Please contact us directly for any additional questions.
What is Social Innovation Projects?
Social Innovation Projects (SIP) is an on-campus internship program in which a small team of students are paired with a partner organization such as the Perpetual Education Fund, Google Community Leaders, or Ashoka.
Teams work with partner organizations to innovate solutions for the world’s most pressing social problems such as poverty, healthcare, education, and economic development. SIP gives students from all majors a deeper understanding of how to Do Good Better.
What is social innovation?
Social innovation is the ecosystem whereby new and innovative solutions to our global society’s greatest problems are solved. This is an umbrella term used to describe the work that nonprofit organizations, socially driven for-profit companies, philanthropists and others do to resolve world issues.
What kind of projects do student interns do?
Projects are different for each partner and each semester. In the past students have collected data and aggregated it into research reports or infographics, organized recruiting events, created multimedia presentations, and analyzed financial information. To see examples and summaries of past student work, click here.
Who are your partners?
The Ballard Center works with marquee organizations to create synergistic relationships where both students and organizations fulfill their shared passion for social innovation. We seek to work with partners whose organizations have been well vetted. We look to groups like Ashoka, Skoll Foundation, Schwab Foundation, Mulago Foundation, Peery Foundation, and others to help us identify potential partners. We also take advantage of our board members and Social Venture Academy to vet organizations when appropriate. Partner organizations take many different approaches to social innovation, including nonprofits, socially innovative enterprises, companies with compelling corporate social responsibility programs, impact investors, microcredit organizations, and more.
There is a partner I want to work with. How do I know if SIP is partnered with them?
I am not a business major—can I still apply?
Yes! Students from more than thirty different majors have participated in SIP. Each partner and project requires different skill sets. We find the most successful teams are ones that have interdisciplinary representation. The learning experience and final deliverables are always greatly enhanced when there are multiple perspectives.
Do I get credit for participating with SIP?
Of course! After you have applied and are accepted into SIP, you will enroll in MSB 491R, Social Innovation Projects, for three credits. Some major and minor programs will accept SIP as credit, depending on the project. We are also frequently able to get this course approved for credit in departments across campus. Email us to find out if your major or minor is included.
How many hours a week will I work with my team?
Interns will commit to six to nine hours each week and be available Tuesday and Thursday from 4:00–5:15 p.m. The following count toward weekly hours: class time, weekly meetings with partner contacts, team meetings, individual work, and some approved Ballard Center events. Projects and classes start after the add/drop deadline each semester and logged hours do play a role in student grades.
Are there any paid internships?
The on-campus internships are for credit only. If you would like a paid internship, come to the Ballard Center in 360 TNRB, so we can help you identify opportunities.