Batten Students Thrive in Donor-Supported Internships


three students
From left: Julia Napier, Christian Oliver-Smith, Katharine Barbour

Batten students have just resumed classes after winter break but already, many  are thinking about summer internships as application deadlines loom. 

Last fall, almost 50 of our students returned to Grounds after experiencing impactful summer internships made accessible through stipend support from generous donors to the Batten School. Below are a few of their stories. 

More than $200,000 was awarded to our students to support internships in last summer. This funding fills a critical gap for many students, allowing them the opportunity to take unpaid or underpaid internships in fields they wish to explore.

Internships have the power to change a student’s trajectory. The real-world, hands-on experience gained, plus the professional networks they build are essential when navigating life after Batten. 

We are dedicated to helping all Batten students pursue their career interests and broaden their perspectives, even when those opportunities do not come with sufficient pay to meet individual financial needs.

We are grateful to all our donors who make this possible!

Julia Napier

’23 BA Government
’24 MPP

It was incredibly rewarding to work on a project for the Procurement and Property Management Department of Richmond Public Schools which may help SWaM (Small, Women-Owned and Minority-Owned) businesses throughout Virginia and in surrounding states contract with the school system. Thank you for the internship stipend support I received which allowed me to explore my own policy interests while making a meaningful contribution without having money on the forefront of my mind.

Christian Oliver-Smith

’22 BA Cognitive Science
’24 MPP

I put all the skills I’ve learned at Batten to use while working on a Houston crime-mapping initiative for the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. this past summer. The opportunity was unpaid, so the fellowship support I received truly made it possible for me to work with outstanding people to help make an impact on the landscape of our criminal justice system. 

Katharine Barbour

’23 BA Foreign Affairs
’24 MPP 

When I met with the New Rural Virginia team, I decided I would rather intern unpaid in a field I’m passionate about than look elsewhere. Thankfully, the internship fellowship I received allowed me to have an incredibly rewarding experience working to bring Virginia’s rural issues into mainstream policy conversations. I wore many hates and contributed in a variety of different ways to have a major impact on the NRVA team and their outreach. I am immensely grateful for the support I received. 

Garrett Hall at Sunset

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