Field Work Term
Hone your ideas in the classroom, and test them through hands-on work in the world—every year.
Every Bennington student, every winter spends seven weeks at work in the world pursuing jobs, internships, and entrepreneurial endeavors related to their studies, their professional ambitions, and their own curiosities. By the time they graduate, Bennington students have acquired at least four jobs or internship experiences and a deep understanding of what they want to do. They have developed a capacity to grasp and enter complex situations; the ability to work and think independently as well as to collaborate; and the confidence to be mobilized—not paralyzed—by ambiguities, trade-offs, and uncertainties.
Bennington understood from the beginning that the work students do in the world would have a profound impact on the work they do on campus, and vice-versa. More than 100,000 jobs and internships later, employers consistently report that Bennington students have a confidence, capacity, and drive that sets them apart. When employers ask us how it is that undergraduates from a small liberal arts college are going head-to-head and toe-to-toe with seasoned professionals, we credit the Plan and Field Work Term—pillars of a Bennington education from the College's inception.
We Work Here
In each of their four FWTs, students bring their studies to the world of work, implementing knowledge, confronting challenges firsthand and refining their questions to further shape their studies when back on campus.
What Employers Say
According to a national survey of 50,000 employers, the single most important credential for a college graduate entering the workforce is internship experience. Take it from employers, Bennington interns have what it takes.
Back for More
When employers hire a Bennington intern, they often come back looking for more. These are some of those companies, organizations, and individuals we are thrilled to include in that long list.
HOW IT WORKS
SECURING AN INTERNSHIP
Students may secure an internship or job using the Field Work Term and Career Development Office’s database of more than 650 annual FWT job postings and 8,000 archived employer contacts. However, students are not required to find a position through the College and often secure positions independently.
7 WEEKS, 210 HOURS
Every student is required to complete 210 hours during Field Work Term over seven weeks in January and February each year. This full immersion provides a deep, honest view of the work and tends to offer opportunities for students to take on serious responsibilities or larger projects, establish relationships, and to reflect on many aspects of the work itself.
At the end of the seven weeks, employers evaluate their Bennington intern’s work performance and provide feedback. Supervisors will often articulate an intern’s strengths and weaknesses, suggesting how the intern might grow professionally and the value they brought to the organization. In addition, supervisors complete an evaluation survey, which is included in the student’s academic record. Just as supervisors are required to evaluate their experience with a Bennington intern, students return to campus and submit their own reflection of their time in the field in essay, blog, video, or presentation formats. The Field Work Term Office reviews both the employer and student evaluations following their return and issues a pass or fail grade.
COSTS & HOUSING
Tuition is not charged for FWT; however, students are responsible for meeting their own expenses during this term. The cost of FWT varies greatly depending on the job selected and the housing arrangements made. Costs can range from nominal (if living at home for FWT) to $2,000 or more if traveling a long distance and/or paying for housing and food. More.