How do I get job experience as a recent graduate?
Job searching as a recent graduate can feel like a catch 22; you’ve probably heard of the old dilemma “must have experience to get experience.” Searching for entry level positions often becomes frustrating when you see the bullet point looking for someone with a degree and 1-3 years of experience. If you are worried that your lack of experience will hold you back from being a competitive applicant, you’ve probably considered finding an internship.
Internships can offer amazing opportunities to gain experience and understand the world of work and enhance your skills. But there are some barriers to the traditional internship. Sometimes they’re not very rewarding or may feel like more of a shadowing experience. Some internships are unpaid, which Rakshitha Arni Ravishankar posits is unfair, unethical and increases the social divide in a recent Harvard Business Review article. Sometimes internship requirements are too long or inflexible, and interrupt other experiences such as family obligations, volunteering, leadership summits, or athletic schedules. Well, get ready to be introduced to the hero that is breaking down these barriers: micro-internships.
Micro-internships are project based, often short-term, paid gigs for college students and recent graduates that are offered year round. While many college students have been exposed to the concept of micro-internships, these paid projects aren’t limited to degree-seeking students. Micro-internships can serve an important purpose for recent graduates, as well. These opportunities are also often project-based, part-time experience enhancing opportunities that companies love. Companies are looking for amazing talent that can support their projects in the short-term, and recent graduates are looking for additional experiences to prepare them for the next position.
How do I make a career shift?
Perhaps you as a recent graduate landed your first job, got some new skills, learned what kind of manager you prefer, and made new colleagues, but now you want to try something new or pivot to a different industry. Making a career shift can feel like starting over and it’s hard to know where to get new experience in that new field. Micro-Internships allow you to get exposure and experience while being paid to test drive new roles. Perhaps you have skills as a program manager but want to test it in a new industry. You could work with companies like Parker Dewey to get matched with a Micro-Internship that would allow you to bring your program management skills to a new organization and get a sense of if that is a better fit for you and your career path.
Additional Career Benefits of Micro-Internships
Micro-internships allow recent graduates to build their resume in the new field, while also enjoying these added benefits:
Gain first hand additional information about an industry or career path
Execute projects to showcase on your LinkedIn highlights page or portfolio
Connect with new managers to write LinkedIn recommendations, testimonials, or letters or recommendation
Increase your professional network with new colleagues and friends
Create some financial stability in a paid short term position
Overall, micro-Internships will make an impact in your career journey either as you start out gaining new relevant experience for your first job, or as you consider pivoting to a new industry or career path.