After completing thousands of assignments on behalf of professionals across industries, departments, and roles, we have identified 18 projects that no professional should be doing in 2020 (or ever).
While important, completing any of these tasks is not the best use of your time. Fortunately, there are thousands of highly-motivated college students and recent grads who are excited to work on them and exceed your expectations. Each can be completed for under $400, and there are no obligations, paperwork, or HR burdens. Not only can you get this work done, you might even find your next great hire (and since we partner with colleges and universities, there are no costs or fees if you do).
Get help building a successful Micro-Internship program with Internships 101.
1. Lead Generation
Identify 50 companies/contacts in a defined market that have expressed a specific point of pain or dissatisfaction that we can address. Once identified, provide the company name and contact information for a director-level or above decision maker. Contact information should include: name, position, phone, and verified email. In addition, please include company size and other information that we will define.
|Parker Dewey Insight: Uncover prospects through the creative identification of new niches with real pains based upon real-time feedback. For example, finding negative reviews, insightful commentary on industry-specific forums, and less than satisfactory social media posts are all invaluable opportunities for the sales team, but often incredibly time-intensive to find.|
See lead generation project template.
2. List Crunching
We will provide a list of 50 companies attending an upcoming conference or event, and would like you to determine the name of the CEO or other executive, contact information for that individual, a brief description of the company's offering (ie market, product, etc.), and recent press highlights.
|Parker Dewey Insight: Expert networkers have a hit list of who to connect with, why they should chat, and potential pain points before they set foot at an event. Let a Career Launcher do the heavy lifting so you can make the most of your time (and have the greatest impact) at the event.|
See list crunching project template.
3. Segmented Email Marketing Campaign
Draft a small email marketing campaign to help our department or team engage a specific segment. As part of this, you are to develop five emails (one introduction and four follow-ups) that can be sent in a sequence.
|Parker Dewey Insight: Every marketer can whittle down the database to more specific audiences. Our Career Launchers will help you create the initial copy so you can quickly test different messages or evaluate the ROI of micro-targeting your audience.|
See segmented campaign project template.
4. Competitive Analysis
We would like you to research ten key competitive products in a specific market and outline the social media efforts associated with each, including key messaging, features highlighted, pre-announcements, etc. In addition to the outbound efforts driven by the company, please capture the insights (positive and negative) provided by customers and highlight any key trends.
|Parker Dewey Insight: Understanding how competitors are positioning their products in real time and how customers are receiving those messages can provide valuable insights. While monitoring tools can help, they often miss much of what’s “between the lines” that would otherwise be time consuming to understand… until now.|
See competitive analysis project template.
5. Social Media Content Calendar
Create a social media content calendar for our specific department with two posts per day for the next month. The posts should have a good mix of thought leadership, industry information, and promotional content (which we will provide). We will discuss the specific messaging that should be in your posts upon kickoff.
|Parker Dewey Insight: Given the prolific use of social media by college students and recent grads, why not put them to work and make their time productive helping your department stay top of mind?|
See content calendar project template.
6. Identifying Social Media Influencers
Identify 50 social media influencers on Instagram and Twitter in a specific space based upon their following and shared interests. Once you identify these influencers, craft ten potential posts/tweets we could make to engage with them.
|Parker Dewey Insight: Targeting and interacting with influencers establishes credibility, creates a dialogue, and increases exposure to your brand. Let a Career Launcher identify the influencers relevant to your space and craft messages to help you engage with them.|
See influencer engagement project template.
7. Content Creation
We will provide a topic and would like you to research and draft a 1,200-1,400 word article that is consistent with existing articles posted on our website and other marketing channels. Reference at least two outside sources in the article to backup your claims.
|Parker Dewey Insight: You have a great idea, but is it really the best use of your time to write a first draft and search for supporting content? We didn’t think so.|
See content creation project template.
8. Content Curation
We need somebody curate several publications for content we can repurpose. You will then draft tweets that highlight and reference the content you found. We would like you identify 20 total pieces of content. We will discuss the specifics of the content we would like you to curate prior to kickoff.
|Parker Dewey Insight: Sharing compelling content created by others is a great way for you to build your reputation as a thought-leader. Let a Career Launcher help you identify what to share by curating a variety of sources.|
See content curation project template.
9. Case Study Development
Develop a brief case study on a recent success we have had with a client that we can use for marketing purposes and partnership reference. We will provide information on the recent success, and would like you to draft a one-pager that highlights the customer's problem, alternatives considered, why they chose to work with us, and the positive impact of their decision.
|Parker Dewey Insight: Case studies are a great way for potential clients to see what your company can do for them. This is the perfect project to help your company highlight what you do best.|
See case study development project template.
Strategy & Research
10. Identifying Strategic Partners
We are expanding our corporate development/partnership efforts and want to identify potential partners. For this project, identify five potential partners that would be appropriate for us to consider based upon criteria that we will provide. Research the industry, competitors, trends, etc. to make these recommendations. For each, provide rationale, existing partnerships, points of contact, and other relevant information.
|Parker Dewey Insight: With so many potential partners across existing and new markets, how do you focus on the ones with the highest potential? Here’s how…|
See strategic partner identification project template.
11. Mystery Shopping
We are looking for somebody to go through a specific process (e.g. buying, returning, customer support, etc.) with our company (or a competitor) and document their experience. Additionally, we would like you provide feedback and recommendations on how we can improve.
|Parker Dewey Insight: Understanding the customer’s experience from their perspective can uncover insights and areas of improvement you might not have considered before.|
See mystery shopping project template.
12. Industry Analysis
We would like you to help support our in-house team by performing an analysis of an industry that we will define. As part of this, provide updates on industry trends, including those associated with the growth of the space as a whole. Also provide information on the market share of established companies in the space and highlight emerging companies.
|Parker Dewey Insight: Understanding what’s going on in the industry will help you determine your business’ next steps and set yourself up for success.|
See industry analysis project template.
13. Uncovering Potential Job Candidates
We will provide you with a job description and would like you to identify 25 prospects in a specific city that are qualified for the job. Once identified, please provide their contact information including name, phone, and email, and a brief justification as to why you think they would be a good fit for the role.
|Parker Dewey Insight: Job boards don’t always do the best job in attracting qualified candidates. As an alternative, let a Career Launcher use their research skills to scour the web and find you the perfect candidates.|
See candidate sourcing project template.
14. Resume Ranking
We will provide you with 50 resumes and a job description, and would like you to review each one and rank your top ten based upon their qualifications for the job. Once ranked, provide justification for why you ranked each of the ten where you did, and key questions and concerns you would want to understand from an interview.
|Parker Dewey Insight: Reviewing resumes is very time consuming, especially when you have a massive stack to go through. Why not let a Career Launcher handle the initial screening for some roles with an especially large backlog of resumes?|
See resume ranking project template.
15. Identifying High-Potential, Underserved Universities
Identify ten “high potential” colleges or universities from which we are not currently recruiting and have students with significant grit, intelligence, and core skills (e.g. communication, research, problem solving, etc.). Key criteria may include areas such as strong diversity, low student loan default rate, high conversion of intern-to-hire, and other metrics you should identify. For each of these programs, please provide location, contact information for Career Services, diversity metrics, major employers, enrollment, and rationale for why you selected the program.
|Parker Dewey Insight: The competition for top talent is extremely tough, so why not forge a new path and recruit from schools you may not have considered before.|
See university research project template.
16. Data Analysis/KPI Dashboard
We are looking for somebody to review a dataset and create a dashboard to monitor our department-specific KPIs and metrics. The dashboard needs to be able to auto-populate and update as we log more data. In addition to including the key metrics we currently track, identify if there are other KPIs you would suggest.
|Parker Dewey Insight: Help you and/or your team easily visualize how you are performing against your various KPIs and identify KPIs that you should be tracking.|
See dashboard development project template.
17. Verifying Data Integrity/Data Cleansing
We are looking for somebody to help clean up datasets we work with since they often contain several different types of data. During this project, you will work to ensure data quality by verifying its integrity and making sure its completeness is maintained and/or improved.
|Parker Dewey Insight: Not many people have the time or patience to slog through a dataset and make sure the data is valid and the formatting is consistent. Let you and your team get back to what matters while our Career Launchers handle this for you.|
See data cleansing project template.
18. Vendor Research
Our department is in the process of evaluating a new software tool (or other product/service) and would like you to research at least 15-20 products. Once identified, create a grid comparing the specific offerings of each vendor (e.g. price per unit, bulk discount, minimum order size, etc.) and make recommendations on which vendor you would suggest we work with.
|Parker Dewey Insight: Whether you’re looking at a new HR tool or considering replacing your CRM, let a Career Launcher research a handful of vendors so you can find the best fit and value for your company.|
See vendor research project template.