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What is a Micro-Internship?

What is a micro-internship?

With the current circumstances, companies have been pushed to become more creative with their approach to workforce arrangements. Traditional ways are out the door, with flexible work arrangements rising in popularity, including with internships. Micro-internships offer opportunities to gain valuable career experience with more flexibility and a shorter duration than traditional internships.

Micro-internships are defined as short-term, project-based, professional assignments that are given to students or recent grads. Micro-internships are designed in various ways and differ across hiring programs. As example, MIT’s micro-internship program outlines the following format:

  • Duration – 2-4 weeks with 10-35 hours per week and offered all year long.
  • Pay – a fixed fee typically equal to market value or minimum wage on an hourly basis.
  • Duties – a very specific project-based work to be completed within the time given.
  • Arrangement – flexible work arrangements that can be done either in person or remote.

Micro-internships are a great way for employers to provide professional learning opportunities while fulling a company needs. Tasks may include project-based data entry, administrative tasks, job board posting, updating documentation, cold calling, and creative work.


The Appeal of Micro-Internships for Students

The most appealing factor of micro-internships for students is that they are flexible work arrangements. Students can capitalize on valuable work experience without being limited by class schedules and location. Many micro-internships can be completed at an intern’s leisure, so long as the project is completed by the end of the assignment. Therefore, they can easily be incorporated into the busy life of a student.

In addition, due to the shorter duration and year-round availability of micro-internships, students can take advantage of several. This means more opportunities to build up a diverse portfolio of skills and get ahead of the competitive job market.

Lastly, micro-internships provide networking opportunities for students to possibly land a full-time job through showcasing their knowledge, value, and diligence.


Benefits for Employers & First-Time Job Seekers

Micro-internships are beneficial for both employers and students/recent grads. They give first time job seekers real life career experience as they prepare to transition into the workforce, while allowing employers to complete tasks that need to get done that would otherwise take away from internal resources focusing on strategic business initiatives. In addition, employers can tap into the future wave of top talent without investing the time and money that come with recruiting and onboarding a new hire.


Bridging the Diversity Gap Between Companies and Universities

Micro-internships provide companies the opportunity to engage with diverse talent. Gaps in diversity exist in the corporate approach by limiting searches to “top” universities, which represents only 3% of all undergraduate students in the US. Traditional college recruiting can be hindering to diversity efforts, as it results in getting a similar talent pool repeatedly. Moving away from this model requires companies to focus on professional development. This is where micro-internships come into play.

Allowing those from any school and any location to participate in a micro-internship lets employers witness the work from potential candidates for permanent positions in the future. Students receive hands-on training, expanding on their workplace soft skills through real life experience. Micro-internships allow companies to encourage more diversity while students gain useful exposure in the workforce.


Finding Micro-Internships

Students can find micro-internships using the same resources used to find traditional internships like college career centers, alumni associations, recruiters, job boards, traditional job fairs, or job fair alternatives. Employers can engage opportunities by working with universities to post micro-internships on university job forums, where students can directly apply.


About RGBSI Workforce Management Solutions

At RGBSI, we deliver workforce management solutions that provide organizations with complete employee process management. Companies leverage our expertise so they can spend more time focusing on their core business.

Workforce management solution areas

  • Contract, contract to hire, project-based, and permanent staffing
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  • Payroll administration
  • Onboarding

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