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Furman Metropolitan Fellowship Connects Furman and NYC

By Morgan Fretwell, Contributor

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Applicants who advanced to the final round of the interview process participate in an informal mixer with alums and program directors at The Paddock Fri. Nov. 6. Photo courtesy of Amanda Richey

 Roe Morris, a Class of 2011 alumnus and current Internship Director of the Furman Metropolitan Fellowship (FMF) is thrilled about a new partnership to connect Furman and New York Ciy.

“One small grant for the fellow, one giant leap for Furmankind,” describes Morris.

Furman alumni working in New York City have recently collaborated to create a fellowship for current students. The FMF aims to bridge the gap between students at Furman and the large job market in New York City by “forming a pipeline of students from Furman to New York City,” according to Peter Griffin, with the FMF team.

 “We saw there was a gap, a lack of a footprint of Furman in New York City. There is a lack of skills and knowledge for students in how to get a job there,” Max Dutcher ‘12, Furman Liaison Director of the FMF, said.

The FMF program aims to fill in what is lacking in that connection, and make the process as smooth as possible.

“The program is as simple as a student applies online, then the student goes through the interview process and a student selected,” Griffin said. “The selected student is immediately eligible for an $8,000 grant and an opportunity to live in NYC for the following summer.”

“In addition to the grant,” Morris says, “the student has the opportunity to participate in an internship facilitated by the entire Furman University alumni in NYC.”

Morris stresses that this is not just an internship but an experience, which includes community events, networking events and even a mentor to promote the success of the selected student within his or her field of work. That student will have the ability to interact with the Furman alumni community and their contacts socially, as well as professionally. The FMF team hopes to recreate Furman’s engaged learning concept in the real world through these facets of the program.

Successful applicants will all have one thing in common: passion.

“We believe that drive and passion are far better predictors of a student’s future career success than GPA, and that employers look for passion in candidates more than anything else,” says Morris.

As an applicant, junior Hayley Behal picked up on this focus.

“The entire process has been geared toward letting the applicants show our different passions, which is awesome,” she said.

Behal believes that the program and all that it offers a student “is the perfect opportunity.”

Though Behal is an English and history double major, students from a wide range of majors applied to the program. Since the nature of the fellowship is so flexible, it is truly the ultimate opportunity for students, regardless of their major or future plans.

The group of New York alumni stresses that students waiting until the spring of their senior years would be too late for competitive full time jobs. In fact, they would be about a year and a half too late for many positions in New York City. The FMF is a way to allow students to get ahead in the finding for a job.

“Summer internships are absolutely essential if students expect to get competitive full time jobs after graduation,” Griffin said.

The FMF grant is not the only way in which the New York alumni hope to assist Furman students.

“What we are trying to do is bigger than just one grant. We want to help all Furman students,” Dutcher said. “By just applying, 96 students have made a resume and had it reviewed by professionals. We want to get students to think about going from campus to career earlier and earlier.”

“While only one student will receive the fellowship grant, we are particularly committed to helping all students who want to spend a summer and/or get a full time job in NYC,” Griffin added. “We would encourage all students to apply to, at a minimum, get in front of and get connected with the New York Furman alumni community.”

Students wishing to learn more about the Furman Metropolitan Fellowship or apply to the program next year can visit http://www.furmanmetropolitanfellowship.com/ for more information.

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