Charnice’s Corner: OCS Professional Development Reimbursement for Juniors & Seniors

In this post, I write about the recent expansion of the former OCS senior travel reimbursement program into a professional development reimbursement program for juniors and seniors. After delving into the changes between the reimbursement programs, I share my experience applying for the $400 reimbursement to help me cover travel expenses for an academic conference.

illustration professional development

For the second year in a row, the Office of Career Strategy (OCS) has expanded its previous career & travel reimbursement program for seniors into a professional development reimbursement for juniors and seniors.

Previously, the travel reimbursement program has reimbursed interview and audition travel costs for seniors interested in pursuing careers in the nonprofit, government, and arts sectors. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, OCS expanded the reimbursement to cover other career-related expenses in 2021.

In 2022, OCS expanded the reimbursement program into a professional development reimbursement that now includes: air travel and ground transportation; receipts, gas, parking fees, and tolls for rental cars; mileage, parking fees, and tolls for personal vehicles; registration fees for professional conferences; membership fees for professional associations, alliances, and affiliations; and subscription fees for industry job boards and services. Furthermore, the professional development reimbursement now can be used by both juniors and seniors, and the reimbursement doubled in size. Students can submit a maximum request of $400 for career-related expenses in the nonprofit, government, and arts sectors, as well as graduate and professional school, with limited funds distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. This program is open until a student graduates from Yale.

“There are many small but meaningful costs that quickly add up at the start of a career. Our office looks forward to making some of these expenses more digestible for our seniors, and helping them, as much as we can, to take those first confident steps into their professional lives.”

Derek Webster ‘99, OCS Senior Associate Director for Creative Careers, expressed great enthusiasm for the reimbursement program to YDN reporter Zhemin Shao last year

Charnice’s Experience with the Professional Development Reimbursement:

You may be thinking, “Charnice, I’m a junior or a senior who has made a career-related expense that is eligible for the professional development reimbursement. How do I submit a request?”

Well, wonder no more! I submitted a request to cover flight costs for a conference I will be attending later this spring. In this post, I will walk you through five simple steps to request a Professional Development Reimbursement!

First, go to Yale’s SafetyNet page and scroll down to the bottom to “Make a Funding Request.”photo of funding request form.

Next, begin filling out the application. Under “Request Information,” select the “National Fellowship Interviews and Professional Development Support” category. photo of funding request form.

Then, write an amount up to $400, write a description for your request explaining what you are using the funds for, and explain how you arrived at your requested amount. photo of funding request form.

Finally, upload any receipts, screenshots, and supporting documentation for your request!

That’s it! Wait until you are notified that the reimbursement check is available.

All reimbursement requests will be processed at the end of each month. If you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact Stephanie Glover via email at with “Professional Development Reimbursement” in the subject line.

Charnice petting the Yale bulldog. Featured image for Charnice's Corner.

Charnice Hoegnifioh ‘24 is a pre-med junior in Benjamin Franklin College (the best residential
college at Yale!) double majoring in Classical Civilizations and Molecular Biophysics &
Biochemistry. If you would like to reach her, please email!

By Charnice Hoegnifioh
Charnice Hoegnifioh