Difference Between Fellowship and Internship

While setting up a career, you feel surrounded by so many options, right? There are actually so many things that you want to consider and you feel overwhelming thinking that times. Finding too many opportunities or options, you become tangled. Some of these options are extremely hard to differentiate as you don't have enough experience to understand the in-between differences. This article talks and focuses on two interchangeable terms, Fellowship and Internship and gives an insight of the Difference Between Fellowship and Internship.

How to accelerate the route to a successful career? Graduate and undergraduate students commonly use and discover the terms internships and fellowships but certainly remain confused among difference between Fellowship and Internship. The terms are often used interchangeably but have fine differences in general. This post briefly describes the Difference Between Fellowship and Internship in an effective order as general people synonymously use the term "internship" and "fellowship" when they both are quite different. Therefore, there are definitions attached to each of these terms in the next section.

What is an Internship?

An internship involves the agreement of services between the student and the hiring organization in exchange for wages and professional experience. An internship is mostly for graduate and high school students where they are exposed to the real-life dynamics of the workplace while learning about their career interests and to earn university or school credit. Internships can be both a “paid” or “unpaid” opportunity for the aspirants to grow themselves in a corporate sector. Paid internships provide hourly wages as given to regular employees. Unpaid internships instead of providing monetary compensation offer college credits.

What is the Fellowship?

Fellowships are a higher level of opportunity for graduate and postgraduate students which is practiced independently under some valid authority or organization. Fellows decide to complete their academic studies along with the experience necessary to succeed in their selected field. Fellowships can be completed as per own customized hours eliminating the load of part-time jobs or student education loans. Fellowships focus upon building a professional outlook for the students in their interest field along with fixed payments for the project. While working on the proposed project, fellows are offered a fixed stipend for the work period. Some of the examples of featured Fellowship Programs have been listed as:

  • Rotary World Peace Fellows
  • National Science Foundation Fellows
  • Presidential Management Fellows
  • Guggenheim Memorial Fellowships
  • Hewlett-Packard Fellowships
Some Similarities

Internships and fellowships are a great opportunity to meet new and successful people, building connections with them, strengthening self-abilities, and gaining work experience, This way there are characteristics specific to each of them. Importantly, knowing the difference between the two is required to place yourself in the most appropriate professional domain.

Key Difference Between Fellowship and Internship

Both Internships and Fellowships hold extensive value for your career at the early and mid-career levels. The two terms might be used in the same reference but differ in a few key ways including the application process, target applicant, experience, and earning. Quickly, let us break down their differences.

Based on Experience Levels

Fellowships usually offer professional development or academic research in a particular field and Internships are all about providing a professional experience to the seekers. An internship is just an opportunity to gain an experience working in big organizations or company which otherwise requires advanced and experienced professionals only. Internships only last as trial periods for students who look for jobs in companies during or after their college or as a part of their training program. While Fellowships cover an academic or scholarly approach to career development. Fellowships involve a day to day structured project work which emphasizes on participants to master their respective fields.

Based on educational eligibility requirements

Fellowships are for those who have completed their graduate and post-graduate levels. Most of the fellowships require bachelor degree and some require a master’s or doctoral degree. Full-time professional fellowships are for the students who have earned a bachelor’s degree. Many academic fellowships are offered for both graduate students and post-graduate students. Some graduate students who are pursuing a Ph.D. program are referred to as the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, and commonly called “pre-doctoral fellowships.” Fellowships which are done after completing a Ph.D. program are referred to as “post-doctoral fellowships.” Internships, on the other hand, are open to every student, from basic level to higher level including undergraduates and even high school students.

Pre-requisite for opportunity

Fellowships applicants have to propose a specific project in their interest field which has to be completed during the fellowship period only. While for an internship, applicants have to simply submit an entry-level job application which includes submitting a  resume, answering a few interview questions, submitting a cover letter stating why you want the position and how you are qualified for it. Alongside, Applicants also need to provide their contact information for professional references. Fellowships also require past work experience if applicants have any. In that experience page, they have to give information about their specific research or projects that they will use the fellowship time and funding to complete.

Work nature and offered salary structure

Fellowships typically offer a fixed stipend, while internships offer hourly wages based on the working hour format. The work structure of fellowships is quite different from internships. During a fellowship project, individuals do not require to follow a login hour format or there are no fixed hours required while working on a project. Fellows work independently and on advanced level projects whereas interns function as assistants in entry-level operational and administrative tasks.

Based on the degree of work

Though intern might not be paid or less paid than a fellow, an intern is more junior than a fellow as fellowship holds a greater sense of independence and authority. A fellow is an honorary title that is offered for past and current accomplishments in the selected field and marked for the continuing degree of supervision. While an internship is temporary training work assigned to the students in exchange for some paid or unpaid value, focused on providing practical exposure.

Other differences

Internships can be unpaid or the company might provide college credits as monetary compensation. While fellowships are reserved for post-college students or professionals who in exchange are likable to get course credit payment or no payments at all. Remember that an Internship experience is worthful though it requires working for free all summer. Working for credits is somewhat appealing to students who are soon to complete their graduate programme.

Hope that the Difference Between Fellowship and Internship is all clear to the students. The key differences will help you to create a more thoughtful, targeted application for your requirements and decisions so that the relevant experience benefit you the most in future times.

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Date: 08 Feb 2019

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