Rejected Summer Funding Proposals

Here are a few summer proposals we’re almost positive that the OCS has received, and no doubt rejected, in the past.
By Sam H. Koppelman and Hunter J. Stanley

On the tall, wooden shelves of the Office of Career Service’s library, curious onlookers can find dozens of binders full of Harvard students’ summer experiences. These nostalgic reflections tell of OCS-funded summers ranging from traditional trips abroad (read: that internship your mother’s friend keeps nagging you about) to far more eccentric adventures (octopus research opportunities in Naples, Italy).

But according to Robin E. Mount, the director of OCS, only about 50 percent of applications for summer funding are granted. This statistic got us thinking. Sure, there are definitely some applications that are tough to reject—after all, rejecting any app from a Harvard student is simply going against precedent (waitlisting, on the other hand, is begrudgingly accepted)—but we want to consider the apps that weren’t even close. Here are a few summer proposals we’re almost positive that the OCS has received, and no doubt rejected, in the past.

The Athlete

Request: High School Research Internship Fellowship

College athletes are cool. But you know who’s cooler than a college athlete? A senior in high school who has just committed to play college ball. I used to have everything, man: low stress levels, high confidence, and, most importantly, huge biceps.

Also, I was the only soon-to-be college athlete in my class. At Harvard, there are hundreds of kids who, like me, have grueling practice schedules, massively deflated egos, and fastidiously sculpted biceps. All I want from the OCS is the chance to go back.

The Protest Kid

Request: Recreate Jon Krakauer’s “Into The Wild,” Harvard-style

After spending last summer protesting the Keystone Pipeline outside the White House and essentially all of this year standing outside of Drew Faust’s office, I am done walking the walk.

I am seeking funding for the basic necessities, namely food, water, and shelter, as well as solar panels and a satellite dish to power my 65” plasma screen LCD TV. This summer, I plan to watch National Geographic and “Game of Thrones” from the comfort of my aunt’s humble summer abode in East Hampton. Why go into the wild when you can bring the wild to you?

The 'Shoulda Gone to State School’ Fratstar

Request: Full cultural immersion in the Sigma Nu “society” at the prestigious University of Alabama

As per my granddad’s request, I have tried out this whole Hahvahd thing. Ya know, I worked at Goldman last summer and am planning to go abroad to take a profile picture with help the “less well-off.” But god, I just miss The Crimson…Tide. I visited Alabama during the spring of my freshman year and have been, like, dying to go back to that culturally rich oasis. All I want is some good state school PBR.

Listen, I’m not about rolling joints—I’m about rolling tide. Take me home / to the place / I was boned / Alabama.

Yoga Girl

Request: An oculus rift virtual reality headset to take me on the “Eat, Pray, Love” trip without having to ever actually go to Indonesia because, like, ew.

I’d just love to be a free spirit this summer, which, as a faux-zen Harvard student, doesn’t exactly come easily to me. To that point, I don’t actually want to go anywhere; I need to always, and I mean always, have an organic, sustainable juice bar and a SoulCycle within jogging distance. This is why I need an oculus rift virtual reality headset: I want to go around the world without ever leaving my yoga mat.

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