New NCA fund to aid students with job search costs

Mariana Alfaro, Assistant Campus Editor

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Northwestern Career Advancement and the Northwestern Undergraduate Budget Priorities Committee have started a fund to support undergraduate students with their career preparation expenses.

The NCA Career Development Fund, according to the NCA website, allows students to “apply to receive funding to support … career development pursuits.” These include travel expenses to professional job or internship interviews, career events and graduate school interviews. The fund can also be used to buy professional attire.

“Often times, there are financial needs that students have that fall between the cracks,” Mark Presnell, executive director of NCA. According to Presnell, some students need financial support to transition from NU to a job or an internship, and this new fund is meant to fill the gap between University financial aid and a career.

“We have funds to cover the internships, but there was no fund to bridge the gap to help the students go through the process of searching for a job or internship,” he said.

According to the NCA website, there is no limit to the amount of funding an applicant can request. However, applications will be accepted throughout the year until there are no more available funds.

When reviewing funding applications, Presnell said the office is looking for “undergraduate students with financial need [who] can make a strong link between their particular career development needs and what they’re asking for.”

The new fund resembles Associated Student Government’s Student Engagement stipend, which helps students with financial need participate in student groups and campus activities. ASG received more than 100 applications for 20 available $500 stipends in November.

ASG executive vice president Erik Zorn said though the funds serve two different purposes, they show the University is pushing for a better support system for students.

“The (stipend) was part of a very long discussion … about financial accessibility on campus,” he said. “Through the discussion we realized that a lot of people are hindered by the fact that they have to work for income (to afford extra expenditures.)”

NCA’s Career Development Fund is already accepting applications and undergraduate students can apply by submitting the application available on the NCA website.

Twitter: @marianaa_alfaro