We’re a progressive, nonpartisan think tank based in New York City with an additional office in Washington, D.C. We create policy reports on a variety of important issues, such as economic inequality, education reform, workers’ rights, America’s social safety net, and foreign policy, to name a few.
Interesting. Tell me more.
The Century Foundation was founded by Edward Filene in 1919. If the name “Filene” sounds vaguely familiar, it might be because you’ve shopped in his Basement. Filene realized that the salespeople who sold merchandise in his family’s store couldn’t afford to buy any of it, so he created a separate floor to sell excess inventory at a discount.
Filene’s Basement was a savvy business idea, but it also reflected Filene’s broader interest in social justice, economic equality, educational opportunity, social insurance, workers’ rights, and democracy around the world. These interests and values continue to infuse and inspire the work TCF does to this day.
So I’ll be making coffee for social crusaders?
Nope. For us, an internship is more than just a place to hang your hat for forty hours a week. You’ll build important skills, add to your portfolio, meet interesting people, and hopefully even have some fun. We typically invite around six Summer Scholars to join us each summer, so you will get to build meaningful relationships with your peers as well.
Over the course of the summer, Summer Scholars will be responsible for at least one major project. Program participants are also expected to write blog posts for TCF’s website, sharing ideas that emerge from your research here.
You’ll also participate in regular skills workshops on topics ranging from writing for an online audience to public speaking.
Finally, to make sure your experiences are broader than the walls of our office, you’ll help organize networking opportunities that connect you with other interns and young professionals working at progressive organizations around the city.
What will these projects look like?
Project opportunities vary each year. We choose areas of focus that complement the work TCF fellows and staff are already doing. The research and writing you do will help advance TCF’s work, so we’re intent on making it a meaningful experience.
Our Summer Scholars work fall in three broad areas:
- Policy Research and Analysis
- Editorial and Communications
- Nonprofit Management
In the past, our policy research Summer Scholars have covered topics as varied as socioeconomic diversity in public schools, the Affordable Care Act, income disparity, and U.S. policy in the Middle East.
On the editorial and communications side, Summer Scholars have developed graphic design projects, built websites, edited commentaries, and maintained short-form schedules.
For nonprofit management, Summer Scholars have developed and implemented a funding strategy for a particular policy area, or worked on a business recovery plan.
How does the program work?
You’ll be with us in our New York City office for eight weeks, full-time. The dates of the program are Monday, June 4 through Friday, July 27, 2018.
In some (rare) exceptions, we can alter the dates of the program, but we really prefer candidates who can work during the official period.
Umm, will I get paid?
Yes. You’ll receive a stipend of $5,000 for the summer. We’ll also cover your local commuting costs to and from the office with two thirty-day unlimited MetroCards. We’ll occasionally even pick up the tab for lunch. Mr. Filene wouldn’t have it any other way.
How do I apply?
First, you should be in an undergraduate, master’s, or doctoral program. Recent college graduates are also welcome to apply.
Second, you should read each description carefully. You may apply for more than one Summer Scholar position, but each requires a separate submission. In recent years, 90 percent of successful applicants applied for a single position.
If you choose to apply to more than one position we strongly encourage you to tailor your cover letters to specifically address your interest in that particular field and opportunity. You may address your letter to the Summer Scholars Selection Committee.
Third, you must be eligible to work in the United States, for example by being a citizen or being a student with an F-1 visa.
Dust off that resume or create a new one, write a compelling cover letter to distinguish yourself from the other applicants, and share two writing samples.
What kind of writing samples do you want?
There are no specific guidelines for the writing samples. They can be, really, anything—a paper for a class, an article or blogpost you’ve done for a publication, a report for work, or an excerpt from an essay or thesis. Each one could be a page, or two, or ten. We want to keep it simple so you don’t have to spend time trying to modify or tailor anything for us. Give us a sense of how you communicate and convey ideas. In short, pick work that represents you well.
What’s the timeline?
You must apply by February 14, 2018 to be considered. We review applications on a rolling basis, but make no decisions until after all applications have been reviewed.
We’ll schedule interviews by the end of February and make our selections by mid-March.
While we wish we could speak with all of you individually, due to the volume of applications we receive, we’re only able to contact those individuals selected for interviews.
Do you have a party line?
Nope. We value diversity of opinion here. In fact, our graduates have said that our commitment to intellectual freedom is one of the highlights of the program. You should know that we are deeply committed to advancing progressive public policy solutions. But we pride ourselves on having a big tent when it comes to defining what it means to be progressive.