Kessler Fellow Emma Shen ’24 celebrates Intern Week in Washington, D.C. with her manager at Terra Quantum, a startup offering quantum-as-a-service technologies.

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Kessler Fellows gain startup experience at internships

Many students at Cornell spend the summer between their junior and senior years gaining professional experience through internships. For students interested in entrepreneurship, the Kessler Fellows program provides a unique, funded opportunity to complete a summer internship at a startup of their choice.

This summer, the 18 students in the program’s 2023 cohort took advantage of their chance to make an impact for a growing company. Throughout their summer-long internships, they acquired valuable skills, grew their networks and explored their potential futures in entrepreneurship. 

Rooted in the College of Engineering and open to all juniors at Cornell, the Kessler Fellows program begins in the spring semester with entrepreneurship education. Students learn from seasoned startup founders and past Kessler Fellows about what it takes to get a startup off the ground, and expert Entrepreneurs in Residence offer guidance as fellows work to secure internships for the summer. 

During their internships, fellows receive a weekly stipend, which is generously funded by Andrew Kessler ’80. The financial support mutually benefits the fellows and the startups they work for — students work closely with the founding team, while the early-stage companies benefit from the extra help at no cost to them. 

The 2023 Kessler Fellows are now back on campus for their senior years and recently shared their reflections on their internships. Read the full story to learn more about how the program and their startup experiences have shaped their goals and plans following graduation next May. 

Applications are now open for the 2024 cohort of the Kessler Fellows program. Any junior at Cornell University with a strong interest in entrepreneurship is encouraged to apply by the December 1 deadline and register for the virtual information session on October 26.

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