Still figuring out what to do after graduation or before pursuing professional/graduate school? Wanting to explore, solidify, or even find new interests? There are many opportunities such as fellowships, research, volunteering, internships, jobs, etc that can help you do just that! Sometimes it can be difficult to know where to find post-undergraduate opportunities so we have compiled a list to get you started in your exploration.
This list is simply meant to help you think more broadly about the range of opportunities available to you these opportunities are not endorsed by the University Career Center and are not comprehensive. If you wish to explore additional resources or learn more about what to do upon graduation and want help reflecting on what a gap year could mean for your career plans, schedule an appointment at the University Career Center today.
- First begin by thinking about the length of time you’re hoping to have as a gap. Is it 4-6 months? 1 year? More? Be mindful of the length of commitment of different opportunities as you search and apply.
- Secondly, think about your goals for your gap year experience. Is it to sharpen particular skills? See parts of the world you’ve never been? Contribute to a social cause or gain educational experiences? What do you hope to learn or do?
- Third, planning and researching go hand in hand. Explore options through research and feel free to ask for advice or ideas from others including a University Career Center Advisor. Explore any related costs. Reach out to individuals who have previously applied or participated in the programs you are considering. Plan for deadlines and get excited about the great experiences you will have!
Fellowships are structured 1-2year postgraduate experiences that may fund study, research, or teaching in the U.S. or abroad.
Emerging Leaders Program (2 years) The Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) is a competitive, two-year, paid, federal internship with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The program provides a unique opportunity to develop analytical and critical leadership skills in one of the largest federal agencies in the nation. This opportunity is typically extended to those with a Master’s degree
Presidential Management Fellows Program (1 year) The purpose of the Program is to attract to the Federal service outstanding men and women from a variety of academic disciplines and career paths who have a clear interest in, and commitment to, excellence in the leadership and management of public policies and programs. This program is typically extended to those with a Master’s degree or PhD.
Capital Fellows Programs These programs, known collectively as the Capital Fellows Programs, are nationally recognized. The 18 Assembly Fellows, 18 Senate Fellows, 18 Executive Fellows and 10 Judicial Administration Fellows receive an outstanding opportunity to engage in public service and prepare for future careers, while actively contributing to the development and implementation of public policy in California. The ranks of former fellows include a Justice of the California Supreme Court, members of the United States Congress and the State Legislature, a deputy director of the Peace Corps, state and local government officials, corporate executives and community leaders.
Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs (9 mos) Coro introduces program participants to all aspects of the public affairs arena, preparing them to translate their ideals into action for improving their own communities and beyond. Coro Fellows learn to see the big picture - the community as a whole - and appreciate the varying perspectives that characterize our cities, states, and nation.
ORISE Fellowship Opportunity at Centers for Disease Control The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH), Division of Laboratory Sciences (DLS), is seeking Summer ORISE Fellows to focus on public health issues related to the environment. Candidates will join projects associated with developing and applying new methods to characterize and quantitate biochemical markers that are relevant in environmental exposures and chronic diseases. The fellowship is intended for current undergraduate and graduate students majoring in chemistry or biology and who have completed or expect to complete three years of coursework in chemistry or biology before the start of the fellowship.
Mickey Leland Energy Fellowhip Program The Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship (MLEF) Program, sponsored by the Office of Fossil Energy (FE), U.S. Department of Energy, is now accepting applications for a10-week summer internship. MLEF’s mission is to improve opportunities for women and minority students majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines, but all eligible candidates are encouraged to apply. The program allows students to apply their academic achievements to actual research while gaining hands-on experience.
James Madison Fellowship A federal program offering Fellowships to individuals desiring to become outstanding teachers of the American Constitution at the secondary school level. Fellowship applicants compete only against other applicants from the states of their legal residence. Generally, one Fellowship per state is awarded each year.
Global Health Corps (13 months) Global Health Corps provides a yearlong paid fellowship for young professionals from diverse backgrounds to work on the frontlines of the fight for global health equity at existing health organizations and government agencies. Fellows are currently working in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia and the United States.
The Japan Exchange and Teaching Program The Japan Exchange and Teaching Program began in 1987 as a way to improve exposure to international culture and language throughout Japan. Since then, thousands of young university graduates from around the world have participated on the JET Program.
Fulbright-Clinton Fellowship Formerly known as the Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship, and renamed in 2013 for former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Fellowship provides Fulbright-Clinton Fellows with a chance to contribute to the strengthening of the public sector abroad by serving in professional placements within foreign government ministries while simultaneously carrying out an academic research project. The fellowship currently offers opportunities for Fulbright-Clinton Fellows to serve in professional placements within the governments of Bangladesh, Burma, Cote d’Ivoire, Guatemala, Haiti, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Malawi, Nepal, Timor-Leste, and Samoa.
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (1 year) Junior fellows have the opportunity to conduct research for books, co-author journal articles and policy papers, participate in meetings with high-level officials, contribute to congressional testimony, and organize briefings attended by scholars, journalists, and government officials. Interested Michigan students should reach out to UM Campus contact Henry Dyson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Big Ten Academic Alliance Smithsonian Institutes Fellowship (1 year) This program provides students at Big Ten schools with a monetary stipend to allow students to work and research at the Smithsonian Institutes for one year.
Cultural Vistas Fellowship (8 weeks) Cultural Vistas is a program that places young people and students in international programs both paid and unpaid. In this new fellowship, fellows will get the opportunity to have eight weeks of professional development in Germany, Argentina, or Southeast Asia in an internship format.
These kinds of programs allow for lending skills and talents to engage in the mitigation of issues concerning the social, educational, environmental, etc, improvement of communities.
The SAGA Fellows program is a full-time, in-school professional math tutoring opportunity. Fellows work with the same 14 students every day in groups of 1 tutor: 2 students. Unlike traditional, often disconnected, tutoring that happens outside of school hours, SAGA tutoring occurs as a stand-alone class period and is built into the regular school day as an elective course for credit. Fellows guarantee the academic success of students by focusing intently on individualizing instruction and building personal and meaningful relationships with their students.
Michigan College Advising Corps MCAC is one of 15 constituent programs in the National College Advising Corps; a consortium of colleges and universities whose aim is to increase the number of first-generation college going students in the United States. Michigan College Advising Corps specifically work to increase the number of low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students entering and completing higher education in the state of Michigan.
Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms Volunteer on organic farms in the U.S. and around the world.
AmeriCorps State and National (9-12 months) The largest of AmeriCorps programs, AmeriCorps State and National provides funds to local and national organizations and agencies committed to using national service to address critical community needs in education, public safety, health and the environment. Members serve full- or part-time over a 9- to 12-month period.
AmeriCorps NCCC (10 months) AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) is a full-time, team-based residential program for men and women age 18–24. Members live on one of five campuses, located in Denver, Colorado; Sacramento, California; Perry Point, Maryland; Vicksburg, MS; and Vinton, Iowa. AmeriCorps NCCC requires an intensive, 10-month commitment.
AmeriCorps VISTA (1 year) AmeriCorps VISTA is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. VISTA members commit to serve full-time for a year at a nonprofit organization or local government agency, working to fight illiteracy, improve health services, create businesses, strengthen community groups, and much more.
City Year (1 year) City Year corps member serve full-time as tutors and mentors in schools, running after-school programs, leading and developing youth leadership programs, and vacation camps to make a difference in the lives of children and their communities.
Blueprint Schools Network (1 year) The Blueprint Fellows Program is designed to accelerate student achievement in schools across the country. Fellows provide daily, small group tutoring sessions to students across grades K-12. Fellows are fully integrated into their school cultures and are invited to collaborate with school staff, attend all staff meetings and professional development opportunities, communicate with students’ families, and coordinate school-wide service projects.
Citizen School (2 years) The Citizen Schools National Teaching Fellowship is a service program offering a two-year, leadership development experience, including service as a team leader at a Citizen Schools campus, professional development with a partner organization in the community, and the opportunity for optional enrollment in a pioneering Master's program in out-of-school learning.
Great Oaks Tutor Corps (1 year) recruits the best and brightest college graduates from across the country to dedicate a year of service to urban students. During their one-year commitment, tutors work full-time, providing one-on-one and small group instruction to Great Oaks Charter School students.
Teach for America (2 years) Teach For America aims to end educational inequity. TFA corps members serve in high-need schools for two-year commitments.
These are only a few international programs. The International Center is a great place to find more in-depth information and postings regarding work, volunteer, and internship opportunities abroad.
Backdoor Guide To Short Term Job Adventures Explore your short-term and longer-term options for working, volunteering, interning or teaching in unique locations all over the world
AIESEC (Varies) AIESEC is a global, non-political, independent, not-for-profit organization run by students and recent graduates. Its members are interested in world issues, leadership and management. AIESEC provides its members with an integrated development experience comprised of leadership opportunities, international internships and participation in a global learning environment.
BUNAC (Varies) BUNAC offers a range of work abroad, volunteer abroad, and teaching overseas programs to destinations such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Cambodia, South Africa, Ghana, China, and Peru.
ChildVoice International (10-12 weeks in spring, summer, and fall) ChildVoice International is quickly expanding in northern Uganda. Opportunities include, but are not limited to, adult and child education, psycho-social rehabilitation, community health, spiritual leadership and development, income generating projects, microfinance, art, physical and occupational therapy, administrative and organizational tasks, and agriculture.
Peace Corps (2 years) Peace Corps Volunteers serve in 74 countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe, and the Middle East. Collaborating with local community members, volunteers work in areas like education, youth outreach and community development, health, and information technology.
Gap Medics (varies) Gap Medics is dedicated to arranging clinical work experience programs that offer pre-health students genuine insight into the field of medicine and a life-changing look at global health realities. Students have the opportunity to observe and learn from healthcare professionals in hospitals in Tanzania, Thailand and the Czech Republic,
World YMCA (varies) World YMCA is an organization whose mission is to empower young people to use their voices and find their passions. It serves as a space for young people around the world to transform their lives and have an impact in the world. Work opportunities in this program include countries around the world and the ability to help guide and mentor young people as they work to improve their lives and their world.
Amigos de las Americas (varies year to year) Amigos is an organization that runs programs in Latin American countries where students or gap year students can go and volunteer to help local communities all while learning about things like environmental sustainability, biodiversity, youth empowerment, and education.
Thinking about gaining experience in the workforce post-graduation? Jobs or internships could be ways of solidifying and exploring options in ways that don’t have to hold as much permanence as traditionally thought.
You might also find searching for temporary roles within universities and healthcare systems might also be a nice fit for the length of experience you are looking for.
Council on Foreign Relations Research and Program Associates (1 - 2 years) Research associates and program assistants will have the chance to hear from experts, including scholars, government officials, corporate executives, top journalists, and young, upcoming leaders, on the most important foreign-policy issues of our time by attending CFR meetings. CFR also offers opportunities to further the staff’s professional development through a lunch speaker series for staff, a Professional Development training program, a tuition reimbursement policy, and free CFR publications.
Smithsonian Fellowships and Internships There are over 60 internship programs available at the Smithsonian offering a myriad of new experiences. Each museum and office manages their own programs and has their own intern and fellow coordinators. Contact information for the various intern/fellow coordinators can be found online at http://si.edu/ofi.
ServeNet Includes links to grants and other resources for volunteer work.
Mercy Corps Work in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.
Idealist Resource for nonprofit jobs, internships, fellowships, and volunteer opportunities.
Indeed Indeed.com offers the ability to look for jobs and internships using many search engines. Always research each opportunity before applying.
CoolWorks Cool Works is about finding a seasonal job or career in some of the greatest places on Earth. Get a summer job in Yellowstone, Yosemite, or another national park. Find a summer job as a camp counselor. Ski resorts, ranches, theme parks, tour companies and more are waiting for you.