Can I pursue an experience on campus?

The primary goal of WOW funds is to support your exploration of the world of work. Broadening your experiences by working off-campus, and thus creating a larger career network, should be your priority when researching potential internships. However, we recognize that in certain cases (for example, laboratory research), continuity of work on campus would be more beneficial for your career. In such cases, you must be explicit in your application statement as to why the on-campus internship rather than an off-campus experience better fits your specific goals.