Commitment & Compensation

Foremost, the Internship in Building Community is an intensive student affairs internship, with student needs being the focus of intern efforts throughout the duration of the program. Interns are employed as both Resident Advisors and Program Assistants, which requires a substantial time commitment on both weekdays and weekends.

Time Commitment

The 2020 Internship in Building Community begins on June 14 and concludes on August 9, 2020.

Interns are contracted for the entirety of the program dates and are not permitted to arrive after the start date indicated. Applicants should carefully reflect on the program dates to ensure there are no major scheduling conflicts. We are unable to accommodate time away from the internship for personal events such as graduations, weddings, reunions, etc.

Weekly Schedule

During Seminar, most evenings and weekends will be free. However, preparation for student arrival requires some unscheduled work outside of the standard 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Seminar schedule. In addition, the program offers optional off-campus activities geared towards developing familiarity with New York City and community building among the intern population.

During the Practicum, interns work in Program Assistant roles totaling 20 hours per week on average. Many of these roles occur during the hours of the regular work week with occasional evening and weekend commitments. Evenings and weekends, interns take on the responsibilities of their role as a Resident Advisor. Please note, as a Resident Advisor, interns are required to be on-call unless it is their designated time-off period. Additional information can be found on the Responsibilities page.

When the student sessions are active, all interns must observe the curfew of the Summer Immersion Program and conduct nightly check-ins for their cohort of residents; Sunday - Thursday, 11:00 p.m. and Friday - Saturday, 12:00 a.m.


Interns typically have four nights-off over the course of the Practicum, two of which can be flexibly scheduled. Interns do not have to observe curfew on nights-off. If needed and upon availability, interns are provided housing separate from the Summer Program for use on nights-off.

Interns are strongly discouraged from making personal and social plans in advance of their arrival to the internship.

External Commitments

First-year interns may not take on additional employment or classes during the internship and should refrain from making advance social commitments for that period. Interns who attempt to complete significant academic and personal projects over the summer, e.g., studying for the LSAT, would find it extremely difficult to find proper time for the work, and the internship will not accommodate such endeavors.

Code of Conduct

The Internship in Building Community is a professional internship and carries the expectation that all employees will uphold the standards of the program and the University. All interns are asked to abide by a set of behavioral guidelines and adhere to a code of conduct set forth by program administration. Upon acceptance to the internship, all interns will be required to sign a commitment agreement

Columbia University reserves the right to dismiss an intern from the program for failure to adhere to behavioral guidelines or for failure to engage seriously and actively in the program. 


The IBC is a paid internship. Interns receive an hourly wage of $15 and are eligible for overtime pay. Compensation is paid in multiple installments over the course of the summer and is subject to tax withholding. Interns can anticipate earning approximately $3,500 to $4,000 over the course of the internship.

Housing & Meals

Interns receive on-campus housing for the duration of the internship at no cost. Meals are provided Monday through Friday at an on-campus dining hall.

During the Seminar, interns are housed together in dormitory suites or on dormitory floors. Interns live and work in teams of about 10, led by an IBC Team Leader—an outstanding intern from past summers.

During the Practicum, as Resident Advisors, interns live in a dormitory suite or on a dormitory floor with their assigned group of approximately ten high school students. Interns are not permitted to have guests in the Summer Program residence halls during the practicum.

Throughout the internship, all interns are placed in standard single rooms.

Campus Resources

Interns have access to many Columbia University facilities, including Health Services, Dodge Fitness Center, and Butler Library.

Certificate of Accomplishment

Upon successful completion of the internship, interns are awarded a Certificate of Accomplishment that is provided during the end of program ceremony.