Social Entrepreneurship Scholars

    Social Impact    ~    Community Development     ~     Public Policy     ~     Sustainability

Social entrepreneurs act as the change agents for society, seizing opportunities others miss to improve systems, invent new approaches, and create solutions to change society for the better. (Ashoka Foundation)

Social Entrepreneurship Scholars provides an opportunity for students to explore social impact careers, gain professional experience and develop as leaders.  Students complete a full-time internship with a Twin Cities non-profit, for-profit or public organization while participating in regular academic and vocational reflection with fellow students, faculty, community leaders and alumni.

A unique aspect of the program is the opportunity for participants to live together in a community setting, which fosters a spirit of support and mutuality. Students learn from each other’s experiences and perspectives through a weekly community meal, some structured reflection and ongoing informal conversation.

Program Details

  • Dates: June 1st (move-in day) to August 2nd (move-out day)
  • Eligibility: Current Sophomore or Junior (Class of 2020 or 2021)
  • Housing: Summit House — a large, furnished house owned by Macalester College
  • Stipend: $2500 (approx. $200 of which will go towards a community grocery fund). *Note that the community grocery fund will likely only be used for dinners and some bulk items, so students will need likely need to spend an additional $200- 500 on food expenses.
  • Applicants will have the opportunity to apply and interview for one or more of approximately 10-12 SES internship options focused on social impact with nonprofit, for-profit or governmental organizations. Students who secure their own social impact internship will also be considered.
  • Learn about past participants
  • Sponsored by the Piper Center for Vocation & Career with funding from the Kloeck-Jenson Endowment for Peace & Justice.
  • How to Apply (see below)

Information Sessions

SES Information Sessions in January and February

Program Components

Gain valuable experience working 35 hours per week with a non-profit, public or for-profit organization that is pursuing a social mission or addressing community needs. Program directors will identify a wide range of potential internships related to research, public policy, marketing/communications, program development, community engagement, grant-writing and direct service.

Community Living
Live in a community house (or apartments) with 9-10 other students in a spirit of support and mutuality. Share in weekly community meals and conversations.

Seminars Meet with alumni and other community leaders, examine social and community issues and discuss internship experiences through three day-long seminars with St. Olaf faculty, staff, alumni and community leaders.

Academic Internship
Fulfill requirements for a 0.25-credit academic internship and connect theory and practice through written reflection, conversations with faculty supervisors and final poster/presentation.

Career Exploration & Vocational Discernment
Spend time exploring vocational questions and career interests through various aspects of the program through conversation and written reflection.

Compensation & Benefits

  •  $2500 stipend ($200 of which will go towards a community grocery fund)
  •  Free housing
  •  Tuition scholarship for 0.25-credit academic internship

Desired Qualifications

  • Maturity and leadership potential, including the ability to represent St. Olaf in a professional manner
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Ability and commitment to building relationships and community with other participants who come from a variety of backgrounds and lived experiences
  • Interest in exploring a career or vocation related to social impact, community development, public policy, and/or environmental sustainability
  • Ability to make meaningful contributions in an internship settings (skills demonstrated through past internship, volunteer, leadership, research and/or academic experience)
  • Interest in and capacity for meaningful reflection and group discussion related to themes such as social change, leadership, and vocation

Applicants are encouraged to clearly and explicitly address the aforementioned qualifications throughout the various components of their application.

How to Apply

The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. on February 22nd.
  1. Ask a faculty member to complete the SES Faculty Recommendation Form
    After you have identified a faculty member to complete the recommendation form please send them the link for the form and request that they complete it by February 22.
  2. Complete a Resume and apply through Handshake
    If you would like assistance with developing your resume, please stop by the Piper Center and meet with a Peer Advisor.
    Instructions for applying through Handshake (Social Entrepreneurship Scholars (Summer 2019))

    1. Upload your resume (one page)
    2. Apply for the position

Submit the SES Online Form
Can save and edit at a later date. Includes prompts for the following information:
– Faculty Recommender
– Written response to short answer prompts
– Link for a Video Statement of Interest (short video that answers the prompts as listed in the google form)
– Internship Preferences– rank your top four preferences based on SES internship options. Please note that it would be best to wait until February 13th to complete this part of the application to make sure most of the potential internship options have been added/updated.

A selection committee will evaluate the applications. Select applicants will have the opportunity to interview (most likely on February 28th or March 1st). Students will be notified of their status by March 11th.


If you have questions please attend one of the information sessions.  If you would like assistance with your resume or another another aspect of the application please stop by the Piper Center (Tomson 270) and meet with a Peer Advisor. If you have a questions that were not answered at one of the info sessions, please contact Nate Jacobi <jacobi> or Thando Kunene <kunene> in the Piper Center for Vocation & Career.