Short-term internships provide long-lasting results

University Career Services’ micro-internship program gives students a chance to explore a variety of career paths and build workplace skills through short-term engagements.

Shreya Gundam
Shreya Gundam (Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

University Career Services offers several ways to help students build professional skills and networks. One of those is through its partnership with Parker Dewey, which provides Tar Heels with micro-internship opportunities to work with companies for short-term, focused professional experiences.

Sophomore Shreya Gundam heard about micro-internships in a class for her entrepreneurship minor and jumped at the chance to build her resume during the school year.

“It was really convenient to get some work experience and make money during the semester,” Gundam says. “It also just helps to prepare for internship interviews and get some experience talking to recruiters.”

Gundam completed two 40-hour internships this semester for a Kansas nonprofit that operates a resource center to find solutions to homelessness and hunger through community outreach programs. During her first internship, she spread the 40 hours of work out across a couple of weeks and completed the entirety of the second internship during spring break.

“During my first project with them, I created a packet of recruitment materials for future interns, and in the second project, I collected data from more than 70 organizations local to them,” Gundam says.

Although Gundam is a computer science major, she feels that the skills she learned during her micro-internships will improve her resume for summer-long internships and future employers.

“I worked in spreadsheets and Canva a lot, which as a computer person, I rarely do during my classes,” Gundam says. “I can now say in an interview that I’ve already completed an internship using those skills.”

The micro-internships are valuable to students, and employers also benefit from hiring interns for short-term projects, especially if they don’t have enough work or funding for a full-time, semester-long internship. Companies can also grow potential talent and find students for future job opportunities.

Gundam says she values her time spent in the micro-internship because she worked on skills she hadn’t learned in the classroom and also was able to make a difference.

“There’s a micro-internship for everyone available. People just need to look through all the listings and find what they want to try,” Gundam says. “It gives you really good insight into what companies are looking for and what type of skills you need to learn for your resume.”