Micro-Internships (Employer Info) | The Careers Service Micro-Internships (Employer Info) – Oxford University Careers Service
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What is the Micro-Internship Programme?

The Micro-Internship Programme offers organisations based in the UK and Germany the opportunity to provide some voluntary work experience to Oxford’s bright, hard-working students in the form of micro-internship placements. Placements last 2-5 days and are coordinated to take place in March, June and December each year.

Each placement should provide an intern or group of interns with an opportunity to observe and assist with a notable project offering them the chance to develop their knowledge and employability.  By helping complete these projects our students significantly develop their skills and understanding within particular sectors.  Projects the interns can help with can be anything from social media strategies and data collection, to event planning and product development.

Micro-internships are voluntary and unpaid, though host organisations must reimburse interns with local travel expenses (within the relevant city) and lunch expenses on submission of receipts.

If you have any questions about the micro-internship programme that are not answered here, or would like to express an interest in future participation in the programme, please contact us at micro-internships@careers.ox.ac.uk.

Benefits to host organisations

What are the benefits of hosting a micro-internship?

  • Micro-internships are open to all students, from first years to postgraduates, so it’s a great way to promote your organisation to our students
  • The development of a direct link between your organisation and the university
  • The Internship Office takes responsibility for advertising the micro-internships to students, and for the administration of processing applications to present to the host organisations.

What our partners say about the Programme…

“We would highly recommend the Micro-Internship Programme, it’s very well run and the quality of applicants was fantastic.” – Marcus Ereira, Director, Tavistock Tutors

“I believe the programme is absolutely fantastic… The calibre and quality of students is brilliant – all hard-working and enthusiastic to get involved. Over the week we – the company and the interns – learnt a great deal, and we will most definitely participate again!” – Riham Satti, CEO, MeVitae

It was a brilliant experience… The 3 interns that we had were really able and intelligent; they provided a fresh insight into our work and integrated into our staff team in the 5 days very well. I would recommend the scheme to anyone.” – Beth Knighton, Director, Donnington Doorstep

What can interns do?

Work Experience Provision

In order for an internship to be eligible to be advertised through the Micro-Internship Programme it must present students with the specific details of a project (or a set of closely interrelated projects) that they will be assisting with and observing. The host organisation should try to provide experience of a project that is:

  • Small-scale: for completion within a maximum of five working days
  • Challenging: so as to provide a valuable learning experience for the student, and to push them

Projects may be self-contained or form part of a larger, ongoing project. Work shadowing can also form part of the experience.

Examples of previous internships

“I worked on the second issue of the magazine ‘Health and Humanitarian: The Supply Chain Review’. My job included researching success stories in health and humanitarian supply chains, contacting professionals working in both the private and public sectors, collecting and editing articles from contributors, and developing layout for the magazine.” – intern at Pamela Steele Associates (Oxfordshire)

“In a team of three, we came up with a marketing plan for a soon-to-launch product. We brainstormed posters, adverts and other marketing strategies – specifically to do with students. We created a social media calendar with the unique insight we had into social media as students.” – intern at Global Travel Ventures (Oxfordshire)

“I advised Ark on how to improve their apprenticeship programme in preparation for the new apprenticeship levy that will be introduced in April 2017. This involved researching apprenticeships and interviewing previous Ark apprentices about their experiences, and resulted in writing a report detailing a strategy for Ark to proceed with.” – intern at Ark Education (London)

In other internships our students have been given experience in:

  • The development of new marketing initiatives, or reviews of existing marketing strategies
  • Data collection and presentation: from creating, distributing and compiling surveys and survey responses, to the photographing and digitizing of medieval manuscripts
  • Creating financial induction packs for new budget holders
  • Event planning
  • Fundraising and awareness campaigns
  • Product development
  • Creating a new campaign film to fit the organisation’s brief
  • Research and report writing: from investigating the ramifications of organisation relocation and restructuring, to market research
  • IT testing and software development
Timeline and process

When do placements happen?

The Micro-Internship Programme coordinates placements on three cycles over the course of each academic year, coinciding with the end of each Oxford University term:

  • Winter cycle: early December (end of Michaelmas Term)
  • Spring cycle: mid-March (end of Hilary Term)
  • Summer cycle: late June (end of Trinity Term)

Organisations are welcome to participate in the programme on multiple occasions over the course of each academic year.

The specific dates for the placement weeks for the academic year 2017/18 are as follows:

  • Winter cycle: week commencing Monday 4 December
  • Spring cycle: week commencing Monday 12 March or Monday 19 March
  • Summer cycle: week commencing Monday 18 June or Monday 25 June

When should I submit my internship proposal(s)?

Projects proposals are accepted throughout the year, with the following deadlines for 2017/18:

  • Deadline for Winter cycle internship proposals: 29 September 2017
  • Deadline for Spring cycle internship proposals: 5 January 2018
  • Deadline for Summer cycle internship proposals: 12 April 2018
How to offer a micro-internship

How to submit a micro-internship proposal

  1. All organisations should register on CareerConnect, our online vacancy system. Once your account has been approved, please ease see our guide on how to submit a micro-internship proposal.
  2. If you are a new employer, the Internship Office Team will arrange a telephone or Skype call with you to discuss the micro-internship and answer any questions you may have.
  3. The micro-internship advertisement will be released to students. The micro-internship programme has different advertisement periods spread throughout the year (see above).
  4. Students will view the advertisement and upload their application documents. The Internship Office will respond to students’ queries on your behalf.
  5. After the closing date, we will send you the packet of applications for your consideration.
  6. You then contact your shortlisted students to arrange interviews, and reject unsuccessful applicants.
  7. Finally, you advise us of your preferred choice of intern.

Will interns be paid?

Although these placements are voluntary and unpaid, interns must be provided with their travel and lunch expenses on production of receipts.

I am unsure if the intended work experience is suitable for a micro-internship.

If you have questions about a  work experience idea, please email us at micro-internships@careers.ox.ac.uk and a member of the Internship Office will be more than happy to discuss the idea with you. For more guidance on how to present your project please take a look at our Example Micro-Internship Proposal document.

What is meant by ‘work shadowing’?

Micro-internships are designed to improve students’ professional employability skills and provide work experience. Work shadowing is considered to be an important subsidiary part of a micro-internship, in allowing students to experience daily life in a professional environment.

Work shadowing can be informal, and may take the form of any activity that helps an intern gain a holistic overview of the organisation, such as sitting in on meetings, assisting with day-to-day tasks, or observing a notable project or process.

Does the location of my organisation matter?

At present, participation in the Micro-Internship Programme is limited to organisations in the UK and Germany.

For Oxfordshire micro-internships, we expect that interns should be able to travel to and from the host organisation on a daily basis without the need to seek alternative accommodation to their regular student accommodation. This means we are seeking placements ideally located no more than 30 minutes’ travel time from the centre of Oxford by bike or public transport, as most student accommodation is in central Oxford.

All other placements should be easily accessible via public transport.

The role and responsibilities of the host employer

The host organisation has the following responsibilities:

  • Provide an accurate and reasonably detailed description of the internship offered, including an overview of the skills required by the ideal candidate(s)
  • Select intern(s) from the pool of applicants who apply through the programme within the agreed time-frame (this will be communicated by email from the Internship Office)
  • Provide the internship as described (or an appropriate alternative subject to prior discussion with the University and the student(s))
  • Provide intern(s) with an appropriate space and any equipment necessary to carry out their internship;
  • Fully reimburse intern(s) with travel expenses (within the relevant city) and lunch expenses for the duration of the internship (on provision of receipts).
  • Designate a point of contact within the organisation, who will discuss practical arrangements with the intern before their arrival, support the intern(s), and act as the primary contact for communications with the University of Oxford
  • Comply with local health and safety obligations in relation to the internship(s)
  • Provide assurance that your organisation’s insurance will cover potential liability that may arise from the internship(s)
  • Provide feedback to the University of Oxford by evaluating the intern(s) at the end of the placement
  • Abide by the spirit of the University of Oxford Equality Policy.
This information was last updated on 18 December 2017.
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