Campus Bull

Micro-internships provide USF students with flexible employment options

By Rich Shopes

Wednesday, April 22, 2020


The University of South Florida is now offering “micro-internships,” an alternative for students to earn extra income and valuable job experience in a flexible manner that accommodates changing schedules.

A relatively new trend in college internship programs, micro-internships allow students to work in paid positions that can be completed year-round and typically range from five to 40 hours.

Jay Riley

Jay Riley

“Micro-internships afford our business partners, particularly smaller businesses, the opportunity to work with talented students in a project-based, professional setting,” said Jay Riley, director of business outreach and community engagement at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus.

A departure from traditional semester-long or summer internships, these short-term, paid experiences enable students to work while carrying a full course load and require a more advanced skillset, often acquired through upper-level classes. 

Micro-Internships also can lead to a breadth of employment opportunities across multiple departments, including sales and marketing, communications, human resources, research and development, operations, and finance and accounting. 

USF is partnering with Parker Dewey, the company that pioneered the micro-internship concept, to introduce the program to its three campuses. Students can visit here to create a free online Parker Dewey account and browse multiple micro-internship opportunities. Signing up is easy. 

Ben Hyland

Ben Hyland

“Micro-internships are a great solution for students who want to launch their careers but may have missed out on a traditional internship experience due to COVID-19,” Ben Hyland, coordinator of internships and career readiness at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, said. “Because these are very short work experiences, the training students undergo will be accelerated.” 

Micro-internships differ from traditional internships in how they’re carried out. Micro-internships are specific, project-based positions – freelance assignments – that run from a week to a month and pay students a fixed fee, typically $15-$25 per hour. 

They also offer students: 

  • development of advanced career-related skills that many employers seek for entry-level positions
  • access to a diverse professional network of organizations and people
  • potential full-time employment or longer internships within an organization
  • a trial period to determine whether you are a fit for the organization's culture

For businesses, micro-internships provide immediate project-specific support while also enabling employers to identify and evaluate candidates for future hiring needs. 

Micro-internships can help companies to:

  • create a pipeline of motivated talent
  • engage with a range of diverse candidates
  • improve hiring effectiveness
  • create a pool of on-demand support to address resource needs
  • evaluate candidates’ job readiness to ensure mutual fit
  • reduce new-hire attrition
  • support students’ academic outcomes

“The University of South Florida supports students in gaining relevant industry experiences that fuel their passions,” Hyland said. “Micro-internships are a welcome addition to the long list of ways we help them accomplish that goal.” 

For more information about micro-internships, visit the Micro-internship Information Website at: https://www.usf.edu/career-services/employer-relations/internships/micro-internships.aspx

For more about the University of South Florida, visit https://www.usf.edu.


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