I’ve alluded to this program a few times recently, but I figured I ought to share some information about it formally now that I have actually accepted an internship through it
Here is the link for 2018, it seems that they make a new webpage for it every year so you may have to google for the current one if you’re interested in applying
I ended up applying for this program as a graduating senior, because I didn’t find out about it myself until my junior year after the application deadline had already closed (it’s in early January, typically)! Really, it’s probably best suited for sophomores, juniors, or non-graduating seniors in college. They have a variety of types of internships available in different parts of the diabetes sector (research, technology, advocacy, marketing, business or nonprofit management), and allow you to rank your top 3 choices for type of internship you’d be interested in. This year, the application required me to answer a few questions in short (~200-300 words), and attach a resume and letter of recommendation from a professor. After submitting the necessary materials, finalists are selected (this year we were told that about 98 out of over 170 were selected as finalists), whose application packets get passed on to participating companies and institutions. They look over your application materials and reach out to you if they are interested in having you intern with them, and then you do the typical interview process.
After being notified that I was a finalist, I ended up being approached by 3 different research programs. One interesting aspect of this program is that it’s an internship matching program, and you can end up with your application materials being read by people across the country. I was contacted about a Summer Diabetes Research Program at Vanderbilt (which you can also apply for outside of the JDRF program), an internship in a lab at the Mayo Clinic, and an internship at a lab in Boston. The lab in Boston was most flexible with the start date, and I have accepted a 12 week internship with them starting soon after my graduation in the spring. I have viewed all of these opportunities as really exciting endeavors at pretty prestigious research institutions, and without the JDRF College Internship Program I would not have known about these opportunities!
Obviously this experience has been quite specific to my interest in research, and internships in the other concentrations will likely be with different types of companies or institutions.
Some potential downsides of the program: you get a stipend of $2000-$2500 for the summer from JDRF, and you have to manage your own housing and travel expenses. I’m quite confident that my costs are going to be higher than I will make from the stipend, but I (and my parents - who are funding whatever costs remain) think the experience will be worth it. Internships not in such a big city, or for a shorter period of time, may fare a little better on this front.
You also aren’t guaranteed a position if you make it to the finalists, making it there basically just means that JDRF will send your application on to potential employers.
There will also apparently be some sort of “leadership training academy” hosted by JDRF prior to the start of the internship, though I don’t know much about this yet. I’ll be sure to update on how that goes!