Internship Programs for Minorities


            With the economy in shambles, many recent college graduates are facing the harsh reality that job opportunities that were available for previous graduating classes are simply not available any longer.  Not knowing when the recession will end has also added to the anxiety of many underclassmen as they try to distinguish themselves from the competition before their graduation.

            With that in mind several internship programs catering to African Americans, Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans are looking for qualified applicants to fill available positions.  Some even are offering compensation for participants in their internship programs as well as travel expenses.  The internship programs are looking for students who are pursuing degrees in business, computer science, engineering, psychology, communications, marketing, advertising and others.

            A few of the opportunities include:  AAAS Minority Science Writers Internship, IBM Minority Research Internship, Louis Carr Internship, Google Diversity Internship, NASCAR Diversity Internship, Nationwide/Tom Joyner Foundation Internship Program, Minority Access Internship Program, American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Minority Internship and INROADS Internship.

            According to Black, the Tom Joyner Foundation internship is a partnership with the famous radio personality and Nationwide to help students continue their education at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).  The program is a 10-week paid internship that includes transportation and furnished housing.  Interns may also qualify for academic scholarships through this program.

            The INROADS program, which has a long history of creating opportunities for minority students, is another internship willing to help students begin their professional careers.  According to, “The mission of INROADS is to develop and place talented minority youth in business and industry and prepare them for corporate and community leadership.”  

            The program requires interns to maintain at least a “B” average, while staying in good standing with their institution, internship company and INROADS.  They must also attend training and coaching sessions, which are scheduled regularly.  Furthermore, they must participate in community service to be a part of this program.

            In addition, NASCAR, which has come under fire recently for a lack of diversity, launched the NASCAR Diversity Internship in 1999 to provide internship programs for minority students.  This program has successfully exposed many interns to motorsport opportunities that they may not have had exposure to without the NASCAR Diversity Internship. 

To date, this program has employed approximately 200 interns, many of whom still rave about their experience with NASCAR.  “I loved it,” said Joshlyn Ross, a 2008 Images USA, Public Relations intern.  “Everything was so hands-on and I felt like I was truly a part of the company”

Amanda Hauck, a 2008 NASCAR, Inc. intern stated, “I did a lot of very interesting work!  What I especially appreciated was the opportunity to apply my skills, and therefore sharpen them while at this internship.”

            Many of the internship programs have early deadlines, so potential applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.  To read a complete listing of the internship programs, please visit, because in today’s turbulent economic times, finding any job, including an internship, is becoming just as difficult as finding one’s dream job.

Miskel is a writer for Regal Black Men’s Magazine.

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