Fellowship selection committees look carefully at how applicants spend their summers. Your rivals from other schools will utilize every opportunity to build credentials. So too must you. A summer spent backpacking, honing your foreign-language skills, pursuing an independent research project, or interning with a relief organization is infinitely more valid in the eyes of a selection committee than one spent hanging out at the beach with your high-school chums or working at the car-wash.
You say you need the money? If you've posted the GPA to be eligible for a fellowship, there's money at your disposal for your summer-enrichment plan. The Citadel's own Star of the West International Study Scholarship Program provides funding to select cadets each year. Summer 2009 eighteen cadets received grants for projects taking them to destinations as far-flung as El Salvador, South Africa, and India. The Star of the West competition is conducted early each spring semester. For more information, see the menu item Star of the West International Summer Scholarship.
Individual academic departments, most notably Modern Languages and Biology, sponsor summer-study scholarships/internships as well. Check the College catalog by department, then ask your department head for details.
Many successful cadet applicants for fellowships have benefited hugely from summer internships with government agencies, non-profits, relief organizations, and private interest groups. The Internship Bible by Mark Oldman and Samer Hamadeh contains hundreds of pages of opportunities at home and abroad--both paid and upaid--complete with eligibility requirements, acceptance rates, contact information, and deadlines. The Fellowships Office has a copy for your use. Come by Bond 159 and scan this tome!
Host an Intern!
Alumni in a position to host student interns whose work might bolster their fellowships applications are invited to scan the following biographical sketches and desired career tracks of the candidates below.