Frequently
Asked
Questions

ELI Student Section


WHO ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

ELI matches college students of color with paid internships at top Portland-area companies. This includes current undergraduate students as well as recent graduates (within one year of graduation) who are looking for experience. 




HOW DOES AN ELI INTERNSHIP DIFFER FROM OTHER INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS?

Our interns are selected not only for their smarts, but for their desire to grow as leaders. The companies that are hosting interns have a sincere desire to broaden the representation of the full Portland community in their workplace. And they’re looking for new pipelines of talent. They’re looking for someone just like you to bring a new perspective. 




ARE ALL OF THE INTERNSHIPS IN PORTLAND?

Most internships are in Portland, but not all of them. In the past we’ve had positions in Vancouver and locations around the metro area including Beaverton, Hillsboro, and Lake Oswego. The application has a place for you to identify if you are willing to take an internship outside of Portland. 




CAN OUT-OF-STATE STUDENTS PARTICIPATE?

Our desire is to connect students who have a strong connection to Portland to internships in the region. The idea is that students of color who grew up in Portland will return to the city after graduation to build a career. And for those who have made Portland their home during college or graduate school, they will see themselves making this the place to build a career and participate in the community. As such, we currently accept applicants who are from Portland and attending school anywhere, and those who are from any other location, but who are attending a higher ed institution in the Portland area and are planning to look for career opportunities here. This includes all students attending Oregon State University and University of Oregon. 



CAN DACA STUDENTS APPLY?

Yes, we accept applications from DACA recipients.




CAN INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS APPLY?

Unfortunately, Emerging Leaders currently lacks the capacity to support international students (F-1 visa) in the work authorization process. Thus, we have made the difficult decision not to consider international students for placement in ELI 2020. We regret this disappointing situation and commit to continuing to develop systems and build our capacity to be able to support international students in future cycles of our program. 




CAN I APPLY AFTER I GRADUATE?

Students can apply for an ELI internship while currently attending college or up to one year after undergraduate graduation. Students must have completed a minimum of one year of college coursework to be eligible. That can be at a community or a 4-year college. 




CAN GRADUATE (MASTER'S, PHD) STUDENTS APPLY?

While students currently enrolled in grad school can apply, we caution that our internship program is designed specifically for undergraduate students and recent graduates (within one year). Certain internship positions may not be able to accept grad students for their positions.. 




WILL I GET CREDIT FOR AN ELI INTERNSHIP?

At this time we do not coordinate credit for ELI internships, but interns are free to discuss this with their company and school once they have accepted the internship. 




WHAT DOES IT COST TO PARTICIPATE IN ELI?

There is no application fee. However, if you are selected and placed in a paid internship, you will be required to pay a minimal intern fee of $20 before the Orientation in June in order to establish accountability between our interns, our program and our company partners. 




HOW LONG IS THE INTERNSHIP COMMITMENT?

Most internships run 10-12 weeks with scheduling flexibility to accommodate school calendars. These are generally full-time internships working 30-40 hours/week.




CAN I PICK WHICH COMPANY I’D LIKE TO WORK WITH?

You will have an opportunity to indicate a few internships that are of primary interest. ELI will try to match you with your preferences, but the staff will also match students to other internships where they see a good fit. Keep an open mind; some of the best internship opportunities are with companies you may not be familiar with. 




WHAT KIND OF WORK WILL MY INTERNSHIP ENTAIL?

That depends on your interests, goals, career ambitions, and the company’s internship needs. Companies agree to provide work that is important to their goals and a senior leader as a mentor. Whatever specific work you do in your ELI internship, it’ll be relevant to the organization and insightful for the intern. 




WHAT KIND OF SUPPORT DOES ELI OFFER TO INTERNS?

ELI encouragement begins at the interview event. You’ll be treated professionally and will gain experience in interviewing and networking through the process. Students who are selected for an internship will have a senior leader mentor in their company. During the summer, ELI will host gatherings to support and inspire you on your path to becoming a professional and workshops on topics such as resume creation, networking, and other professional development topics. ELI will continue to act as a support throughout your internship experience and beyond.




WHAT IS THE APPLICATION AND SELECTION PROCESS?

  1. Submit an online application before the deadline of January 31, including a resume and essay questions. Your application will be screened to see if you meet the minimum requirements.




  2. If you pass this first screening, we’ll invite you to an interview on March 7 in Portland. This is a required step for all candidates to move forward in the selection process.




  3. ELI staff will then evaluate your application, resume, and interview results to match 3 students to each internship opening as finalists for the company to select from. Students who apply are not guaranteed an internship.




  4. In April, if you’re matched to an opening, you and up to 2 other candidates will be contacted by the company to set up a final selection interview. Final interviews and offers will take place in April and are the decision of the company that is offering the position.




  5. In June, you’ll attend an orientation in Portland to set you up for success in your 10-12 week internship. 




HOW CAN I FIND OUT THE STATUS OF MY APPLICATION?

You will be notified following the January 31 application deadline if you are invited to the interview event on March 7. 




WHAT KIND OF RESUME DO I NEED FOR THE APPLICATION?

We will only accept resumes that are one page in length and PDF format, and it is best not to use a lot of graphics or custom fonts. Your career center is a great resource to help you create and review a professional quality resume.




WHAT HAPPENS AT THE INTERVIEW EVENT, AND IS IT REQUIRED?

The purpose of the event is two-fold. First, it gives you a chance to hear more about our program and to gain experience in an interview situation. This is an opportunity to improve your skills and to network with the ambitious students and supportive professionals at the event. From day one, you are part of the ELI family.

Second, it provides the ELI staff with feedback from interviewers on the way you present yourself and your readiness for an internship. Throughout the event, the focus is on building you up and on giving you feedback to make you an even stronger candidate. We want to reassure you that, yes, ELI really does want you as an intern at a top company.

The interview event on March 7 is required. If you are unable to attend for a valid reason, we will talk to you about an alternate way to accomplish the interview.




WHAT IF I AM STUDYING ABROAD DURING THE SELECTION PROCESS?

The application deadline is firm and the online application may be completed from anywhere you have access to it. There is a mandatory interview event on March 7 for all students who are selected to move forward in the selection process. For students who are out of the country, a phone interview may be scheduled. Students must also be available (by phone or Skype) if they cannot be present to participate in a final interview if invited to compete for a particular internship.




WHEN WILL I KNOW IF I’M SELECTED AS A FINALIST?

Following the interview event in March, the ELI staff completes an intensive matching process and may not be able to reply to inquiries about your status. You’ll know in April if you’re a finalist for one or more internships.




HOW WILL I KNOW IF I WILL GET AN INTERNSHIP?

There is no guarantee that finalists will be offered an internship. It is a competitive process and the company will ultimately decide who to interview and who to hire. Offers for internships are given directly to the intern by the hiring company. All offers are expected to be made by the end of April.




IF I’M NOT SELECTED, CAN I REAPPLY? IF I PARTICIPATED BEFORE, CAN I APPLY AGAIN?

Yes, you're welcome to reapply! In fact, we encourage you to apply each year through graduation. Your skills will be building and new internships will open up as ELI grows.




HOW CAN I EMAIL ELI?

Send your ELI-related emails to eli@portlandleadership.org.




WHICH COMPANIES OFFERED INTERNSHIPS IN 2019, AND WILL THEY BE THE SAME THIS YEAR?

Many companies will renew their internships in 2019, and others will have openings in different departments. While we don’t know for certain what the needs will be, you can take a look at the company partners from 2019 and the list of internship categories below to anticipate the types of internships that will be available.

2019 INTERNSHIP CATEGORIES

Marketing & Communications
such as Marketing / Social Media / Communications / Graphic Design / Social Change / PR / Market & Consumer Research / Events / Digital Marketing
Tech
such as IT / Analytics / Data Security / Data Science / Front End / SW Development / UX Design/ Web Development / Energy
Operations & Projects
such as Operations / Strategic Planning / Project Management / Supply Chain / Inventory
People & Engagement
such as Human Resources / Customer Service / Donor Relations / Community Engagement / Office Managememt / Legal / Social Science Research
Finance & Accounting
such as Finance / Accounting / Audit / Underwriting
Sales & Products
such as Sales / Merchandising / Product Design / Product Management / Product Research / Business Development / Entrepreneurship
+ Others such as landscape, hydro and more




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ELI Company Section


WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ELI AND THE PORTLAND LEADERSHIP FOUNDATION?

ELI is one of the initiatives of the Portland Leadership Foundation (PLF). We've been active in scholarships for underrepresented students for more than 10 years and have a focus on empowering the underserved through all our work. PLF's vision is to see a transformed and strengthened Portland community through the development of multicultural leaders.




WHAT IS THE EXPECTED LENGTH OF THE INTERNSHIP?

Most internships run 10-12 weeks, roughly from June 1 to August 31, with scheduling flexibility to accommodate school calendars and business needs. Private schools are generally out at the beginning of May, publics later in June.




HOW MANY HOURS PER WEEK WILL EACH INTERN WORK?

These are generally full-time internships working 40 hours/week. Internships with shorter work weeks (minimum 30 hours) should be identified in the job description.




WHEN IS OUR MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING (MOU) DUE?

January 15 is the deadline for inclusion in ELI 2020.




WHAT INFORMATION DO YOU NEED FOR EACH JOB DESCRIPTION?

Job descriptions should be sent to us no later than February 18 so that we can include them in our website, invite students to get familiar with your company and internship, and prepare to match for your position.

  1. A description of the project or type of work you’ll assign to each intern. 




  2. Which department each intern will work in (i.e. Finance, Web Design, Marketing, etc.)




  3. Any specific skills, languages, or certifications successful interns will need (i.e. Java, Python, etc for IT roles, or Adobe Flash, Illustrator, Corel, etc for graphic design roles). 




  4. Whether your internship is open to both college students (undergraduate and graduate school) and recent graduates (graduating seniors). 




  5. Expected hours per week. Nearly all internships are offered as full-time, 40 hours/week positions. 




  6. Hourly wage, keeping in mind that the MOU states the minimum is $15/hour. 




  7. Your anticipated internship start and end dates (can indicate flexibility). 




  8. Any other specific requirements for each internship.




WHEN WILL YOU NOTIFY COMPANIES OF FINALIST CANDIDATES?

We’ll let you know who your finalist candidates are by the first week of April.




WHO SCHEDULES THE INTERVIEWS WITH THE FINALIST CANDIDATES?

Each company, as the intern host, is individually responsible for contacting their final candidates to schedule interviews, make offers, and decline applicants who aren’t accepted. As soon as you select your candidate you should notify ELI at eli@portlandleadership.org .




WHO MANAGES PAYROLL FOR THE INTERN?

In the past, nearly all ELI hosting companies have handled their own payroll, but we do have an option for you to run it through Worksystems Inc.




WHY IS THERE A $1500 CONTRIBUTION FOR EACH INTERN?

Your company’s $1500 per intern contribution helps defray the cost of running the ELI program by contributing to website and application development, intern-to-company matching, event scheduling, staffing, and intern orientation costs.




WHEN AND TO WHOM DO WE SEND THE $1500 PER INTERN CONTRIBUTION?

This nonrefundable program fee may be paid in full up front (preferred), or in the following two-installment plan:

• $750 (50%) due at the time of signed Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU).

• $750 (50%) due before the intern matching process (March 16, 2020).

Payment methods available are outlined in the MOU.




WHY IS THE FEE NONREFUNDABLE?

Your contribution supports ELI and our Emerging Leaders of color and is an investment in the advancement and retention of diverse talent in our region.




WHAT IS THE TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE?

Starting from ELI 2020, companies will provide interns with a $200 transportation allowance to offset the cost of travel to and from the internship site. Funds may be provided directly to the intern as a TriMet pass, gas card, parking reimbursement, or other form agreed upon with the intern once accepted for the position.




WHAT KIND OF ENGAGEMENT, IF ANY, SHOULD MY COMPANY HAVE WITH ELI ONCE OUR INTERNSHIP PROGRAM STARTS?

We’d love feedback on your intern and your internship program experience in general—positive notes, critical observations, suggestions, etc.—at any time. We’ll also encourage you to participate in our mid-summer event and surveys. Employees with hosting companies are also welcome to join us as a volunteer for a number of opportunities ranging from the interview event, to mentoring, to acting as a resume coach.




WHAT KIND OF SUPPORT DOES ELI OFFER TO INTERNS?

ELI encouragement begins at the interview event. Students who are selected for internships will attend an internship orientation. They will receive tips on how to successfully engage their internship experience. We will also provide them with a network of support and will convene periodic summer gatherings to support and inspire.




IS THERE A FALL/SPRING INTERNSHIP CYCLE?

At this time, the Emerging Leaders Internship program is in summer only. Please refer to our timeline.




HOW CAN WE EMAIL ELI?

All email correspondence should be sent to eli@portlandleadership.org.



 
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