70% of college students don't know what they want to do when they graduate. But how can you know what you want to do if you have not tried anything out? To find out what you want to do next in your career it is important to find alternative pathways to gain professional experience. A smart way to do it is through a micro internship.
What is a Micro Internship?
A traditional internship usually means you have to commit to interning with a company for a minimum of 6-12 weeks which adds up to at least half a semester or an entire summer. Making such a long commitment can be tricky when it comes to managing school and other commitments.
A micro internship on the other hand lasts between 1-4 weeks and most often based on a tangible project that you will be able to upload to your LinkedIn profile. Also because of the short time frame they are often possible to do remotely.
What are the benefits?
Gain work experience while still on campus
A micro internship requires less of a time commitment than a traditional internship. It can be done remotely which means that you can execute it from campus or from home. Can you imagine working on a project in Berlin from your own comfy bed? Yes, it is a possibility and you gain that international work experience to put on your LinkedIn profile. But without travel expenses and no need to compromise with your other commitments.
Exploring and testing
Going for a micro internship or maybe even several micro internships, allows you to explore and test different fields and job roles throughout your education. You will be perceived as more experienced to employers and you will have a wider understanding of the working world than if you were to just intern at one or two companies.
Get prepped for the digital era
Okay, you are right! We are in the digital era already. As most micro internships can be executed remotely - you will gain those remote working skills that the future job market is requiring. You will practice multi tasking and get prepared for the "gig economy". Which basically means working on several projects rather than doing the same job all day every day.
How can I source a Micro Internship?
A tip from the coach is not to go to the big players such as Facebook, Google, McKinsey etc. It is okay to have ambitions but remember that finding an internship is about competing with everyone else wanting that slot that you are also applying for. One of the most common google searches in the field of internships today is "kpmg virtual internship". Do not waste your time like all the people typing in that google seach. There are hundreds of thousands of start ups and small companies in need of your expertise too. Startups are more likely to look at your internship application in the first place. Once you are hired as an intern you will be able to have more influence on the company as the number of people working there will be a lot smaller than at KPMG. At a smaller company you will also gain more tangible skills as you are more probable of being trusted with meaningful work instead of only doing coffee runs.
"But if I can proof that I have experience from Google my chances of getting a job after graduation is a lot higher"
That is not true my friend. Remember it is about the skills that you can prove that you have - not about what company name you have on your resume.
So to summarize, if you are unsure about what you want to do when you graduate. Don't stress, you just have to start testing and exploring to find your career path. A good way to do this is by doing shorter projects for several companies so that you can gain the skills and the real work experience to start designing your career. The saying "aim for the stars and you might reach the moon" - kind of makes sense in this context. You should aim high - but a tip is to start small, get a foot in the door and then start climbing the stairs towards your end goal.
☕ Take a break and have a coffee with Cece talking all things micro internships
Check out our MicroXperiences to learn more about exploring and testing different careers