Career Building Opportunities

Gaining Experience: Project Based Micro-Opportunities

It takes experience to get experience.

It’s no surprise that employers generally prefer applicants with previous experience. Relevant experience, no less. For college students pursuing a first internship or job, this reality presents an age-old conundrum: If it takes experience to get experience, how can I ever get experience?

Students on the Block Plan may encounter an additional challenge: With my academic responsibilities and co-curricular commitments, how can I gain experience if I have limited free time and I’m not available for a consistent work schedule, especially during standard business hours?

Micro-Opportunities are a great solution.

As the term “micro” suggests, these opportunities are small, but the benefits can be huge.

Micro opportunities enable you to explore and “prototype” career interests, deepen self-awareness, discover prospective employers, build professional connections, apply classroom knowledge, test and develop competencies, demonstrate a growth mindset, boost your resume, and position yourself as a strong candidate. Best of all, these small, remote experiences are usually feasible to complete on the block, in addition to academic responsibilities and co-curricular commitments.

Where to Start

A variety of platforms have emerged to provide students with opportunities to demonstrate knowledge and skills while testing out industries and career interests. While they are generally completed remotely, the nature of each opportunity can vary in terms of:

  • Terminology (Project, Challenge, Micro-internship, Remote Externship)
  • Participation (application required vs. automatic participation)
  • Duration (from a few hours to 8 weeks)
  • Timeframes (ongoing or specific dates)

Paragon One

Gain industry-relevant skills via remote externships requiring a time commitment of 8-10 hours per week for 6-8 weeks.

Open Avenues Foundation

Apply to complete paid, 6 to 8-week STEM and Business industry projects from high-growth companies. (This platform partners with Parker Dewey when you apply via Open Avenues Foundation)

Parker Dewey

Apply to complete short-term, paid, professional projects are open to all college students and recent graduates of U.S.-based institutions. From working directly with an entrepreneur to supporting a large enterprise, you'll have the opportunity to explore different roles and company cultures in a way that fits into your schedule. Every project on Parker Dewey is paid a fair per-project rate, so what you see is what you will earn upon completion.

Forage

Bite-sized 5-6 hour virtual work experience programs that give students a genuine career advantage with the world's top companies.

Mind Sumo

A platform for student problem solvers to apply their creativity and innovation by working on crowdsourcing “Challenges.” Problem solvers who submit the best ideas to Challenges can earn money, gain skills, and potentially even land a job! Our community represents over 1 million problem solvers from six continents and over 3,000 universities. While the challenges are unpaid, there are opportunities to potentially win cash prizes.

Report an issue - Last updated: 01/26/2024