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What is the Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship?
The Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship is a program of The Thomas J. Watson Foundation. The Jeannette K. Watson gives promising and accomplished undergraduates who attend an eligible college in New York City the possibility of on-the-job learning that will:
The Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship will begin in June 2013 and continue through August 2015. During this time period, you will be expected to complete successfully three summers of paid internships of up to 10 weeks that will enhance your vocational goals and personal interests. The 2013 summer will begin with a three-day orientation May 30- June 1, 2013. Internships, seminars, and cultural events will extend through August 2, 2013. Attendance is also required at several term-time seminars held on Saturdays.
Is There a Stipend?
Yes. The stipend is $5,000 for the first summer, $6000 for the second summer and $6000 for the third summer.
Who is eligible to apply?
To be eligible, you must be a second semester freshman or sophomore majoring or intending to major in a liberal arts discipline and must have at least four semesters of full-time academic work remaining after the term in which you apply to become a J.K. Watson Fellow. You must be enrolled at one of the twelve invited colleges:
What qualities does the Fellowship look for in selecting Fellows?
Internships in the first two years must be a minimum of eight weeks of full-time work five days a week. By mutual agreement between the Fellow and the host organization the internship may be longer. In the third Watson summer when Fellows normally pursue overseas internships, the minimum is 10 weeks of full-time work, and longer by mutual agreement between the Fellow and the host organization.
Will I have any chance to have a vacation or travel outside of my internship in my three summers?
Watson Fellows in their first two years are expected to devote themselves completely to their internships from the first Thursday of June through the first full week in August. Depending on your home school’s academic calendar you may have time either before or after this period for travel, vacation, time with family, etc. Fellows often choose to complete their third Watson summer after their graduation in May so that they can continue to travel overseas after they complete their third Watson internship.
I plan to take a summer course next summer. If I do so in the evening, may I still become a Watson Fellow?
Watson Fellows are expected to be fully committed to the Watson Fellowship internship, seminars, cultural program, group projects, etc. during the weeks mentioned above. Therefore, Fellows are not permitted to take classes or to engage in paid employment during the period of the Watson Fellowship.
I already have an internship for next summer. May I complete that internship as a Jeannette K. Watson Fellow?
It is possible for Fellows to initiate their own internship in the second or third Watson summer but not in their first summer. In the first summer you must be in a Watson-initiated internship. It is important that Fellows express an intellectual curiosity and willingness to explore internships in a variety of fields rather than to expect to have a succession of internships within a narrow field of professional interest.
I am considering transferring to another college. If I am chosen, may I continue as a Watson Fellow if enrolled other than at the college which nominated me?
Were you to transfer to another Watson-affiliated college, there would be no problem. Were you to transfer to a college outside of New York City continuation as a Fellow would not be possible. Should you transfer to a college within the five boroughs of the city but not a Watson-affiliated college, it might conceivably be possible. In any case, if you are thinking of transferring, you must make that clear to your Campus Representative at the time of your selection.
I am an observant Jew unable to travel or work on Saturdays. What alternate arrangements do you make with respect to Saturday seminars?
Unfortunately, the work of Watson Fellows takes place in groups and no alternative arrangements are made. Not only are there Saturday seminars during the academic year; there are also a number of cultural events on Saturdays during the summer, though it is possible to complete the cultural participation requirement without attending any Saturday summer events.
Jeannette K. Watson Fellows are supposed to major in a liberal arts discipline. How do I know whether my major falls within your definition of “liberal arts?”
This is a matter best taken up with your Campus Representatives. The general principle is that undergraduates majoring in professional fields --- business, management, nursing, education, social work, accounting, criminal justice, etc. – are not eligible unless they are at the same time completing a second major in English, chemistry, economics, etc. But do not rule yourself out without first talking with your Campus Representative.
What other educational opportunities does the Fellowship offer beyond the internships?
The Fellowship offers a variety of professional development opportunities including workshops, career and graduate school panels, opportunities for mock interviews, mentoring, a bi-annual visit to a major research university for advice on applications and graduate study, opportunities to improve your professional writing through professional journals which are closely read and edited each summer, a vibrant summer cultural program in the first two years, and opportunities to network with JK Watson alumni.
How do I apply?
All application materials and instructions are available here. Prior to completing your application, you should meet with the Campus Representative at your college. Most applications are due in February, but each college sets its own due date.
Each invited college may nominate up to four candidates to be considered by the Citywide Selection Panel. Our next two-day Selection cycle will take place on March 21 - March 22, 2013. The Citywide Selection Panel will designate fifteen Jeannette K. Watson Fellows who will be notified by then end of March. The Fellowship begins with internships in the summer following appointment. The Fellowship may not be deferred.
What do Fellows do after they finish the program?
After completing the program, Fellows attend graduate school, work in a variety of exciting and challenging careers, and participate in competitive post-graduate fellowships. Click here and navigate to "The Doors Opened" section for a partial list.
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