Soll Center for Student Opportunity

Claremont McKenna College continues to take informed actions in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As the situation continues to evolve, our top priority remains the safety, health, and well-being of our community. We will persevere in our mission as we take all appropriate measures in this collective public health challenge. We will update students, families, faculty, and staff with regular updates, news and announcements at CMC’s COVID-19 website.
The Soll Center for Student Opportunity has immediately responded to these unprecedented times by:

  • Reorganizing into 3 teams, focused on graduating senior outreach, employer/alumni/parent outreach, and Sponsored Internships & Experiences (SIE) outreach.
  • Contacting every senior to check in on their plans post graduation, gather the recruitment preferences (location and industry) of any students who are still looking for opportunities, and compiling resume books to send to employers, alumni and parents.
  • Surveying and proactively reaching out to all employers, alumni, and parent partners to determine their current needs for full-time and summer internships, and offering targeted resume books to meet those needs.
  • Determining an SIE funding policy that reflects the reality of the current travel and shelter-in-place guidelines, revising our application process to allow students to let us know when they have a confirmed offer for the summer, moving to a rolling basis for funding with no short-term deadlines to allow students as much time as possible to figure out their summer plans, and contacting every SIE applicant on an individual basis to provide guidance and coaching in how to proceed. 

The Center has also worked across campus to create, amend and deliver three major programs of benefit to our students.

The CMC Impact Program (for the Class of 2020) (updated May 22, 2020)

CMC is committed to supporting the educational and career development of the Class of 2020 during this unprecedented time. In response to the uncertainty and ongoing impact of COVID-19, CMC has created the CMC Impact Program (the “Program”).

Funded by an anonymous donor and other sources, the Program provides grant awards for eligible members of the CMC Class of 2020 to advance their educational and professional development through internship, research or community-based projects intended to further their individual professional and career development goals.1 Following the design of an approved project proposal, participants will execute a project, of up to one year, which connects their education, experience, and co-curricular development with their professional ambitions.

The Program will begin on June 1, 2020 and conclude no later than June 18, 2021. It will be managed through the Soll Center for Student Opportunity and will draw upon the expertise of employers and partners from the private, social, and public sectors, as well as the entire CMC community. Additional details on the Impact Program can be found here.

Additional details on the Impact Fellowship can be found here.

1 All May, June, August and December 2020 Class of 2020 graduates are eligible to apply.

Sponsored Internships & Experiences Program Modifications (for all returning students)

On March 19th, the U.S. Department of State announced that all non-US countries should be considered Level 4 and recommended all U.S. citizens avoid travel abroad. Given this information, a new policy was put in place that stipulated that all CMC SIE and experiential funds, including those supported by institutes and centers, would not sponsor international travel out of the U.S. for summer 2020. SIE and experiential funding would only support international opportunities when those opportunities are considered “domestic,” meaning in the U.S. or student’s home country of residence. In addition, a change was made to grant funding on a rolling basis as opportunities are confirmed and anticipate funding well into the summer months, to allow students as much time as possible to confirm an opportunity and identify their funding needs.

Returning students are strongly encouraged to focus their summer plans domestically (whether that be in the U.S or their country of residence) or on remote internships and experiences (i.e., completing an internship while working from home). The Soll Center team is actively working with CMC institutes and centers, employer, and alumni partners to identify additional summer opportunities, both domestic and remote, for students who have been impacted by these changes. 

More details can be found on the SIE website.

Alternative Summer Programming for Career Development

We recognize that some students will be unable to secure a summer internship or experience given the current travel and employer constraints. We have therefore designed a Career Development curriculum that any student can follow from home and customize to meet their own personal career development goals, with the support of a dedicated career coach. The curriculum encourages students to invest in and be accountable for their own learning and career development and is structured over a 10-week period with clear action steps each week and a final deliverable. It will allow students to explore an industry or career in depth, while deepening their knowledge and expertise, building valuable contacts and a professional network, and creating customized goals and action plans for the following year. This program will be rolled out in the coming weeks.

Overview of the Soll Center for Student Opportunity

The Soll Center for Student Opportunity is rooted in a promise: When intellectual rigor and personal insight are blended with expert guidance and real-world resources, extraordinary opportunities ensue.

The Center is home to three important resources: Career Services, Scholar Communities and Sponsored Internships & Experiences. A dedicated team of professionals provides personalized support for students at all stages of their college experience with complementary advising, coaching, mentoring and networking services. This support also extends to our alumni post-graduation.

As a collaborative, student service-focused hub, the Center partners with academic, co-curricular and extracurricular resources across the depth and breadth of the CMC community—both on campus and beyond—to help students recognize, cultivate and translate their interests and strengths into meaningful and exciting real-world experiences. These experiences range from internships and fellowships, to graduate and professional programs, to employment and career enrichment.

Students are welcome to take advantage of not only an industry-leading first-year counseling program, but also an ongoing, proactive guidance model. The Center concentrates interest-driven programs and tools in a central, accessible office. Students will encounter an open floor plan, flexible meeting spaces, private interview rooms and outdoor seating, along with a staff committed to positive, thoughtful problem-solving.

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