Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Fellowship and Internship

Many a time you might have come across students who are looking out for ways to get ahead in their career after school. You might have listened to them tell you how they have stepped into every office, some offering internships while others offer fellowships. Now that can be confusing for them even to make a choice. Most of them end up getting spoilt for choice as they do not know the difference between the two.

You too have also had a chance at getting the confusion to get the better part of you. It is all acceptable since the two terms have been used widely whenever people are discussing career growth, and especially for graduate and post-graduate students. So, what really is the difference between the two processes, that is, fellowship and internship?

Typically, a fellowship is offered to students at the graduate and post-graduate levels. Most students consider it as a good way of augmenting their academic studies with the necessary experience needed to succeed in their career field of choice. Internship, on the other hand, serves as an exchange of services for skills between a student and the hiring company or organization. Here, the student gets exposure to what the real-life dynamics of a workplace are like. They also take advantage of the internship to confirm the career interests at hand as well as to earn university credit. An internship can be paid or unpaid while most fellowships are paid.


What is a Fellowship Program?

A fellowship is a program carried out with the intention of developing the professional front of a candidate. The program can be sponsored by different groups, organizations, or institutions and provides support for talented and integral candidates.

The selection for a fellowship program is usually based on merits. The candidate’s study is sponsored by an independent group or the institution in question. For the candidate to prove their caliber and support their merits, they must submit their resume and a recommendation letter that supports their requisite competencies.


What is an Internship Program?

An internship program can be defined as a work opportunity that an employer grants a potential candidate to work with them for a short period of time. The program is usually meant for undergraduate students where they work from a few weeks to three months. Its main intention is to give the candidate industrial experience in a practical way by applying the theory they studied in a classroom setup.

An internship program gives the student an advantage by exposing their skills and experience. It is also meant to provide them a career growth if they wish to excel while also providing a network of valuable contacts for future opportunities.


Difference Between Fellowship and Internship

  1. Explanation

Fellowship is focused on the development of a student by offering them study in a specific field. It supports a range of different activities for purposes of research, graduate studies, developing community-based organizations, providing opportunities for exploring a field of work, and offering training.

Internship, on the other hand, is offered to students or trainees interested in exploring and gaining more work experience in a particular industry.

  1. Duration

A fellowship program is offered for a variety of programs and ranges from a few months to years and varies according to the needs of a department. An internship differs from one workplace to another. The duration ranges from one to three months but can sometimes be for a year. Some companies may offer it for a few hours a day or several days a week while others do it fulltime.

  1. Eligibility

An internship program is mainly for undergraduate students in their final year. However, fresh graduates can also apply for it after they complete their studies. A fellowship program, on the other hand, is meant for graduate and post-graduate students willing to excel in any discipline. It is merit-based and mostly awarded for students pursuing doctoral degrees.

  1. Application

To apply for a fellowship program, a candidate needs to apply using their resume and recommendation letter, transcripts, as well as samples of works done. For an internship program, companies display what they have on their websites or through other media and candidates have to apply.

  1. Benefits

An internship offers hands-on experience for the student, helps them identify the career they would do well in exploring, helps build their portfolio, and adding credit to their academic performance. A fellowship program offers good working experience, develops the candidate professionally, offers intensive training, and promotes leadership opportunities.

  1. Compensation

An internship is usually unpaid. However, depending on the industry type, a candidate might get some payment. For a fellowship program, most candidates earn some wage through allowances and stipends.

Fellowship vs Internship: Comparison Table


Summary of Fellowship vs Internship

For both the undergraduate and post-graduate students, fellowships and internships offer to accelerate routes to successful careers. While most people often use the two terms interchangeably, it is evident and clear that they have so much uncommonness. With the guide herein, however, you can always bet on it that you will be properly guided while out there looking for a way of accelerating your career growth.

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you for this information, It was very helpful.

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References :

[0]Image credit: https://media.defense.gov/2016/Aug/11/2001602138/780/780/0/160721-F-RI777-001.JPG

[1]Image credit: https://media.defense.gov/2017/Feb/28/2001705004/780/780/0/170222-F-XR514-072.JPG

[2]"Fellowships Compared To Internships | Internshipfinder". Internshipfinder, 2018, https://www.internshipfinder.com/members/fellowships/. Accessed 11 Oct 2018.

[3]"The Difference Between Internships And Fellowships - College Raptor Blog". College Raptor Blog, 2018, https://www.collegeraptor.com/explore-careers/articles/careers-internships/difference-internship-fellowship/. Accessed 11 Oct 2018. 

[4]Culp, Ron, and Ron Culp. "Differentiating Between Internships And Fellowships | Institute For Public Relations". Institute For Public Relations, 2018, https://instituteforpr.org/differentiating-between-internships-and-fellowships/. Accessed 11 Oct 2018. 

[5]"What Is The Difference Between Internship And Fellowship? - Wisestep". Wisestep, 2018, https://content.wisestep.com/internship-vs-fellowship/. Accessed 11 Oct 2018. 


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