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“Micro” or Project Based Internships

Updated: Apr 10, 2023

One’s use of “micro-internships” or “project based internships” just depends on what language they prefer to use. These two terms mean the same thing in describing the following:

  • Short-term, professional assignments

  • Usually completed remotely

  • Requires 5-40 hours of work by the student (total) in a finite period of time

  • Students are typically given between one week and one month to complete project(s)

  • Students receive a fixed fee, typically $15-$25 per hour

  • Some common examples are: content creation, industry research, data entry and social media support

Benefits for Students

  • Gives students the opportunity to work in a field that may not be available to them due to geographic reasons

  • Offers remote options

  • Offers flexibility to accommodate classes and busy schedules

  • Opportunity to gain real-world experience

  • Gain and refine skill sets

  • Explore fit and/or potential career path

  • Earn income

Benefits for Employers

  • Can be created on demand as needed

  • Students participating in micro-internships are not direct hire employees or contractors

  • Identify and build relationships with potential candidates for full-time roles

  • Explore fit of student with organization

  • Connect with a more diverse array of students

  • Effectively assess communication, problem solving, and the other skills that are vital to success

Overall benefits:

  • Expand experiential learning opportunities for students

  • Since micro-internships are low-risk, employers are often more willing to look beyond majors and GPA

  • International students may be eligible to participate in micro-internships through CPT, OPT or a work visa

Important points to keep in mind:

  • How can you ensure a successful learning experience?

  • Build in time and methods for regular feedback sessions with the student.

  • What challenges do you foresee with this structure, and how can you address proactively?

  • How can career services staff help to ensure the integrity of the internship experience for students? (hours worked, supervision requirements, etc.)

  • How can we coach students to most effectively market their micro-internship experiences on the resume and in interviews?

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Micro (Project) Based internships
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