The Ford Foundation internship program

Overview

For more than 40 years, our summer internship program has provided an enriching and rewarding learning experience for students in all majors, with varying career aspirations. Designed to expose students to the workings of philanthropy and civil society, this internship emphasizes building skills and navigating the nuances of working in a professional setting.

We created the program with the intention to serve students in our greater NYC community who qualify for top internships, but might not be able to afford those typically unpaid opportunities. We offer competitive pay, and target academically and socially ambitious students from public and private schools who are willing to commit to a full-time work experience for the duration of the program.

Ford Foundation interns are embedded in teams, and work alongside professionals in operations and grant making. Assignments vary by department, but generally include administrative, analytical, research, and special project support. Interns are invited to attend all-staff events and intern-only weekly learning sessions, which include meetings with senior foundation staff and opportunities to learn about business etiquette, build networking skills, and discuss career planning. They also receive professional development and networking opportunities that lead to meaningful, lasting relationships with foundation staff.

Read what our president has to say about the power of paid internships.

And read what former Ford interns have to say about the impact of their internships.

Who should apply

To be eligible for consideration, students must:

  • Be full-time rising junior or senior undergraduates
  • Be permanent residents of the New York tri-state area (certain areas of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut)
  • Receive needs-based financial aid
  • Maintain a cumulative minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0
  • Commit to a full-time schedule for the duration of the program

When and where

The program lasts for ten weeks during the summer, starting in the first week of June and ending the second week of August at the Ford Foundation’s New York City office.

Why spend a summer at the Ford Foundation?

Work in a mission driven environment

Ford is an international social justice philanthropy—our interns work on urgent, intriguing, socially relevant projects that aim to disrupt inequality in communities across the world. As an intern, you will be exposed to the grant making process, and the issues that our grant making focuses on. You will also learn how social justice values are part of other areas of work including human resources, legal, IT, and finance.

Participate in workshops and learning sessions

As an intern, you will work in your assigned department and take part in workshops hosted by the foundation and the internship program. These learning sessions cover issues ranging from youth leadership and engagement, to philanthropy’s role in ending mass incarceration, and from managing the transition from college to career, to insider tips on presenting yourself in the workplace. Every year, interns take part in site visits to grantees and a group Q&A with the foundation’s president. These sessions build skills, knowledge, and insight into how a foundation operates and drives impact, and prepares interns to thrive professionally.

Become part of a community

One of the most valuable aspects of the program is the opportunity to build relationships. As an intern, you’ll have access to your immediate peer group—ambitious and impact-driven individuals like yourself. You’ll be assigned a mentor to meet with regularly, and be encouraged to network with staff who are generous with their time and happy to share their own experiences with you. The intern community creates space for robust discussions, broadening your knowledge while creating meaningful connections.

To apply

Applications are now closed. The application process opens in mid-November. Please check our career site for updates.