CPP plans to introduce micro-internships through the Academic Innovation Center

By Evelyn Jimenez Argueta

Cal Poly Pomona is introducing a new micro-internship program through the Academic Innovation Center where students are able sign up for short-term paid internships for their future careers while continuing to attend school and maintain their regular jobs throughout the semester.

Micro-internships provide professional assignments that can range from 20 to 40 hour projects in total. According to Academic Innovation Winter Institute these internships can help students gain an understanding of the significance and necessity of micro-internships in relation to accessibility, equity and student career readiness.

“These micro-internships provide the experience and opportunity for students that can’t have a regular internship because of other responsibilities like families and their regular jobs,” said Ericka Olguin, director for the micro-Internships program. “This way the students can get hands-on experience in the field that they are going to school and working toward.”

The micro-internship programs launched this year and is still in development due to its novelty. Olguin is working to secure partners for faculty, institutionalize micro-internships throughout the university and generate faculty interest for seamless integration into courses to enable students to start working right away.

A student studies inside the Academic Innovation Center. | Evelyn Jimenez Argueta

The annual Winter Institute, hosted by the Office of Academic Innovation, will include a two-day presentation for micro-internships Jan. 17-18, 2024, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the College of Business Administration to provide more information to students and faculty on the impact these internships can have on students’ careers.

The first day will include presentations on how to create and implement micro-Internships as well as a guide for available resources, administrative requirements and support.

There will also be working sessions for faculty to leverage existing knowledge with external partners, create a plan for incorporating micro-internships into their curriculum and work with Parker-Dewey LLC, an external partner that will be used as the platform to pay students.

On the second day, faculty will present reflections on their personal experiences implementing the micro-internships in their courses.

Students in the micro-internship will have the ability to share during the presentation their reflections, barriers and experiences. Assessments on how to work with external partners and what to expect during these internships will be presented. Working sessions will be provided so participants can have one on one time and connect with external partners that will be at the presentation.

The last day to register for the early bird presentation to attend the annual Winter Institute for the micro-internships will be Dec. 8 and Dec. 22 is the final deadline.

“These internships can provide different career paths for students to work on interesting assignments, build their professional portfolio and demonstrate the abilities they learned in the classroom to future employers,” said Debbie Tanaka the micro-internship Coordinator and Community Partnership for the Student Success.

Students are able to put these internships on their resumes so their future employers can see the experience they have within the field they are working toward. Experience in the field can be very crucial for students especially once they have graduated from college or university.

Since the program is piloting this year, only a handful of professors signed up for incorporating these micro-internships in their curriculum. Connecting the partners to the faculty has been the biggest issue but also letting professors know that this program is available is one of the main goals for the program.

Assistant professor of communication Denisse Guevara is one of the few professors who have implemented them micro-internships in their curriculum.

“It has been a very rich and meaningful experience, as students can have a hands-on professional experience and support the CPP community through quality work,” said Guevara.

Feature Image Courtesy of Evelyn Jimenez Argueta

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