ThinkImpact Summer Internship Program

thinkimpact_logo_large_0USC Marshall School of Business has partnered with ThinkImpact to offer 8-week long summer internships in social innovation and entrepreneurship in Rwanda and Panama.


ThinkImpact’s 8-week Institute for Social Innovation is a full immersion program in social innovation and social entrepreneurship targeted toward students who value collaborative, sustainable approaches to community development. Students will be placed in rural communities in Rwanda or Panama where they work side-by-side with local communities to identify and co-create products and services that provide innovative solutions to social challenges.

ThinkImpact facilitates community immersion and long-term local partnerships that advance sustainable and meaningful impact.  ThinkImpact uses an asset-based approach which means it does not focus on what the community needs or lacks but rather emphasizes what resources the community already has and how it can best leverage those assets.  Program participants, called Scholars, embark on a journey to put into practice leadership skills, intercultural communication, and creative problem solving.  Student teams research, develop, and prototype small business ideas, creating opportunities for communities to grow and thrive.  The ultimate goal of the program is to learn through collaboration.  ThinkImpact’s award-winning curriculum will guide you through the process.



Program Dates

June 17- August 12, 2015


Program Locations

Panama    Panama, Cocle Region

Rwanda  Rwanda, Rwamagana Region


Information Session

Tuesday, October 14th, 5-6pm, BRI 5

Please attend to learn more about the program and details about the application, interview, selection, and scholarship process.  Past program participants will also share their experience and answer questions at the end of the session.

ThinkImpact Flyer 2014_Final


Application Requirements

  • The GPA requirement for this program is a 3.0 and above.
  • All Marshall students (majors and minors) are eligible to apply but Marshall majors who are sophomores and juniors will be given preference in the selection process.
  • Seniors who are graduating in May 2015 are eligible to apply as long as their jobs start after September 2015.
  • On the application students must complete the following:
    • Select country of interest: Rwanda or Panama
    • Upload a 1 page resume
    • Thoughtfully answer 3 short essay questions (150 words or less)
  • All applications must be submitted online by 10/31/14 by 5pm PST [click here for the application]


Application Deadline

**The deadline has passed for Summer 2015.**

Friday, October 31st, 5pm PST

Apply via the online link:  click here for the application


Selection Process

  • Select students will be invited to interview between November 5th – November 14th (this interview is mandatory and will be conducted by a Marshall staff member)
  • First round selections will be announced in mid-November
  • Second round selections will be announced in early-December
  • After each round of selection students will have 2-weeks to confirm their participation in the program
  • The 10 students who are selected to participate will all receive a scholarship (see more details below)
  • A mandatory orientation will take place in spring 2015 on campus



The 2015 program cost is $5,795 (includes ThinkImpact required health insurance, cell phone and airport pickup).  However, with support from the Marshall Student Services Office 10 selected students will be awarded a significant scholarship to offset the total cost of the 8-week summer experience.  The cost of the program will be fee-billed directly to the student’s account in April 2015.

ThinkImpact program cost: $5,795

Scholarship award: $2,400

Additional scholarship credit awarded for 2015: $712.50

Total cost per student to attend the ThinkImpact Institute for Social Innovation: $2,682.50*

*Note: This amount excludes: airfare to/from your program location, additional personal expenses, any required passport, visa and vaccination costs, and USC insurance coverage (if applicable). 


Budget Breakdown/Estimates from ThinkImpact:

Institute Budget Estimates – Panama

Institute Budget Estimates – Rwanda


All USC students participating in a study abroad program are required to enroll in the USC student health plan or the USC overseas policy for the duration of their program.  Both policies are underwritten by ACE USA Insurance Company and include travel benefits of International SOS.  Students enrolled in the regular student health plan for the spring semester will not have to pay an additional insurance fee.  However, students who have elected to waive the USC student health plan will be automatically enrolled in the USC overseas policy.  The cost of this coverage for the 8-week program (2 months of coverage) is $164.00.


Scholarships will apply for the summer 2015 program only.


Students are able to fundraise to help offset the cost of the program.

Students can also explore these sources of potential funding for this program:



Student Reviews

***STUDENT REVIEWS FROM 2014 – Panama & Rwanda Trips: 2014_Survey_Results_for_Website**

  • Emmanuel Powell (BS’12) reflects on his ThinkImpact experience in Rwanda.
  • Marshall Press Release featuring returning 2011 scholars Willie Kuo (BS ’12) and Ayushi Gummadi (BS ’12).




If you have any questions about this program, please contact Molly Mockovak at