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Cohort Programs & Clubs

Join dynamic cohort programs and student-run clubs to gain practical experience, fostering a multifaceted skill set that transcends traditional boundaries and prepares you for a future where creativity and collaboration drive success.

Cohort Programs

Collaborative Leadership, Design, & Innovation (CLDI) is a global internship program sponsored by the Wurtele Center for Leadership, Design Thinking Initiative, and the Conway Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center. This immersive internship experience is for students who are looking for intensive opportunities to put collaborative leadership, human-centered design, and entrepreneurial skills into practice. The program connects teams of students with embedded, fully-paid summer internships around the world where they have a chance to practice collaborative change-making in the context of a local organization and help lead the advancement of socially, economically, and environmentally healthy communities.

Learning Outcomes

CLDI participants will emerge from their internships knowing or being able to

  • Step into a project already underway and find meaningful ways to contribute.
  • Practice human-centered design methodologies as a flexible set of work habits.
  • Employ entrepreneurial thinking to observe unexplored opportunities and creatively develop solutions to challenges encountered during projects.
  • Apply collaborative leadership skills in dynamic teams.

How to Get Involved


This program is open to any currently enrolled first-year, sophomore or junior in good standing. Students who will graduate in January or May 2024 may not apply. Applying students must commit to being in residence at Smith in spring 2024.

  • Apply in fall 2023
  • Train during spring 2024 (in the form of a required course)
  • Attend cohort building meals and meetings in spring 2024
  • Work a paid 8-week embedded internship in summer 2024
  • Deliver a post-immersion presentation at the fall 2024 Smith in the World Conference

The CLDI program is a fully-funded summer internship experience. For each Intern, the program will:

  • Cover the cost of travel to and from the host organization.
  • Cover the cost of obtaining a passport and any necessary visa.
  • Provide a stipend to cover living expenses while completing the internship (e.g., housing, food, local transportation, excursions).

Phase One: Complete Application by October 6, 2023

The online application* requires you to upload a current résumé and provide a link to 2-minute video that showcases

  • What you are passionate about and why.
  • The kind of change do you want to see in the world.
  • What excites you about the CLDI program.
  • Your goals for this internship.
  • What makes you a good candidate for the specific internship to which you're applying.
  • Experiences and learnings you have had working as part of a team.
  • What has prepared you for living in a new place and adjusting to an unfamiliar culture.

*You may apply for multiple opportunities, but you must complete a separate application for each desired internship.

Phase Two: Group Interview on October 16, 4:30-6 p.m.

Select students will be invited to participate in facilitated and observed small-team challenges. You'll be given quick and dirty design thinking prompts to get you working through a problem, collaboratively and rapidly.

Date Description
September 18
4:15-5:15 p.m.
Information Session with CLDI program directors.
Learn more about the opportunities and get your questions answered.
October 16
4:30-6 p.m.
Group Interview
November 3 Decision Deadline - you must confirm
acceptance of your offer by 4 p.m.
November 6-17 Register for required spring 2024 course
November 13
5-6:30 p.m.
Cohort dinner

Busara Center for Behavioral Economics

Nairobi, Kenya

How cool would it be to join a team of psychologists, anthropologists, economists, health specialists, designers, data scientists, academics, and more to use behavioral science to design solutions that improve lives in the Global South? Busara is a leading organization applying behavioral science to help alleviate poverty by bridging the gap between research and application. They use rigorous research methods and evaluation tools to enable partners to improve program design, assess existing interventions, and optimize internal processes. Busara works with governments, NGOs, private companies, and academics to understand human behavior and design solutions to overcome behavioral barriers to products, programs, and policies as they scale. The teams work on projects related to agriculture, health, insurance, financial inclusion, climate and sustainability, gender-related, entrepreneurship, governance, conflict and fragility, and other issues central to development economics.

While it’s too soon to know exactly what project you’d be working on, as a member of the Qualitative Research and Design Team, you can expect to support research and applications of behavioral sciences in various ways. This might include; involvement in co-design workshops, UX/UI research, human-centered design projects, developing and testing prototypes, creating insights and reports, and developing ideas for interventions. You will also learn how to write winning proposals and be involved in end-to-end research activities. Just in case this is not enough, in your free time, you could use your time visiting the famous Mount Kenya, go on a safari at the Tsavo, or even spend a weekend or a few more days relaxing at the coast as you kayak or snorkel with dolphins.

Seeking two (2) curious and collaborative students with solid research, synthesis, ideation, and visual storytelling skills and an interest in experiencing how behavioral science and human-centered design work can make an impact and who are eager to explore East Africa.

Caribbean Centre For Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency (CCREEE)

Bridgetown, Barbados

CCREEE is committed to renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) across the Carribean Islands and to creating a vibrant sustainable energy sector. It is the implementation hub for sustainable energy activities and projects within the Caribbean. It is one node amongst a broader network of regional sustainable energy centres for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Africa, the Indian Ocean, and the Pacific. This consortium is committed to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Seven: Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7).

As part of this work, you would be supporting CCREEE’s work to improve access to modern, affordable and reliable energy services, energy security and mitigation of negative externalities of the energy system (e.g. local pollution and GHG emissions) by promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency investments, markets and industries in the Caribbean. The CCREEE is working to find creative solutions to these challenges. Join this social cohesion project by gathering and synthesizing data, report writing, and engaging stakeholders in determining optimal solutions customized for local contexts.

Seeking two (2) intrepid students with strong communication, customer service, research, and synthesis skills. Passion for, familiarity with, or connection to, the Caribbean context will serve you well in this position.

Commission towards Resilience to Climate Change in Monteverde (CORCLIMA)

Monteverde, Costa Rica

Passionate about combating Climate Change? CORCLIMA is a community-led effort in the cloud forest of Costa Rica committed to uniting Monteverde to capture more carbon than it emits and serving as a model of climate resilience and sustainable local economies. CORCLIMA has many ongoing projects including; a women-run local bartering and upcycling center, improving water management, and helping to tell the story of climate resilience in the region. CORCLIMA works hard to define projects that satisfy both students’ interest and CORCLIMA’s goals. Below is more detailed information on two potential projects of particular interest. In your application, we ask you to specify what type of project you’re interested in, why, and how you’re uniquely qualified. Please recognize that projects might shape shift based conversations between you and the host and the evolving needs of the organization.

Join Rutas Eléctricas Costa Rica in accelerating a business to enable tourists to travel in electric vehicles. Costa Rica’s economy is primarily based on tourism–you can be part of reducing the environmental impact of this critical economic engine. Help Rutas Elétricas reach potential customers and create tools and systems to ensure they have a positive experience. There’s a lot to explore with this entrepreneurial opportunity.

Support CORCLIMA and the municipality in establishing a streamlined process to deal with compostable food container waste. Help design a system to transform used pizza boxes into good soil , from determining how people will know what trash bin to put them in, to how it will be collected, to where it will be taken, to how it will be chopped up, and how much the municipal compost can handle. There’s a lot to figure out in this waste systems design challenge. Seeking two (2) or four (4) fiercely independent workers and Spanish-proficient speakers who aren’t afraid to tromp respectfully through very damp forests, work closely with community members, lead work independently, and join in collective action.

Seeking two (2) students who are passionate about the future of Latin America and eager to experience intrapreneurship at its best. Familiarity with the Latin American context will serve you well in this position. Spanish and/or Portuguese language proficiency is a plus but not required.

Latin American Leadership Academy (LALA)

Medellín, Colombia

Are you interested in joining a dynamic community passionate about changing Latin America for the better? LALA’s mission is to develop a new generation of diverse, entrepreneurial, and ethical leaders who will serve the Latin American region. The team supports purpose-driven 14-to-20-year-olds — the majority of whom are from historically marginalized communities — and gives them access to programs that build leadership, entrepreneurship, social innovation, social-emotional learning, and critical thinking skills. These LALíderes join a lifelong community leading change across Latin American countries, industries, and governments.

LALA is entering a new stage in its strategic growth as it moves from a centralized to a country-based model. The Global Fundraising team needs your help determining which countries to expand the impact of their work into next. Through primary and secondary research, you will identify community partners and philanthropists who might make that expansion possible. Additionally, you might work to discover global organizations investing in leadership development in the Latin American context and articulate a value proposition for partnering with them on developing a new tool that measures and evaluates the impact of LALA’s leadership development model.

Seeking two (2) students who are passionate about the future of Latin America and eager to experience intrapreneurship at its best. Familiarity with the Latin American context will serve you well in this position. Spanish and/or Portuguese language proficiency is a plus but not required.

Yenne Kids’ Academy

Yenne, Sénégal

Are you a motivated climate change activist or passionate about entrepreneurship AND love working with kids? Are you driven to make change in this world? Have you always longed to explore West Africa? If so, a summer working with Yenne Kids’ Academy might be right for you. This is an opportunity to work with young students in Sénégal on one of two projects. In your application, please specify which of the below projects you’d be interested in, why, and how you’re uniquely qualified.

An environmental education project where you will work with children and community members at the nexus of climate adaptation and skill building. YKA has dreamed of engaging kids in the construction of a fishing boat for local use, but the project could take many directions and incorporate STEAM education.

An entrepreneurial education project where you will work with children and community members at the nexus of poverty alleviation and capacity building. YKA imagines a project where kids are introduced to entrepreneurial skills by developing and testing a small market stall in the community, again the direction of this work will be shaped by you and the organization.

Seeking two (2) or four (4) students who have experience and/or a passion for working with kids (K-grade 5) along with interest in adaptation to rising climate risks and/or poverty alleviation. French language proficiency is not required but is strongly recommended.

About the Program

As students, thinking about how you handle your money is likely at the bottom of a very long list of responsibilities. In today’s world, with growing generational wealth inequity, financial literacy is a powerful tool that can change lives. Personal finance is not just about managing your money; it’s about gaining peace of mind knowing that you have the skills needed to make financial decisions with confidence. By learning about personal finance for yourself and gaining the skills to share your knowledge with others, you have the potential to create a ripple effect of positive change in the world. 

Smith’s financial literacy empowerment program—Money Mentors—is a transformative financial education initiative through which you’ll learn the basics of personal finance (budgeting, saving, debt management, and wealth building), discover how to align financial decisions with your life goals, and be empowered to share your knowledge with others.

Important Details

This program is open to any currently enrolled first-year, sophomore of junior in good standing. Students who will graduate in January or May 2024 may not apply. Applying students must commit to be in residence at Smith in spring 2024, fall 2024, and spring 2025. Preference is given to students who have attended at least one personal finance workshop offered by the Conway Center.

  • Apply in fall 2023 
  • Comprehensive personal finance and coaching training during spring 2024 
  • Attend cohort building meals in spring 2024 
  • Work as peer coaches in fall 2024–spring 2025

The Money Mentors program is funded by a generous grant from the Hearst Foundation. Each Money Mentor will receive:

  • $500 and a certificate of completion at the end of spring 2024
  • $5,000 stipend, paid in equal bi-weekly installments during fall 2024 and spring 2025

Money Mentors receive on-going mentorship and resources and have the opportunity to attend financial wellness focused conferences to bolster knowledge and skills.

The application deadline for the 2024–25 cohort has passed.

The online application requires you to upload a current résumé and answer questions that demonstrate:

  • an interest in learning about personal finance
  • your passion for helping others 
  • skills you will draw upon to ensure your success 

    All eligible applicants will be required to participate in a brief, in-person interview.

Interested applicants are encouraged to:

  • Attend the FinLit Friday learn and lunch series Demystifying Money
  • Get involved with the Smith College Investment Club
  • Schedule 1:1 session with a current Money Mentor 
  • Complete the online Financing Life course offered by the Conway Center

2023–24 Cohort

Melissa Charles ’24

I am majoring in quantitative economics, and minoring in statistical and data sciences. I’m from the greater Boston area and am passionate about issues concerning immigration and displacement. I decided to become a Money Mentor because I am incredibly passionate about personal finance. Often as a first-generation immigrant to the United States with parents from Caribbean nations, I find myself being the first in my family to do a lot of things. I hope to build and foster community with the inaugural class of Money Mentors and help with setting the tone for what kind of initiative we will be, and how we will impact our campus.

Sara Ellis ’24

I am from Tucson, Arizona! Even though I am a neuroscience major, as a first-generation college student I have always been interested in overall financial wellness. I became a Money Mentor because I wanted to learn and gain financial literacy knowledge not only for myself, but also so I can share with others in my community!

Sara Ellis

Dianne Hernandez Huezo ’24

I am an engineering major with a Portuguese and Brazilian studies minor. As a Money Mentor, I aim to help students on campus outline their financial goals and explore several financial literacy topics such as budgeting, saving, credit, debt, and investing. I recognize the importance of financial literacy and the different challenges personal finance can present, especially to those in marginalized communities.

Lesly Gonzalez Herrera ’25

I’m a computer science major from Nicaragua. As a dedicated Money Mentor on campus, I am committed to guiding my peers toward financial stability and success. Through one-on-one consultations, workshops, and interactive sessions, the money mentors cohort will help students understand budgeting, savings, investments, and debt management. My goal is to empower students to make informed financial choices, fostering a community where every student can thrive financially and reach their goals.

Max Lardschneider ’26

I initially joined the Money Mentors program to enhance my financial literacy. The topic of money is often a taboo subject, yet it plays a pivotal role in our society, making it imperative to address. As a Money Mentor, I aim to share both the knowledge I had before joining and the insights I've gained during our sessions. Money is an essential aspect of the world, but unfortunately, many people lack the skills to manage it effectively. While I may not always have all the answers, our role as Money Mentors is to guide others in setting financial goals and making informed decisions. Financial education is a journey, and I'm excited to be part of it.

Mary Ann Martinez Molina ’25J

I’m a biological sciences major with a minor in exercise and sports studies minor. As an immigrant from Mexico, I’ve chosen to become a Money Mentor because personal finance information often feels like a well-kept secret only privileged students have access to. I strongly believe this knowledge should be within everyone’s reach. My goal is to inspire Smithies to find ways to level up their money moves and set meaningful goals for the future.

Isa Otero ’26

I’m a Dominican-Puerto Rican New Yorker passionate about financial wellness. As a child, I was fortunate to attend private schools as a scholarship student. Students from wealthy families often had financial exposure from a young age, which was not the case for the students in my own neighborhood. My mission is for students of diverse backgrounds to build healthy financial habits (budgeting, building credit, retirement, investment) early in their lives, and pass down that knowledge to their community.

Izzy Quinonez ’26

I’m from Petaluma, California, and I'm a math major. What I love about being a Money Mentor is that I can problem-solve with people who need it, and I really enjoy working with numbers. I'm excited to help out in whatever way I can. I like talking about credit, savings accounts, and budgeting.

Gillian Sanchez ’26

I grew up in Los Angeles and I am currently studying psychology and education. Since I was young I remember having concerns and curiosity about money at the back of my mind. I like that with Money Mentors I've gained more peace of mind knowing that I have the knowledge and resources to use my money wisely and effectively, and I hope to help others feel the same way.

Glory Divine Yougang Tahon ’26

I’m an international student from Cameroon. I’m currently double majoring in computer science and psychology, I’m also exploring taking a global finance concentration. I am very passionate about entrepreneurship. Most of the time, we have great ideas, great dreams but we don’t know how to realize them because of our lack of knowledge on planning, and personal finance. I decided to become a Money mentor  to help students change their dreams into feasible goals through financial planning and goals setting. My goal as a money mentor is to help Smith students set clear goals and build good and solid personal finance habits such as budgeting, saving, etc. Join me on this journey as we conquer the complexity of money management together!


Smithies in Busines

Smithies in Business (SIB) provides students who are interested pursuing careers in business, consulting, and entrepreneurship with resources and networking opportunities. Each semester's programming is tailored to the interests and needs of undergraduate students who want to build a strong network of professional women and would like to explore fields that require business experience and knowledge. SIB also runs SmiTHrift, the student initiative to open a thrift store on campus.

Smith College Consulting Club

The Smith College Consulting Club works collaboratively whether it be to prepare members for job recruitment, or to encourage interest in the field. Practicing various types of consulting cases throughout the year, members gain insight into how different types of case studies are executed. Fostering relationships with classmates by bringing in alum speakers, visiting consulting companies, the club aims to guide students how to apply what they learn in the classroom in the real world. The Startup Consulting Group is a hands-on, competitive opportunity for members to apply their skills in the service of Pioneer Valley startups who are preparing for investor presentations and launch.

Smith College Investment Club

Launched in fall 2002, the Smith College Investment Club gives Smith students the opportunity for hands-on experience with investing while making a positive financial contribution to the Smith community. SCIC sponsors on-campus lectures by financial professionals and off-campus trips to Wall Street and beyond, and is open to all interested students.

SCIC student members are responsible for managing and investing two portfolios: a traditional investment portfolio currently valued at approximately $200,000; and an SRI/ESG focused portfolio currently valued at approximately $130,000. Club members meet on a regular basis to discuss asset allocation, analyze fund performance and decide how to successfully operate a well-diversified portfolio. Dividends from the traditional portfolio are donated to Smith College Financial Aid (75 percent) and to the Student Government Association (25 percent) for campus-wide activities.