Students, Businesses Alike Benefit from UC Berkeley's SAGE Scholars Program

Education professionals have long recognized the importance of combining theoretical knowledge with practical experience. When that practical experience can also provide financial assistance to a worthy student, it's a great situation for everyone who participates.

Those are some of the goals of the University of California at Berkeley's SAGE Scholars program. SAGE - an acronym for "Student Achievement Guided by Experience" - has a simple mission:

To facilitate diversity at UC Berkeley by providing financial assistance, career development training, and mentoring with meaningful internship work experience to promising and highly motivated students with financial need.

The SAGE Scholars Program is an outreach program developed by the University of California Office of the President to increase the retention and success of undergraduates from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. For students, SAGE Scholars is a powerful development tool for their future. The program also creates a number of opportunities for business participation.

As partners with the SAGE Scholars Program, business sponsors provide selected UC undergraduate students with comprehensive multi-year internships and financial awards. Students are selected on the basis of financial need and honorary status.

For business partners, the SAGE Scholars Program opens doors to a skilled, motivated, and diverse workforce. Students explore career opportunities aligned with their interests and academic studies. SAGE interns work part-time during the academic year (10-15 hours per week) and full-time in the summer at sponsoring businesses. Meaningful job assignments help ensure the SAGE interns gain practical skills for their future.

Another advantage for businesses is the guidance given SAGE Scholars on career issues. The SAGE Scholars Program works closely with students to answer questions to assist them in making wise career choices and selecting appropriate internships. All SAGE Scholars attend Career Development classes taught by experts in their fields to help facilitate the SAGE Scholars' transition into the workplace. Students work with their supervisors on goals and objectives for their work and are evaluated on their progress.

A SAGE Business Council was also recently founded whereby company principals and the UC Berkeley community will focus on objectives and themes which underlie SAGE: diversity; the advancement of various demographic groups represented by SAGE; civic betterment, and meeting workforce objectives in a changing world. Professionals in fields such as biotechnology, engineering, computer science, and finance are invited to work with SAGE. Different levels of financial support are available to SAGE Business Council members. For more information on the SAGE Business Council, contact Lynn Axelrod at (510) 642-2203.

Information on the SAGE Scholars Program can be obtained on their web page at or by calling (510) 642-2325.

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