Internships vs. Fellowships: What’s the Difference?

Internships and fellowships alike can hold immeasurable value for your career trajectory – at both the early- and mid-career levels. While the terms “internship” and “fellowship” are often used interchangeably, the two differ in a few key ways, including: the application process, the target applicant, the experience itself, and – yes – the money.

An internship can basically be thought of as an opportunity to gain experience working for a company or organization that otherwise only hires more advanced professionals. Internships can be “trial periods” for students seeking jobs in the company after college and they can be part of a degree or training program requirement. Fellowships, on the other hand, carry a more academic or scholarly undertone. Fellowships typically involve less day-to-day structure and many times involve the completion of a project that will help participants learn and succeed in their respective fields.

Dog Tag Inc. (DTI) empowers service-disabled veterans, military spouses, and caregivers to discover personal and professional fulfillment in the civilian world through an innovative business and entrepreneurship fellowship program. Through a combination of Georgetown University micro classes, hands-on learning, learning labs given by guest lecturers, and a particular focus on wellness, Dog Tag ensures that fellows and alumni have the tools they need to embark on their next path in life. The Dog Tag Fellowship is 5 months full time and fully-funded, with Fridays off, a monthly stipend, and textbooks provided. Dog Tag is the perfect next step for those looking to redefine their post-military lives.

Claire Witko, Program Director., (202) 527-9388

The Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program (CFP) is an innovative program that provides transitioning service members with professional training and hands-on experience in the civilian workforce. The professional development offered through the program prepares candidates for a smooth transition into meaningful civilian careers. Participating corporations benefit by gaining access to the best and brightest transitioning service members, while also developing a more comprehensive understanding of the veteran job market. The CFP features a 12-week syllabus and runs three times a year at select military installations and in host cities around the country. Each cohort consists of 15–30 active duty service members and may also include military spouses in select locations. Fellowship candidates are carefully matched with participating companies based on the specific skills of the candidate and the preferences of both parties. Candidates then undergo exclusive on-the-job training at their host company, gaining firsthand experience in the private sector. This real-world experience is augmented by weekly educational sessions for the cohort, held in a classroom setting.

The Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Fellowship Program (MSFP) is a first-in-class initiative is similar to the CFP and connects military spouses to paid 6 week fellowships that provide professional training, networking, and hands-on experience. This engagement with local employers enables military spouses to quickly build their networks and gain localized job experience.

For more information go to:

Allison Chamberlayne, NCR CFP Program Manager,, (202) 699-0632; Lauren Monnelly, NCR MSFP Program Manager,, (202) 380-

The program assists disabled veterans with the transition from recent military service to full-time civilian careers. The goal is to help each veteran obtain a rewarding full-time position within one year of enrollment. It provides on-the-job career development opportunities to service-disabled veterans deployed during the Gulf War Era. Eligible veterans may be unable to return to former jobs due to the nature of their disabilities, or may be seeking civilian employment for the first time.

VDOT was the first transportation department in the nation to create a program of this type and has served as a model for other states to follow. The program ensures all reasonable workplace accommodations and allows veterans to enhance skills developed during their service, applying them in civilian, transportation-related roles. Each veteran receives highly specialized, on-the-job training under some of the most experienced transportation professionals in the country.

For more information about the program, contact the VDOT Civil Rights Division at 804-786-2018 or