How Micro-Internship Programs Create Equitable Access

    The fight for talent.  


    Job readiness of new hires.

    While we have talked about many of the challenges facing employers, colleges, and students around these issues, this week I want to highlight an incredible example of how one company is addressing this, not just for its own efforts, but for the entire community.

    Earlier this week, leading CRM platform provider HubSpot announced its HubSpot Academy’s Micro-Internship program, an innovative effort that is creating a win-win-win solution for colleges, students, and its clients. Unlike so many other efforts, HubSpot is not suggesting those interested in technology should bypass college, but rather this program highlights the importance of both the technology and Core Skills honed in school. (You can learn more about this incredible program during HubSpot’s session next week.)

    It’s also not a “check the box” diversity program, but is rather creating real, equitable pathways. Not only does this give students across over 800 colleges and universities real opportunities to showcase their skills, but it also exposes hiring managers to potential candidates who don’t come from their traditional recruiting pools. Through these experiences, hiring managers and other professionals can see not just the technical skills, but also the communication, adaptability, grit, problem solving, and other Core Skills that are key to job readiness of new hires.  And since hiring managers always have projects on their plate where they can use an extra set of hands, they view this as a benefit!

    While ensuring equitable access, this program also exposes college students to roles they might not otherwise consider. While students are showcasing their skills, they can see the innovation taking place at a large bank, the technology used by a soda company, and the positive environmental impact of a large manufacturing organization. 

    (And as we’ll report in a couple of weeks, the initial results of our Fall 2021 Campus Recruiting Survey show that these types of professional experiences are what college students most value.)

    While there is so much discussion around the challenges facing college students, universities, and companies, I remain inspired by programs like HubSpot’s. Beyond the positive impact on its participants, it offers an incredible playbook for other organizations focused on creating equitable pathways, and colleges seeking ways to collaborate with industry while remaining true to the goals of post-secondary education.

    Jeffrey Moss, Founder and CEO

    Program Spotlight Howard University Micro-Internships

    We’re excited to share this announcement from Howard University’s Center for Career and Professional Success!

    “Micro-Internships are short-term, professional, paid work experiences, many of which can be completed remotely. Through our new partnership with Parker Dewey, which pioneered the Micro-Internship concept 6 years ago, Howard is able to offer you a new opportunity to connect with our students and recent grads all year-round.

    “Beyond offering opportunities for our students to gain experience and demonstrate their skills, Micro-Internships also provide you or your colleagues with immediate support on short-term tasks. In addition, Micro-Internships support your university recruiting efforts, helping you identify, assess, and build relationships with students who may be prospective job candidates.”

    Learn more about Howard University’s program here!

    Articles of the Week

    How The Pandemic Is Inspiring Gen-Z To Rethink Their Education And Career - Forbes

    The Demographic Drought - Emsi

    Company Voice: Attracting Talent to the Banking Industry - Parker Dewey

    How The Pandemic Is Inspiring Gen-Z To Rethink Their Education And Career - Forbes


    “‘We are seeing that companies don’t see a skills gap...They see a skills opportunity and are willing to become the new ‘University’ for their employees. We believe that the upcoming workforce will be even more diverse as employees have opportunities to learn from both traditional and non-traditional sources.’”

    It goes without saying that the pandemic has changed how we think about work—especially for Generation-Z. Forbes reports that in the wake of a less-than-encouraging job market and the sudden shift to online working (an especially jarring move for those still early in their careers), Gen-Z has earned the nickname “Generation Resilient.” And as Gen-Z reconsiders what they want in an organization or role, companies are also reassessing what actually matters when it comes to potential candidates. 

    Related reading: What Students and Recent Grads Want from Recruiting Experiences

    The Demographic Drought - Emsi

    “Companies can no longer expect to hire the perfect candidate off the shelf. In fact, pulling any candidate off the shelf is getting harder...On-the-job training, in-house recruitment, and high retention rates will be among the key survival strategies for HR.”

    As the workforce continues to shrink, recruiters increasingly need to “adapt their expectations to the challenges of the present and the future.” This report from Emsi covers why companies and universities need to rethink the approach to recruiting, training, and retention. We recommend checking out chapter five for insights on how broader recruitment strategies, targeted skills training, and looking beyond “traditional” demographics can benefit organizations across the board.

    Related reading: Reinventing University Recruiting: (Kinda) Post COVID-19

    Company Voice: Attracting Talent to the Banking Industry - Parker Dewey

    “‘The bank is always supportive of and seeking the younger generation to fall in love with banking. We are passionate about what we do and serving our communities—we believe in what a career in banking can offer and this platform gives us the additional opportunity to make those connections.’”

    Employers: Wondering what it actually looks like to bring on a Micro-Intern? Hear from Brittany Kerchersky, Assistant VP and Director of Human Resources at Farmers National Bank of Emlenton, on her experience hosting a Micro-Internship. 

    Related reading: PA Bankers Micro-Internship Program

    For more stories and insights on HR, recruiting, and diversity, click here to subscribe to our weekly newsletter Hire Learnings.