Getting the Most Out of Your EPIC Advantage Award

One of Earlham’s most important, student-centered opportunities for career discernment is the EPIC Advantage: the promise of one, fully funded, career-related experience prior to graduation. We tout that every student may qualify for up to $5000 toward this experience, which can be research, a community-engagement project, an internship, a certification or training program, or a practicum or field study experience.

We often hear from folks who are trying to figure out how to spend the full $5000, as if not spending it all would be like losing money. But the award is not a $5000 pile of cash; it’s the best career-discerning experience for you (that costs up to $5000). We really want to encourage you to think about the EPIC Advantage experience in this way: What is the one experience that would, at this time, best enhance my career discernment (figuring out where I want to go next and helping me leap there)?

For some folks, the best experience may be one that does not cost the full $5000, and that’s not a problem. This donor program will fund even more Earlham students, further into the future, if the average award is less than $5000. For those of you who want to intern abroad or in an urban area in the US (when that’s possible again), you’re likely to need the full amount, or close to it. But for those who want to get, for example, a certification that can jump-start your career, the cost may be more like half of the max. But if that’s what you need to take the next step, go for it! This is why the program funds so many different types of experiences.

“Whenever you see a successful person, you only see the public glories, never the private sacrifices to reach them.” –Vaibhav Shah

In addition, if you find yourself a paid internship that makes it unnecessary to use the EPIC Advantage in that particular break or term – do it! Why not? Use your EPIC Advantage at some other point in your four years here. We want to make sure that everyone has at least one career-discerning experience before graduation, but if you can have two, or even three, there’s no reason not to do so.

And please, call on us for help, ideas, and resources as you seek any and all experiences. Team CGCE is here to help!

By Roger Adkins
Roger Adkins Executive Director, Center for Global and Career Education Roger Adkins