By Abby Weingarten
From the comfort of their socially-distanced couches this summer, Novo Collegians are getting a leg up in the career field with micro-internships.
A new addition to New College’s Center for Career Engagement and Opportunity (CEO), the Parker Dewey Micro-Internship Platform is a free online resource that allows students to apply for short-term, paid, professional projects (many of which are remote opportunities).
“Micro-internships allow you to build and demonstrate your skills while also exploring a variety of career paths and expanding your professional connections,” said Dwayne Peterson, the director of the CEO. “Students from all Areas of Concentration (AOCs) and years can utilize this new resource.”
The micro-internship concept is a burgeoning trend in college internship opportunities, focusing on short-term projects that typically involve five to 40 hours of work. Securing a spot is a competitive process, and the jobs usually fill up within one to three days of appearing on the virtual platform (anywhere from 25 to 50 are posted at one time). Micro-internships are available in all industries, from finance and accounting to writing and marketing.
“Since these projects fill so quickly and are short-term in nature (meaning employers do not generally ask for an interview), it is critical that students submit high-quality application documents (resume, cover letter, etc.), and thoughtful answers to the application questions,” said Madeline Heath Tympanick, the CEO’s assistant director who spearheaded the program. “So many of the internships are virtual, so students can take classes at the same time while working right at home.”
To assist students with creating stellar applications, the CEO offers a Resume, Cover Letter, & CV Writing Resource Guide. Students are also encouraged to schedule an appointment with career coaches on Handshake. Coaches are available year-round for a variety of sessions.
The CEO has also partnered with the New College Alumni Association for student recruitment, and has shared the platform with more than 2,500 alumni partners.
“We want to help alumni and employers who are looking for students for short-term projects,” Peterson said. “If alumni and employers let us know that they’re posting a project in this platform, then we can recruit students to apply.”
A micro-internship is an ideal solution for students who are navigating the career world in the middle of a pandemic.
“This will help set New College students apart because it speaks to the paradox of ‘you can’t get a job without experience but you can’t get experience without a job,” Tympanick said. “Micro-internships will help our students grow their skills, build their resumes and expand their networks.”
New College students are also ideal candidates to compete in this market, Peterson said.
“For example, our students are very strong writers and researchers; you can’t get through the New College curriculum without building these skills. So, our students may not realize it, but employers need skills like these for projects and are willing to pay students for them,” Peterson said. “Local, regional and national employers will be able to see New College as a place that produces well-qualified talent as our students start to compete for and complete micro-internships.”
Abby Weingarten is the editor/writer in the Office of Communications & Marketing.