By Shannon Sigafoos

For many college students, summer is a time to concentrate on gaining firsthand exposure of working in the real world—a time to apply the knowledge and theoretical practice they learned in the classroom. 

With the disruption caused by COVID-19, however, those would-be interns scattered across the country who are completing their academic year online are now planning on virtual internships, as well. 

Lafayette College’s Gateway Career Center recently announced an additional opportunity for students to take part in virtual short-term, professional, paid work experiences. The opportunities, which are called “micro-internships” and fall across a wide variety of industries, are available through a partnership with Parker Dewey. Each internship ranges from five to 40 hours and will allow students to continue to build on their professional knowledge and expand their networks while gaining remote experience. 

This ensures that students can still take part in structured, useful, effective internships.

“We’re navigating this water where a number of businesses are undoubtedly deciding what to do, but for the percentage of companies that aren’t canceling their internships, they’re moving forward with them remotely and shortening the duration. That is encouraging and good for our students. These micro-internships are another option for our students during this volatile period where their internship may have been canceled,” explains Mike Summers, assistant vice president of Gateway Career Center. 

A secondary benefit to these micro-internships is that, unlike traditional summer internships, projects also are offered year-round. In the first two weeks after the partnership and opportunities with Parker Dewey were announced, nearly 200 students created accounts through Lafayette’s Parker Dewey landing page, where they can apply for posted projects.  

“The way the mechanics of this partnership work is that the employer provides the project work. Parker Dewey makes sure that it meets all of the minimum criteria for it being a viable project that will be paid. Applicants are screened and chosen depending on how many are needed for that project. Once the project is completed to client satisfaction, Parker Dewey pays the student,” explains Summers. “These could be Fortune 100 companies to nonprofits or startups. We are hopeful the broad scope will appeal to the wide-ranging interests of our students.” 

New projects are being posted frequently, so students who may not have seen an experience posted that suits their needs should check back often. 

Categorized in: Careers, Featured News, FirstYear-Gateway, News and Features, Students

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