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Externships & Internships

Daniel Honig '72, CEO at Structures Consulting Engineers in Swarthmore, Pa with Eric Liu '15 during his externship at the firm

Swarthmore facilitates externships, which are one-week mentored job-shadowing experiences held in various locations across the country during winter break. Almost half of the students in the Class of 2018 completed at least one externship during their time at Swarthmore. The externship program offers Swatties the chance to test-drive a career for a short time, meet with professionals in the workplace, and make other contacts by living with alumni families. A successful externship often opens the door for summer internships.

“One senior commodities trader ran me through the entire oil industry, asking me things like, ‘What shape would you expect the price level curves for oil to be during the summer and winter?’ said Ascanio Guarini ’16, whose externship was at Barclays Capital in New York City. “If I had any trouble, he would run me through it again, slowly guiding me in the right direction. He wanted to give me a true perspective on the kinds of decisions he makes on a daily basis.”

Summer internships give Swatties valuable career experience, with almost 70 percent of the Class of 2018 completing at least one internship prior to graduation. Swarthmore partners with companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase to host on-campus recruiting events, and participate in career fairs and consortium interview events. If students are offered unpaid internships, they may apply for funding from Swarthmore to help cover their living expenses; almost 50 students received an internship stipend of $4,500 from Swarthmore in summer 2018. Examples of recent intern positions include:

  • Research intern at Harvard Lab for Developmental Studies (Cambridge, Mass.)
  • Intern at Aberdeen Asset Management (Singapore)
  • Intern on editorial desk of The Washington Post (Washington, D.C.)
  • Client service intern at Christie’s (Shanghai)
  • Legislative intern at the Roosevelt Institute (New York City)
  • Economic studies intern at the Brookings Institute (Washington, D.C.)


“The best part about my internship was my mentor,” said Bret Serbin ’18 about Will Saletan ’87, a national correspondent for Slate. “Will gave really candid, honest, and concrete advice about starting a career in journalism. It was also cool for us interns to see our names in print on the Slate website for the article we did a lot of research for and helped draft.”