Application Resources

Sample Fellowships Application #1:

Landesa:

Why are you interested in this particular fellowship?

As student in Stanford’s interdisciplinary Earth Systems program, I am passionate about understanding and finding solutions to complex sustainability challenges. Specifically, I am very interested in the pathways to achieving global food and nutrition security. I have pursued this interest in the classroom, in the field, and at an intergovernmental organization, and each of these experiences has emphasized to me that food security is inherently linked to many other issues, including climate change, land rights, and gender. I am interested in the Landesa Women’s Land Rights Fellowship because it would allow me the opportunity to better understand each of these issues, and more importantly, the ways in which they connect to and impact one another.

Ultimately, I believe the skills I would develop at Landesa would prepare me to work in the “real world,” where challenges cannot be defined by a single area of focus. In a global society that is striving to simultaneously achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (including Sustainable Development Goals specifically focused on ending hunger and achieving gender equality) and meet the carbon emissions targets set out in the historical United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change’s Paris Agreement, it will be imperative that environmental decision-making not take place in a vacuum. A fellowship at the Landesa Institute would give me the skills to contribute to such decision-making and propose effective, interdisciplinary solutions to the world’s greatest challenges.

Please describe your personal interest in the SIG summer fellowship in no more than 750 words. We recommend composing the personal statement in a separate document before pasting it here. Your response should address the following questions:

  • Why are you interested in pursuing a SIG summer fellowship?
  • What qualifications and experiences do you have that would contribute to this program?
  • How could the fellowship enhance your academic and/or career plans?

As student in Stanford’s interdisciplinary Earth Systems program, I am passionate about understanding and finding solutions to complex sustainability challenges. Specifically, I am very interested in the pathways to achieving global food and nutrition security. I have pursued this interest in the classroom, in the field, and in the workforce, and each of these experiences has emphasized to me that food security is inherently linked to many other issues, including climate change, land rights, and gender. The Landesa Women’s Land Rights Fellowship would allow me the opportunity to better understand each of these issues, and more importantly, the ways in which they connect to and impact one another.

I am confident that my academic experiences qualify me to be a competent and effective member of Landesa’s team. In addition to completing a number of courses on food security at Stanford (detailed in my response to the next question), this past fall, I was one of nineteen students who participated in Stanford’s Wrigley Field Program in Hawai’i. This program, which was broadly focused on biology, ecology, and anthropology, exposed me to issues of land rights and land tenure in the context of the Hawaiian Islands. Two of my classmates and I also completed a quarter-long research project, in conjunction with a local NGO that is slated to become the next lessee of a large land parcel on the Island of Hawai’i. After conducting a comprehensive soil survey of this parcel, we created a land management plan to guide the NGO as it begins to transform this land to support traditional Hawaiian agriculture. While, strictly speaking, this project was a scientific study, we would not have been able to explain our results had we not delved into the complexities of land tenure in Hawai’i and spoken with the people who call this parcel of land their home. The project ultimately emphasized to me just how many factors beyond the physical and chemical properties of land impact food production, and it continues to inspire me to think about global food insecurity through a multidimensional lens.

Beyond academics, I believe my previous work experience at the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has also prepared me for this fellowship. As an intern in WFP’s Office of the Executive Director this past summer, I had the opportunity to work on projects that directly address the intersections between food security and gender. For example, I served as the note taker at numerous Operational Task Force meetings covering the ongoing emergency situations in Syria, Iraq, and Southern Africa; at each of these meetings, my colleagues were tasked with making decisions about how to feed the world’s most vulnerable (and often least accessible) populations, the majority of whom are women and young children. These high-level conversations often included decision-making surrounding the best ways to ensure women received their equal share and control of WFP resources, including food rations and direct cash transfers. I was also exposed to a number of related initiatives, including WFP projects focused on improving child and maternal nutrition and school meals programs that target female education and health. Throughout my time at WFP, it became very clear to me that empowering women represents the most effective solution to combating and preventing hunger worldwide; it is this realization that now compels me to seek out a fellowship experience at Landesa.

Looking forward, I am certain this fellowship would inform the rest of my undergraduate academic career at Stanford. Most notably, I plan to write a senior thesis, and while I have not yet determined the specific topic, I will be focusing my research on an aspect of food and nutrition security. I would be very interested in integrating my work at Landesa into this culminating senior year experience. Finally, and most importantly, I believe this fellowship would prepare me to work in the “real world,” where challenges cannot be studied in isolation. In a global society that is striving to simultaneously achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (including Sustainable Development Goals specifically focused on ending hunger and achieving gender equality) and meet the carbon emissions targets set out in the historical United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change’s Paris Agreement, it will be imperative that environmental decision-making not take place in a vacuum. Ultimately, I believe that a fellowship at the Landesa Institute will provide me with the skills to propose effective, interdisciplinary solutions to the world’s greatest challenges.

In no more than 125 words, please describe the coursework you have completed or are currently taking that you believe is relevant to any potential SIG fellowship.

I have taken a number of courses focused on food security, including Feeding Nine Billion, Food and Security, World Food Economy, and Principles and Practices of Sustainable Agriculture. I have taken a course on environmental communication and writing for the public, and one of my pieces from this class is going to be published in the next edition of Stanford Magazine’s “Sound Advice for a Green Earth” column. Outside of my department, I have taken a class on gender and leadership and a public service internship preparation course through the Haas Center for Public Service. I am currently enrolled in Intermediate Microeconomics, a course on statistical methods for social scientists, and a writing intensive anthropology course (Theory of Ecological and Environmental Anthropology).

 

Sample Fellowships Application #2:

California Air Resources Board:

SIG Personal statement:

  1. Why are you interested in pursuing a SIG Summer Fellowship?
  2. What qualifications and experiences do you have that would contribute to a SIG Fellowship?
  3. How could a SIG Fellowship enhance your academic and/or career plans?

The clearest goal in my life is to effect long-lasting and far-reaching positive change. Specifically, I want to dedicate myself to climate change mitigation and renewable energy, poverty and hunger alleviation, and economic development in low- and middle-income countries. I am convinced that the best way to do this on a national level is through effective policy and legislation based on scientific and economic analysis. Though I have declared a major that will prepare me academically for a career in environmental policy, I do not have behind-the-scenes insight into the world of policy-making. I am interested in pursuing a SIG Fellowship because I believe that there is no better way to develop as a public servant than by earnestly and open-mindedly diving into policy work. Additionally, this opportunity will allow me to immediately contribute to current issues I care about, rather than wait until after I graduate.

I have developed skills and knowledge relevant to this fellowship through previous courses. In a methods course called World Food Economy, I learned about the economics of food production, consumption, and trade; the relationship among food, income, population, and public-sector decision making; and the role of agriculture in poverty alleviation, economic development, and environmental outcomes. This knowledge was then applied to the final project, in which teams created an economic model on Excel that predicted global trade of staple crops in 2050. This background in resource economics and experience creating an economic model would assist me in the design of solutions to local and global issues. In a course called Human Society and Environmental Change, I wrote a policy brief and three thesis driven papers on current environmental issues, which not only challenged me to consider the many factors that complicate environmental policy decisions, but allowed me to practice writing about science and legislation. The knowledge and skills I gained in these courses have given me a strong foundation for, and approach to, environmental economic policy.

My past jobs and internships have also improved my ability to work in a fellowship setting. Through a research assistant position with Stanford’s Sociology Department, I developed analytical and organizational skills doing qualitative content analysis by collecting, coding, and cleaning data from municipal websites. I also documented an iterative coding scheme and helped create a codebook. Furthermore, I improved my teamwork skills during my two quarters with Stanford’s Design for America. From disagreeing respectfully to being accountable for assignments to accepting unwanted responsibilities, I developed collaborative skills that help me thrive in teams. During a summer internship with South Central Scholars, a Los Angeles based education nonprofit, I took on many roles in an effort to keep the nonprofit’s Summer Academy running smoothly. My workday included administrative responsibilities, facilitation of lectures, event planning, and individual advising with the students. My interactions with the nonprofit staff, donors, and 120 high-achieving, low-income students taught me the nuances of appropriate workplace relationships and gave me exclusive insight into the nonprofit sector.

In the two upcoming quarters before summer, my planned coursework and job will further prepare me for an internship. This quarter, I am taking Environmental Economics and Policy, during which I expect to study the economic sources of environmental problems and various potential policies for addressing, as well as develop the tools necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of an existing environmental policy. Next quarter, I plan to take The Politics of Policy Making in order to further my understanding of policy-making and policy reformation. I expect to be able to directly apply to this knowledge to any future policy work. During these two quarters, for my position with Sustainable Dining, I will be responsible for the certification of Forbes Family Café under the Green Restaurant Association. This job, like a SIG fellowship, demands self-motivation, strong communication skills, familiarity with Excel, and organizational skills.

A SIG Fellowship would enrich my academic and career plans by helping me gain the skills and experience necessary for a future in environmental and economic policy. I would finally put theory to practice and utilize the tools I developed in the classroom to write policy memos, conduct research, harness effective science communication practices, and generally provide logistical and analytical support. If my hard work pays off and I am one day working for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, or aiding the sustainable development of a low-income country, I will look back gratefully at this fellowship as my introduction to the world of research, economic analysis and policy-making.

SIG Fellowship Supplemental Essays

Precourt Institute: California Air Resources Board

This summer, I participated in a Sophomore College called Energy in the Southwest. In addition to learning about the political, environmental, economic, and scientific aspects of Southwest energy systems, my class met with the California Air Resources Board, among other California agencies and departments. During a Q&A session with Craig Segall, an ARB representative, we learned about the agency’s goal to promote clean air and public health through economically feasible approaches to air quality regulation. I was amazed by the complexity of the effort that goes into each ARB project, particularly the lengthy timeline and many different experts involved. I had never before realized how intricate and interdisciplinary the creation of policy and regulation was, and how dedicated the policy-makers must be to follow a project from its conception to its completion.

It would be an honor to work for the agency that has played—and will continue to play—such an instrumental role in air pollution control. From establishing the nation’s first vehicle emissions standards, to mandating that 10% of all 2003 car models be zero emission vehicles, to the role that ARB is currently playing in the success of AB 32, I cannot think of an organization that would better prepare me for the future I envision in environmental policy. California is leading the nation in progressive and proactive environmental policy, but this wouldn’t be true without the ARB’s historical precedent of early action. It would be a dream to contribute my efforts to this amazing legacy.

 

Sample Stipend Application #1:

Western Hemisphere Affairs Office:

Please describe your internship as you understand it, making sure to outline how you will be engaging with policy research, development, and/or implementation.

I will be working in the State Department’s Western Hemisphere Affairs (WHA) Office of Policy Planning and Coordination (PPC). This office addresses all crosscutting issues that are not specific to any one region in the hemisphere such as migration, human rights, and democracy. It is the interface of all of the more specific regional offices and the liaison to outside State. For example, all major WHA reports go through PPC and PPC coordinates WHA with the United Nations, other international organizations, think tanks, and the legislature. The office even works with embassies in the region to garner UN votes and develop recommendations for the hemisphere at the annual UN General Assembly. As a summer intern, I will be preparing for this year’s General Assembly, which takes place every fall. This work will entail attending meetings within State and also on the Hill, writing research memos, writing talking notes, and collaborating with other WHA offices. I will also help to respond to current events in the hemisphere like influxes of migration (which spike in the summer) by providing research and reports on the situation.

Please explain your short-term and long-term goals. How will this internship help you achieve these goals? Why is this internship a good fit for your personal vision?

This internship is an essential component of my academic and personal trajectory. In the short-term, I hope to better understand how US policy towards Latin America is decided and implemented, how the State Department interacts with US embassies for information, and broadly how the US manages relations with its neighbors. I have a strong academic interest in US-Latin American relations and diplomacy. I am currently applying to the CDDRL honors program to write a thesis on US-Mexico relations and believe that my internship could help shape my research topic. I also hope that this internship will provide me with a better understanding of my own career preferences following graduation. To achieve my long-term goal of working in public service and policy, I want to see what working in a regional bureau of the State Department entails. After researching trends in peace and violence in Mexico last summer, I realized that data analysis and quantitative research, though important to policy, is too indirect and impersonal for me. By trying new types of work, I gain perspective on my strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. I now believe it is necessary for me to try federal government work before anything else. I plan to apply for law school and would be interested in working as a State Department lawyer. I am invested in US actions abroad and want to hold my country like all countries accountable for its actions around the world. I find that the best way to be patriotic is by being critical. Although I will not be working under the administration that I expected to work under, I believe that being patriotically critical now is more important than ever especially in regards to foreign policy. I expect to learn a great deal and witness a truly historic moment in the shaping of US relations and foreign policy.

Please list any courses, experiences, and skills relevant to your internship. Then, in a paragraph, please explain why this background prepares you to have a successful and formative internship this summer.

Courses: Diplomacy on the Ground, Latin American Politics, Oaxacan Health on Both Sides of the Border, Introduction to Comparative Politics, Public Service Leadership, The Emergence of Nations in Latin America, Introduction to Latin America, International Security in a Changing World

Experiences: Community Health in Oaxaca BOSP summer trip; BOSP quarter abroad in Santiago, Chile; Mexico Research Intern at Institute for Economics and Peace

Skills: Policy memo writing; Spanish speaking, reading writing; English-Spanish translation; report writing; knowledge of Latin American history and politics; expertise on Mexican security and policing; data analysis

I expect my classwork, experiences abroad, and past internship to provide me with helpful background information on both US government and the regional focus of the bureau, the Western Hemisphere. Within international relations, I have focused heavily on Latin American studies so I understand the history and current politics of many countries I may be researching and working with. I am familiar with important issues like migration, democracy, and human rights in the Americas. Moreover, I look forward to using my extensive academic and professional background in Spanish. During my last summer internship, I learned how to work well individually and on a professional team. I also conducted research and data analysis for a 60-page report, “Informe Nuevo León 2016.” This report, which I contributed to significantly through research, writing, editing, and translation, was the main product of my summer work and will certainly help prepare me for research and writing at the State Department. Finally, I frequently presented my work orally and in the form of memos to my superiors so I feel comfortable with short deadlines and conveying my research which will be essential this summer.

Essay Prompt

In one to two paragraphs, address some or all of the following questions:

  • Why are you passionate about the work the organization does?
  • Why are you interested in policy and public service?
  • How do you plan to continue to engage in policy or public service following this internship?

I look forward to interning with the State Department because I am committed to public service and the United State’s role as both leader and neighbor. After years of studying history and political science in school and months spent learning and researching outside the United States, I feel ready to explore my passions through a more policy-focused lens at home. I seek to gain insight related to US foreign policy and relations as well as better understand my own career aspirations. Working with the Western Hemisphere Affairs Bureau particularly excites me because I have focused my studies and research largely on Latin America. I have taken numerous classes on Latin American culture, politics, and history. In my classes on US foreign policy and diplomacy, I have focused on US relations with Latin American countries. This relationship interests me because the Americas are deeply interconnected economically, culturally, and historically. Last quarter when I studied abroad in Santiago, Chile, living with a host family and taking classes with Chilean professors deepened my understanding of this connection. I am not proud of many of our past actions in Chile and Latin America, but I am optimistic about our ability to move forward and try to rectify history through continued dialogue. As an intern, I want to be a part of this dialogue and see first hand how my country engages with its allies and neighbors.

I developed a passion for learning about Latin America long before college. Growing up in San Diego County just forty miles from the border with Mexico, I realized early on that the United States and Mexico have a crucial relationship. My community is tied to Mexico in beautiful and difficult ways through culture and migration. Speaking Spanish has allowed me to better understand my neighbors in San Diego and south of the border. After spending a month in Oaxaca and then researching Mexico in depth as an intern with the Institute for Economics and Peace, I am more intrigued than ever by Mexico’s complexity and diversity. Now that I have lived in Chile, I can say that this diversity is reflected across Latin America. My time living in Latin America has underlined firsthand the impact of United States culture and policy for me. How do we manage such responsibility? How can we improve life for our neighbors while balancing our interests? After studying this issue academically, professionally, and personally, these are questions that I am ready to explore through government. Hopefully, then, I will understand if government, and specifically the State Department, is a fulfilling public service path and if going to law school would further my impact on policy.

 

Sample Stipend Application #2:

Office of the Executive Director:

Please describe your internship as you understand it, making sure to outline how you will be engaging with policy research, development, and/or implementation.

As an intern in the Office of the Executive Director (OED), I will be aiding Laura Santucci, the Director of the OED, with the development and implementation of policy initiatives connected to international food security. Specifically, my work will be focused on conducting research on improving international food security to help at-risk developing nations become more self-sufficient in terms of their internal food production and distribution. I will use WFP resources to help produce reports on food security, and I will also assist in drafting correspondence and materials for external and internal stakeholders, including WFP senior management. Finally, since I have been placed in the OED, I will also have the opportunity to work with other offices at the WFP engaged in policy research and development connected to food security and international humanitarian aid.

Please explain your short-term and long-term goals. How will this internship help you achieve these goals? Why is this internship a good fit for your personal vision?

As an Earth Systems major pursuing the Sustainable Food and Agriculture track, I have taken courses focused on national and international food security, and these academic experiences have led me to become particularly interested in long-term sustainable development solutions to this problem, especially in the face of unabated climate change. In addition to pursuing coursework focused on food security, I have also been actively involved with Stanford in Government (SIG) since my freshman year. As a member of the SIG community and the current director of SIG’s Public Policy Forum, I am very interested in public policy, especially as it connects to my specific field of interest. My internship at the UN-WFP will allow me to use my background in sustainable food and agriculture to better understand and develop an expertise in the policies that exist in this field today. I am confident that this experience will greatly inform both my coursework and my involvement in SIG when I return to Stanford for my Junior Year.

From a long-term perspective, I believe this internship will play an integral role in defining my career path. The UN-WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency, but in addition to providing immediate and effective aid during times of famine or other crises, the organization is committed to developing policies and practices at the local, national, and international levels that help countries become self-sufficient and prevent such crises in the first place. My internship experience will allow me to learn more about the work that goes into developing and implementing these policies and initiatives. Furthermore, since I will be working at the OED, my internship will also help me better understand the ways in which the WFP manages and achieves its larger goals. More broadly, this internship will expose me to and prepare me for the type of work conducted at large international, intergovernmental organizations. I currently envision myself pursuing work at the UN-WFP or a similar organization after I graduate, and for this reason, I believe this internship is a great fit for my personal vision.

Please list any courses, experiences, and skills relevant to your internship. Then, in a paragraph, please explain why this background prepares you to have a successful and formative internship this summer.

Relevant courses:

Food and Security (Fall 2015)

Feeding Nine Billion (Winter 2015-2016)

World Food Economy (Spring 2016)

Introduction to Earth Systems (Fall 2015)

Biology and Global Change (Winter 2015-2016)

Environmental Literacy (Winter 2014-2015)

Principles of Economics (Winter 2014-2015)

Diplomacy on the Ground: Case Studies in the Challenges of Representing Your Country (Spring 2016)

Writing and Rhetoric 2: The Rhetoric of the Natural and Beyond (Fall 2015)

 

Relevant Experiences:

Tornado Relief Volunteer in Joplin, Missouri

Intern at Centre for Urban and Regional Excellence (CURE), a New Delhi-based NGO

 

Relevant Skills:

Research

Writing (thesis-driven writing, historical writing, proposal and grant writing, report writing)

 

Specific personal experiences have led me to think about the challenges connected to food security. After participating in tornado relief efforts in Joplin, Missouri, I was able to better understand how natural disasters can not only result in widespread death and destruction but can also immediately deplete local food supplies. Later, during an internship at CURE, a New Delhi NGO, I was able to see firsthand how the lack of adequate access to education in slums is directly connected to individuals’ nutritional deficiencies. While these experiences have each opened my eyes to some of the factors that contribute to local, national, and international food insecurity, my coursework at Stanford has helped me realize that these problems can be resolved through innovative sustainable development and policy interventions. Specifically, I have taken a seminar class entitled “Food and Security” that exposed me to the benefits of including food in discussions of national and international security, and I am currently taking a class entitled “Feeding Nine Billion” that analyzes the tradeoffs involved with various agricultural practices and the most effective ways to combat global hunger. In addition to this coursework, I have taken writing-focused classes at Stanford that will help me prepare for the research and writing that will be required of me during my internship. I am also a published author in The Concord Review, a quarterly history journal that publishes the academic work of secondary students around the world, and I contributed research and writing to a final assessment report on the feasibility of utilizing physical infrastructures for water and sanitation facilities in India during my time at CURE. Ultimately, I believe each of these personal, academic, and extracurricular experiences has prepared me well for a successful and formative internship at the WFP this summer.

In one to two paragraphs, address some or all of the following questions:

  • Why are you passionate about the work the organization does?
  • Why are you interested in policy and public service?
  • How do you plan to continue to engage in policy or public service following this internship?

I learned about the World Food Programme in the process of researching organizations committed to improving international food security. I was seeking an organization that supports emergency relief efforts as well as sustainable, long-term initiatives to help communities and nations meet their own food and nutrition needs. These two goals are at the heart of the World Food Programme’s mission, and for this reason, I am very passionate about the work this organization does. Additionally, I was able to speak with Ertharin Cousin, the Director of the World Food Programme, during her last visit to Stanford, and through this conversation, I was able to better understand the organization’s approach to combating food insecurity. The goals Director Cousin shared with me align perfectly with the ideas I have begun to develop about the role of sustainable development solutions in solving problems connected to international food insecurity.

As previously mentioned, I am very interested in working at the intersection between sustainable food and agriculture studies and policy because I believe that solutions to food insecurity based on sound scientific research on agricultural practices cannot be achieved without similarly sound policies. Moreover, I am very interested in organizations that couple direct public service in the form of humanitarian aid with longer-term projects aimed at helping countries implement preventative measures, build up their own assets and become self-reliant. I believe both of these avenues of work are essential, and I plan to continue to engage in policy work upon completion of this internship. I plan to remain an active member of Stanford in Government when I return to campus for my Junior year, and I believe my involvement with SIG will continue to prepare me to ultimately work in policy and public service connected to food security.


Sample Resumes from BEAM:

Click HERE for sample resumes.


Upcoming Events and Workshops:

Cardinal Quarter Resume Lab

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2018 –

12:00 PM TO 1:00 PM

HAAS CENTER FOR PUBLIC SERVICE, DK ROOM

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The Haas Center’s Undergraduate Fellowships Program, the Stanford in Government Fellowships and Stipends Program, and many other Cardinal Quarter programs require the submission of a resume as part of the application process. Participate in this hands-on workshop with BEAM to create or fine-tune your resume. If possible, please bring a laptop in order to work on your resume during the session.

Cardinal Quarter Application Writing Workshop

MONDAY, JANUARY 29, 2018 –

5:30 PM TO 7:00 PM

HAAS CENTER FOR PUBLIC SERVICE, DK ROOM

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Join Hume Writing Center staff at the Haas Center for an evening of brainstorming and essay drafting. A great cure for writer’s block, this workshop will help you develop pages of ideas, a new set of writing tools, and the refined focus you need to write your personal statement. Dinner will be provided.

Cardinal Quarter Interview Lab

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2018 –

12:00 PM TO 1:00 PM

HAAS CENTER FOR PUBLIC SERVICE, DK ROOM

RSVP HERE

The Haas Center’s Undergraduate Fellowships Program, the Stanford in Government Fellowships and Stipends Program, and many other Cardinal Quarter programs require students to participate in an interview as part of the application process. BEAM staff will lead this interview lab to provide tips for you to succeed in a fellowship interview. Lunch will be served.