Career Pioneer Career Development Scholarship Program

Bridgewater College alumni work at top companies like Northrop Grumman, Augusta Health, and Amazon, and we know that to be competitive students must take part in career development activities that build bridges to their future selves.

Statistics show that students who engage early with the Office of Career Services do better in moving into their next endeavors after graduating, whether they be entering the workforce, attending graduate school, or volunteering in a human services capacity such as Peace Corps.  Experiential Learning opportunities help students connect academic lessons to the competencies that make successful employees and entrepreneurs.

The $4,000 Career Pioneer Scholarship engages two first-year students in the Career Services “Four-Year Action Plan” designed to introduce students to activities, events, and experiences that enhance their knowledge and exposure to career development processes, training them to lead their peers through our high-quality career education while capitalizing on those processes themselves.

Over the course of four years, award recipients will gain experience that builds career readiness for graduation and beyond. These activities include interaction with alumni and business partners; development of resources such as resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn accounts; participation in preparatory events such as informational interviewing, mock interviewing, and career fairs; and individual career coaching for successful transitioning from college to career.  Annually, the Office of Career Services (OCS) selects two first-year students to be Career Pioneer leaders in their class, and for participating, each student receives a $1000 scholarship per academic year to apply toward tuition.

Two incoming first year students will each receive a $4,000 Career Pioneer Scholarship and is distributed at the rate of $500 each semester over four (4) academic years and eight (8) semesters and applied to the student’s financial aid.

  1. Each semester, the student will participate in activities and events devoted to career exploration and development and monitored by the Office of Career Services. Over the four years of the student’s collegiate tenure, a minimum of 400 hours is required. This equates to roughly 3-5 hours per week per semester, but sometimes more depending on the nature of an activity, such as an internship.
  2. The service and activity hours will be a part of a four-year career readiness action plan that includes experiential learning and resources development, such as but not limited to career exploration and assessment, building relationships with Bridgewater faculty and staff, resource development, interaction with alumni and business partners, job search strategy, internships and other experiential learning opportunities, resume and cover letter development, graduate school application guidance, career and graduate school fair trips, professional dress, self-branding, and personalized career coaching.
  3. The Career Pioneer scholarship recipients are considered ambassadors of the Office of Career Services and Bridgewater College and are expected to engage in activities that promote the Four-Year Action Plan program, which may include appearing in social media campaigns, guest speaking in classrooms, and assisting with Career Services programming.
  4. Failure to complete the required number of service hours or to comply with the standards of the Four -Year Action Plan program may result in reduction or cancellation of scholarship funding.
  • Only candidates that are invited to apply via their Admissions Counselor are eligible.
  • Candidates must be first-year students who plan to attend Bridgewater College and graduate within four years.
  • Candidates must have filed a FAFSA with Bridgewater College.
  • Personable and outgoing with demonstration of leadership, dependability, career-directed mindset, and team orientation.
  • While enrolled at BC, recipients of the scholarship must be in good academic standing.
  1. Two Career Pioneer scholarships will be awarded
  2. Application deadline is 5:00 pm on Wednesday, February 17th, 2021
  3. Applications will be reviewed with candidate selection by Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021
  4. The Office of Career Services will select finalists and conduct virtual interviews after the application deadline and prior to Friday, March 19, 2021
  5. Career Pioneer scholarship winners and runners-up will be notified by Monday, March 22nd, 2021
  6. Career Pioneer scholarship winners will receive instructions for the Four-Year Action Plan Program in the Summer of 2021 for implementation starting in Fall Semester 2021
  7. To apply, please complete the online application. Please allow plenty of time for writing a brief essay and answering questions requiring thought and reflection.


  • Take time to thoroughly read the application and make sure that it is filled out completely
  • Indicate answer that do not apply by “n/a” – this helps the reader know that you saw the question and did not accidentally leave it blank
  • Think your answers through thoroughly and completely – you are in competition with other students who also want a chance at $4,000!
  • We are looking for Career-Minded Students who have demonstrated experience in leadership, teamwork, communication, social media, dependability, promotions, and well-roundedness. When you answer the questions and complete the essay, think about your experiences and how they have defined these characteristics and skills.  Give examples that tell your story.  You don’t have to have all of these, but concentrate on your areas of strength.  Here are some recommendations where you may be able to draw your experience:

Strong Communication Skills 

  • Participating in class discussions; being bold to ask questions and make statements
  • Making speeches and presentations in class, conferences, and assemblies
  • Holding an office where you conducted meetings and club activity
  • Holding a part time job where you engaged in customer service and resolving problems
  • Acting or other types of performance

Leadership Skills

  • Did you take a role of responsibility in a club, student government, athletic team, or other type of organization?
  • Willing to take responsibility in student government
  • Willing to take responsibility in clubs and other organizations
  • Did you see a need in your school and act to fulfill that need?
  • Did you do any volunteer work?
  • Did you take lead roles in class projects?

Teamwork and Dependability

  • Were you on a sports team or part of a club or organization? What role did you play?
  • Did you help with musical, theatrical, and other kinds of productions?
  • Did you work collaboratively on class and other projects?
  • Did you pitch in and help when needed?
  • Did you have a part time job where people relied on you?
  • Did you have a great record of attendance?
  • Were you promoted because of your responsibility and willingness to learn?

Social Media Proficiency

  • Are you familiar with different social media platforms?
  • Do you have experience creating content?
  • Have you been responsible when posting content?
  • Are you comfortable talking online in social media formats?

Overall Well Roundedness

  • Do you get along with people from diverse backgrounds?
  • Can you look at issues from different viewpoints?
  • Have you travelled either nationally or internationally?
  • Do you pay attention to what is going on in the world?
  • Do you have strong social skills?

You don’t have to have to have experience in all of these areas – these are just suggestions to help you create the best answers possible for your application.

Contact Information

If you have any questions about the Career Pioneer Scholarship and the application process, please contact:

Sherry Talbott
Director of Career Services

If you have questions about admission to Bridgewater College or other concerns, please contact:

Jesse Bartley
Admissions Counselor