Sponsored by Oberlin alumni and parents, micro-internships provide students with practical experience centered on a career area of interest. Remote micro-internships will last from mid-October through early December.
What can interns do?
Micro-internships provide opportunities for students to develop meaningful connections in their career fields of interest while engaging in hands-on learning with professionals in the field. The micro-internship is intended to complement students' educational studies; it is not intended to be a replacement for a full-time job, in terms of time commitment or compensation. To build these kinds of experiences, students can:
- Work on an independent project(s) that could use 6–8 weeks of focused attention from an intern;
- Join an ongoing project for the same time period;
- Engage in traditional work in various departments (like a rotational program)
- Any combinations of those - and more!
Review our comprehensive Sponsor Toolkit for information about everything from brainstorming to implementation of a micro-internship experience.
Dear Alumni and Parents,
I recently wrote to you regarding our plan to temporarily shift Oberlin’s academic calendar to a three-semester model. This approach will allow us to provide an in-person experience for all of our students, while keeping with best practices for campus and community safety in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am proud of how our faculty and staff came together to create this plan, and of the hard work that is underway as we seek to make this academic year as meaningful as any other — and perhaps even more so — for our students.
Still, this plan comes with tradeoffs that, while necessary, will be difficult. In particular, our sophomores and juniors will be on campus for our new summer semester, and therefore unable to participate in internships and research opportunities that typically take place during that time.
To address this, and ensure that all of our students have the opportunity to connect with robust experiences during their semesters away from campus, we have launched a new Junior Practicum experience, which will support our juniors during their fall semester away from campus. In the spring, sophomores will participate in a significantly expanded Sophomore Opportunities and Academic Resources (SOAR) program.
The Junior Practicum will begin this September with a remote summit that will give students the opportunity to build career skills, network, and prepare for the program’s experiential component, which will take place throughout the fall semester.
This is where you come in. We are reaching out to our alumni and parent network to ask if you would be willing to host a remote, 6–8 week experience for one or more of our juniors during their fall semester away from campus. We are prepared to support students for a great experience and we welcome your financial support as well.
These would not be full internship experiences. Instead, we’re thinking about these as opportunities for students to develop meaningful connections with somebody who could be their mentor — just for the semester, or for years down the road — in an industry of interest. To build these kind of experiences, students could:
- Shadow you and/or others at your organization and fulfill basic tasks;
- Work on an independent project that you could use 6–8 weeks of focused attention from an intern;
- Join an ongoing project for the same time period;
- Anything else that gives students exposure to a work environment in a field they may be interested in down the road!
If you are interested and able to provide such an experience to a current junior, I would just ask that you complete this very brief Micro-Internship Interest Form so that we can collect some basic information about the experience you are willing to provide. A member of the Career Development Center staff will then follow up with you to collect more specific information. If you have questions about anything I’ve said here, please don’t hesitate to contact email@example.com and a staff member will follow up shortly.
In the midst of an uncertain time, I have said time and again: what is certain is Oberlin. And one of the certainties of Oberlin, which has been shown to me so often during my time on campus, is that Obies pitch in for each other when the going gets a little rough. We are now in such a moment, and I have every confidence that the bonds we have with each other will help to see us through. I hope that you will consider this request and join me in the important work of ensuring that, despite all that is unknown about the future, our students know that we are still here to support them.
Carmen Twillie Ambar
Beyond the assigned projects and tasks that the interns will work on, there are many opportunities to provide students exposure to the organization and industry at large.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of other elements you could integrate into the internship to provide a well-rounded student experience:
- Interview other employees at the organization to gain insight into leadership styles, job responsibilities, etc.;
- Research best practices in the field or industry; have intern present information during a staff meeting or workshop;
- Coordinate “Lunch and Learns” around various skills or industry topics;
- Speaker series with senior leadership, different teams, or contacts of the organization;
- Attend departmental and office-wide meetings;
- Shadow one-on-one meetings or appointments with clients, customers, or community members;
For more ideas about projects, mentorship opportunities, and other micro-internship tips and tricks, refer to the Sponsor Toolkit.
- July 20 - August 3: Micro-internship intake form open to potential sponsors
- Mid-August: A Career Development Center team member will contact employers who completed the intake form with additional information
- September 8 - October 2: Juniors will participate in a virtual Career Readiness & Skill-Building Summit prior to their micro-internship experience
- October - December: Micro-internship Experience (specific start and end dates will vary depending on needs of sponsor)
How should I structure this experience?
- The fine details of the experience can vary depending on your needs and the goals of the student. This intentionally leaves room for you to craft the experience in a way that best fits your context and organization.
- The remote micro-internship should last six to eight weeks with about 10 hours of work per week.
- Each micro-internship must also have a designated supervisor to help guide the experience and provide intentional feedback.
- Looking for more information? Check out our toolkit.
Is it required for me to fund my intern’s experience?
No. Students will receive up to $800 stipend directly from the College for their micro-internship. However, if you would like to financially support our efforts, please click here.
Can I sponsor more than one student?
Yes! You may choose to sponsor multiple students for a micro-internship as long as you are able to provide a quality remote experience for all interns. If you are interested in sponsoring more than one intern, the Career Development Center can support you in your planning efforts.
I want to participate, but I am not sure what type of experience to offer.
If you have questions about a potential micro-internship, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, and a member of the Career Development Staff will be more than happy to discuss ideas with you.
I am unsure if my intended work experience is suitable for a micro-internship.
Check out the sponsor toolkit for tips and recommendations on creating a meaningful experience for students.
When do I need to commit to sponsoring a micro-intern?
The deadline to commit is August 3; by submitting the intake form, you are committing to sponsor a micro-intern. The intake form will be available starting July 20.
When do micro-internship details need to be finalized?
Ideally, we would like to finalize micro-internship details with sponsors by September 1 (before the virtual Summit begins), so we can share opportunities with students. However, we welcome ongoing submissions until we reach capacity based on student interest.
Does the location of my organization matter?
No. All micro-internships are remote; therefore, location is not a factor.
Can I provide an in-person experience?
At this time, the program is designed to support remote micro-internships. We are not able to fund travel to an internship site. However, if the intern lives in the same location as the internship site, exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis; please reach out to email@example.com.
How will interns be matched with sponsors?
A bio book containing profiles of the students that we believe would benefit from your experience will be shared with you in September. You can utilize the bio book - along with some virtual engagement opportunities - to inform your preferences. The Career Development Team will use your intake form responses and preferences to inform the matching process with a student intern.
When will I find out who is matched with me?
You will find out which student(s) you are matched with in late September. The Career Development Center will facilitate the introduction with your intern(s) in the weeks leading up to the micro-internship.
When does the micro-internship start?
The micro-internship will begin in October, once the Summit has ended. Exact dates and details will be determined between the sponsor and intern.
The intake form is due by Monday, August 3, and should take about 15 minutes to complete. Below is the list of questions that you should be prepared to answer:
- First Name
- Last Name
- Email Address
- Phone Number
- Please indicate your status:
- Alum and Parent
- Employer / Community Partner / Friend of the College
- Please select the Career Communities below that most align with your career field. (As a reference, we have included the approximate number of micro-internships needed for each Career Community in parentheses)
- Arts & Creative Professions
- Business, Finance & Consulting (20)
- Education (20)
- Law & Public Policy (45)
- Medical, Public & Global Health Professions (45)
- Nonprofit & Public Sector (50)
- Other (8)
- [If applicable] Please indicate your area(s) of expertise within the Arts & Creative Professions Career Community.
- Film + Television
- Museums + Galleries
- Graphic Design
- Visual Arts
- [If applicable] Please indicate your area(s) of expertise within the Business, Finance & Consulting Career Community.
- Business Management
- Venture Capital
- Private Equity
- Human Resources
- [If applicable] Please indicate your area(s) of expertise within the Education Career Community.
- College Professor
- K-12 Classroom Teacher
- School Administrator
- School Librarian
- Behavior Analyst
- School Social Worker
- Early Childhood Education
- Educational Consultant
- [If applicable] Please indicate your area(s) of expertise within the Law & Public Policy Career Community.
- Civil Litigation Lawyer
- Policy Research
- Compliance Specialist
- Corporate Lawyer
- Legal Advocacy
- Legislative Analyst
- Federal/State/Municipal Government
- Political Campaigns
- International Relations
- [If applicable] Please indicate your area(s) of expertise within the Medical, Public & Global Health Career Community.
- Health Educator
- Occupational Health and Safety
- Emergency Management Specialist
- International, Governmental or Non-Governmental Health Organizations
- Policy Analyst
- Research Design, Administration and Grants Management
- [If applicable] Please indicate your area(s) of expertise within the Non-Profit & Public Sector Career Community.
- Community & Global Development
- Environmental Justice
- Fundraising/organizational advancement
- Human Rights & Equality
- International Service
- Outreach and communications
- Public History
- [If applicable] Please indicate your area(s) of expertise within the Science & Technology Career Community.
- Research and development
- Environmental Science
- Health and safety
- Software development
- IT management
- Information and cyber security
- Network engineering
Employer Contact Info
- Employer/Organization Name
- Your Position/Title
- Please indicate your employer/organization type(s):
- Governmental Agency
- Small Business Owner
- Please indicate the supervisor for this micro-internship.
- I will supervise the intern.
- Someone else in my organization will supervise the intern.
- I have not yet determined who will supervise the intern.
- Supervisor's Name
- Supervisor's Position/Title
- Supervisor's Email
- Supervisor's Phone Number
The Micro-Internship Experience
Although the micro-internship will not begin until October, it is helpful for us to have a sense of how you envision the micro-internship experience. The responses to the questions below will help us match you with a Junior who brings the right skills, goals, and career interests to your micro-internship opportunity. Final matches will be announced at the end of the Summit in September.
For examples and guidance on designing the micro-internship experience, please see our Remote Micro-Internship Sponsor Toolkit.
- Please provide a brief overview of what you hope to offer in your micro-internship. This could include potential duties, expectations, projects, or other elements such as networking opportunities, professional development, etc.
- How many students are you able to sponsor for a micro-internship? Note: The number of students available for each sponsor will be determined by student interest in each Career Community.
- Optional: Please select up to five skills or competencies that are necessary for your micro-internship.
- C (programming language)
- Social Media
- Grant Writing
- Curriculum Design
- Predictive Analytics
- R (programming language)
- In which ways do you feel best prepared to support a student intern as an internship sponsor?
- Analysis (assessment, evaluation, data analysis)
- Communication (internal, external, customer/client engagement
- Creative (editing, content creation, design, etc.)
- General mentorship
- Growing their professional network
- Increasing their industry-specific knowledge
- Program management (grant writing, event planning, constituency support)
- Research (market and policy research, benchmarking)
- Technical skill development
- Are you seeking a student with skills in a language other than English?
- Please list language(s) and proficiency needed
Is there anything else you would like us to know before submitting this form?
If you have any additional questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.