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Alma College offering micro-internships during the coronavirus pandemic

Students work remotely with companies or nonprofits on short-term professional projects
Published: Oct. 6, 2020 at 7:13 PM EDT
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ALMA, Mich. (WJRT) - COVID-19 has turned the typical college experience on its head this year and it could mean students miss out on a college internship.

But Alma College wants to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Many college students take an internship to get their feet wet and get more prepared for their career. With many companies canceling internship programs due to the coronavirus pandemic, Alma College is offering micro-internships to help students gain experience.

“A micro-internship is a short-term professional project typically one that can be done remotely,” siad Carla Jensen, the director of career and personal development at Alma College.

She said the school has teamed up with several nonprofit organizations to offer this program, because they wanted to make sure students can still get those skills from an internship despite the pandemic.

“We knew that a lot of students had internships, study abroad travel experiences lined up for the summer of 2020 and that a lot of those were being interrupted by the pandemic,” Jenson said.

Over the summer, 11 students took part in a pilot version and Jensen said so far the response has been positive.

“We surveyed all the students and all the supervisors to ask them about the experience, what did they learn and they were overwhelmingly positive about both the contributions the students were making to the organizations but also the students feeling that they were learning and demonstrating skills that they can take with them in their next job or their graduate studies or whatever even bring back and apply in the classroom,” she said.

Jensen said this is also a great way for companies that might not typically have an intern to hire one. Alma College plans to continue the program in the future.

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