The Micro-Internship Programme

All placements have a duration of 2-5 days and take place in the vacation period(s). Each internship gives you the opportunity to observe and assist with a notable project. The aim is to develop your professional skills, add to your CV, and offer you the opportunity to make new professional contacts. Placements can be research-based or professional, with host organisations ranging from investment banks and consultancy firms to tech start-ups and heritage sites.

Whilst micro-internships are voluntary and unpaid, host organisations must reimburse interns with both local travel expenses (within the relevant city, e.g. Oxford, and not inter-city travel) and lunch expenses on submission of receipts if the student physically attends their internship. Please note that the same applies if your micro-internship is taking place in another country. It is therefore the responsibility of the intern to pay for any flights/accommodation. 

Should a student complete the micro-internship remotely from their home, the host organisation will not be required to cover these expenses (unless they require the student to undertake any travel as part of the internship). Please note that for Michealmas Term and Hilary Term 2021, all micro-internships must be completed remotely from the student's home and therefore the host will not be required to cover any expenses. As such, no travel will be permitted as part of any micro-internship in these two terms.

If you are a recruiter looking to offer a micro-internship then please take a look at our Micro-Internships - Employer Information webpage.

What will you do?

The focus of the placement is to observe and assist with a notable project. There are a broad range of internships advertised through the programme across various sectors and involving many different skills. The project with which you assist may be self-contained or form part of a larger, on-going project - sometimes this may even be a project begun by previous Oxford interns. It is also possible for interns to be involved with multiple related projects over the course of the placement. Your experience will usually be accompanied by work shadowing, offering insight into the professional workings and daily life at your host organisation. This might include attending meetings and participating with day-to-day tasks, or observing an assignment or process

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There are many significant benefits to micro-internships, and you might apply to the programme for several reasons:

  • Gain employability skills and enhance your CV – acquire a range of employability skills such as problem-solving, self-management, presentation and communication skills, and commercial awareness (see more on our Employability Skills webpage). These skills are highly valued by employers and the ability to demonstrate them on your CV, cover letter and in interview is vital during the recruitment process.
  • Exploration and insight – micro-internships allow you to explore career options, gain insight into a sector that is new to you, or experience an area outside of your academic field. If you are considering pursuing a career in a certain sector, a micro-internship is a great way of helping you to decide if you might like to pursue it further.
  • Variety on offer – because placements are both short and voluntary, a great variety of organisations are able to offer placements through the programme, many of which would not ordinarily be in a position to support interns – in particular start-ups and charities.
  • Gain contacts – placements provide a fantastic opportunity to network with professionals in your chosen field, with some micro-internships leading to further work experience or career opportunities.
  • Convenience – all micro-internships last 2-5 days and take place at the end of term or in your long vacation, so you can gain work experience even if you have a busy academic schedule.

Feedback from previous micro-interns

I found the project to be very engaging and informative, particularly researching new industries and reporting my findings. It was extremely beneficial to develop and utilise skills that otherwise would not have been covered on my academic course.  3rd year MEng Engineering Science, micro-intern at MeVitae

I think the real benefit to me has been the experience of working in a start-up and getting acquainted with the working culture of a company that is still working out how everything functions. I really enjoyed this because it meant that I wasn’t expected to perfectly mesh into a pre-existing structure, but rather my role was largely determined by what I could contribute. MPhil General Linguistics and Comparative Philology, micro-intern at Cycle.land

I was very impressed with Unlocked Graduates and thoroughly enjoyed my time there. The small nature of the company gave me a very hands-on experience with multiple areas of office life. The recruitment team who I was stationed with was very welcoming. They gave me tasks which I felt I could perform well in, and were careful not to just make me feel like I was there in a “tea-making” role, but that I was actually doing tasks which were helpful. My supervisor also allowed me to sit in on interviews for marketing positions, which will be useful to me in applying for graduate scheme positions in the future. 2nd year English Language and Literature, micro-intern at Unlocked Graduates

The project has helped me to understand that I would like to go into a career that involves a lot of written communication. Undertaking the internship helped to improve my confidence because I began to understand that I am good in this area and have the talents to pursue it. 2nd year BA Geography, micro-intern at Right for Education

This internship was a very special experience. It was certainly a unique opportunity that allowed me to work with collections that I otherwise would have never had access to. Simply being able to handle and get to learn about such beautiful silver was incredible, but the host organisation also went out of their way to make sure that I got the most out of the week. DPhil Classical Archaeology, micro-intern at St John’s College

I thought this internship was fantastic. I gained a lot of exposure to all aspects of the business: sales, marketing, PR and product design.The particular firm was unique, especially with regard to its office atmosphere, so it was interesting to see somewhere so different to typical City firms. It has really encouraged me to think about working for a business like Central 23: that is, a business that is entrepreneurial, fast-paced and ambitious. The team was so welcoming and informative. I mainly applied for an internship to enrich my CV but I ended up benefiting in many other ways. 1st year Philosophy, Politics and Economics, micro-intern at Central 23

Who can apply?

All matriculated students, both Undergraduate and Postgraduate (Taught and Research) can apply to all four cycles of the Programme. 

 

The Summer Vacation cycle is also open to students who have completed their course that academic year (for example, if you complete your course in June/July 2021 you can still take part in the Micro-Internship Programme (Summer Vacation) in September 2021).  If you are a student who falls into this category, you will need to register an alternative email address on CareerConnect to be able to apply to the Micro-Internship Programme (Summer Vacation). Please note that you will not have access to the Programme after the September you complete your course.

 

Unfortunately, visiting students, MBA and EMBA students (Saïd Business School) are unable to apply. We encourage MBA and EMBA students to access the Saïd Business School Careers Service.

When to apply (Michealmas, Hilary and Trinity Term 2020/21)

  • 0th week, Wednesday: placements advertised to students (Application Support Sessions begin this week)
  • 3rd week, Monday (midday): application deadline
  • 3rd week, Tuesday: applications sent to host organisations
  • 3rd - 5th week: all first-round applicants informed of outcomes
  • 5th week, Monday: MIP second round (some placements may be re-advertised)
  • 6th week, Monday (midday): application deadline for second round
  • 7th week: all second round applicants informed of outcome
  • 8th week: 'Making the Most of Your Internship' workshop
  • 9th and 10th Week - Placement weeks 

When to apply (Summer Vacation 2020/21)

  • 12th week (Trinity), Monday 12 July: placements advertised to students (Application Support Sessions begin this week)
  • 15th week (Trinity), Monday 2 August (midday): application deadline
  • 15th week (Trinity), Tuesday 4 August: applications sent to host organisations
  • -7th Week (Michaelmas), by Friday 13 August : all first-round applicants informed of outcomes
  • -6th week (Michaelmas), Wednesday 25 August: 'Making the Most of Your Internship' workshop
  • -4th week (Michaelmas), Monday  6 - Friday 10 September AND/OR -5 Week (Michaelmas), Monday  13-Friday 17 September: Placement weeks

 

Sign up to our Internship Alerts mailing list in order to stay updated about the Micro-Internship Programme each term.

Where to apply

All internships available through The Micro-Internship Programme are advertised on CareerConnect.

Once logged in, go to Search Internship Office and Skills Programmes under the search tab. You will then need to select the 'The Micro-Internship Programme’ filter, which can be found under the Programme heading (on the left side of the page). This will then list all available micro-internships on offer. You can also find a list of opportunities sorted by sector on our sector lists. This will be made at the top of the page when applications open each term.

Micro-internships are also advertised via our Internship Alerts mailing list, on our Facebook page, the Careers Service Twitter, in the weekly Careers Service e-newsletter, and on the Careers Service blog. Each term, the Internship Office publishes sector and location lists to help students search for placements, which are distributed through these channels.

How to apply

Each cycle of the Micro-Internship Programme is open to all matriculated students (undergraduate and postgraduate). The Summer Vacation cycle of the Micro-Internship Programme is also open to those students who have completed their courses in June/July of that academic year. Students can apply for a maximum of two micro-internships per cycle. During cycles where we run a second round, students can make an additional application.  

 

Students will be required to submit the following as part of your application:

 

  1. a one-page Curriculum Vitae - This should be saved as Student Name – Employer name(CV) in PDF format. We require that you submit a one-page CV. Please be aware that if your CV runs over to two pages, only the first page will be sent with your application.  For guidance on CV writing, please see our page on page on How to Draft a Standard CV
  2. A 300-word Personal Statement - Here you should outline your suitability for the internship in question. For guidance on writing your personal statement please see our page on How to Write Cover Letters.

 

The Internship Office aims to make opportunities equally available to all current, matriculated Oxford students, regardless of race, gender or degree of disability. This policy is in accordance with the Careers Service mission statement, and the University’s Integrated Equal Opportunities Policy. To discuss any confidential issue relating to any additional needs you may have, please email micro-internships@careers.ox.ac.uk

Confirmation of submission

If your application has been uploaded correctly you should receive an automatic confirmation email from CareerConnect, and your application will appear on your CareerConnect dashboard. Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure that your application has been submitted successfully. If you do not receive a confirmation of submission within 3 hours, please contact micro-internships@careers.ox.ac.uk.

 

Application support

Throughout the Micro-Internship application period the Internship Office holds 20-minute one-to-one Application Support Sessions. During these sessions we can discuss your internship goals, clarify any questions you have about the programmes, or provide feedback on CVs and personal statements. Sign up to a session on CareerConnect during the application period. 

Details of these sessions will be available a couple of weeks before a new term begins. If you would like further support with your application, we recommend taking a look at our website for guidance on CVs, cover letters, and demonstrating that you fit the job criteria. You can also make an appointment with a Careers Adviser.

Sign up to the Internship Alerts mailing list or follow the Careers Service blog in order to receive each term’s Application Support Session schedule.

What happens after I've applied?

Once the deadline has passed, the Internship Office sends all applications to hosts for selection, although does not take part in the selection itself. Hosts may contact applicants for interviews or telephone calls, so please do ensure that you regularly check your emails and where possible, provide a telephone number with a voicemail.

The Internship Office communicates all application outcomes to students. Successful candidates have 24 hours to accept or decline an offer (once they have heard both outcomes, if applicable). Students may only accept one micro-internship offer per term. The Internship Office will then connect students with their host via email so arrangements can be made prior to the placement week. Some hosts choose to arrange a meeting or induction prior to the micro-internship - this is often beneficial to both host and intern, as it gives a chance to discuss the project and meet colleagues.

Examples of past micro-internships

I worked on digitising the Conway Library at the Courtauld Institute, along with my fellow interns. This library features a lot of architectural photography from Beirut to Argentina, and our tasks included organising and numbering the photographs according to the institutions' archival system, as well as photographing and digitising the files. The internship was also concerned with ways in which people interact with the archive and what uses the collection could be put to, so that my fellow interns and I also spent an afternoon of working with high-needs young adults at Beyond Autism, where we spent hours cutting, shredding, and pasting photocopies of the photos we'd been so carefully handling in the days before (this was quite cathartic!). -1st Year BA English Language and Literature student, Photographic Library Digitisation micro-intern at The Courtauld Institute of Art (London)

I worked on creating a document that could track the share and stock price and market capitalisation of companies that primarily operated in the metals and mining industry. I would extract data from such companies and create graphs, specific to each company, that would correlate time with their closing price, so you could visually see how companies have grown (or not) during their lifetime. I then collated all my work together and provided a set of instructions for future use, in case new companies entered the industry. 2nd Year BA Geography student, Business Development micro-intern at SZ Greenfields (London)

I was working on creating photos of Lantana's books, as well as their upcoming releases, to be used on their website and social media channels. Alongside this, I also took over their Instagram page for, hosting a giveaway and posting some of the photos I created. It was extremely useful for gaining insight into the publishing industry. As it is a small business, the CEO of the company is heavily involved in many different areas of book publishing, which meant that she could provide information into aspects ranging from finances and investment, to editorial work and marketing. 1st year BA English Language and Literature student, Publishing and Research micro-intern at Lantana Publishing (Oxford)

Created graphs from historical data to audit environmental sensors in smart homes to identify whether the technology was working correctly. Furthermore, I Investigated causes of any unexpected readings by linking multi sensor data to observations before presenting findings to the team on time. I thoroughly enjoyed working in the environmental/sustainability sector. Overall, my experience was very positive and I cannot speak more highly of the opportunity and the company. PGRAD(R) in Environmental Research student, Analysis of Smart Building Data micro-intern at Atamate (Oxford)

Along with the other Oxford intern, I produced two reports / literature analyses. The first was on human rights abuses in the palm oil industry and the second was on right wing populism and climate change scepticism at the EU level. I found the research work really interesting and hugely enjoyed the week. Not only has it pushed me more towards a human rights related post-graduate course of study, but it's given me a more concrete idea about what I want to do for a career, too. 3rd year BA European and Middle Eastern Languages student, International Human Rights and Policy micro-intern at German Institute for Human Rights (Berlin)

In other micro-internships our students have gained 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 digitising of medieval manuscripts
  • 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
  • Programming and software development
  • Writing educational articles for a specific audience
  • Researching and creating business models
  • Conducting audits within an organisation
  • Cataloguing collections and research with archives.

Will the placement be in 9th or 10th week?

Each advert will specify the dates of the placement. So be sure to check when the placement is due to take place. if asked, make sure you specify your preferred date in your application.

Michealmas Term and Hilary Term - All placements will take place in 9th OR 10th week in Michealmas and Hilary Term.

Trinity Term - Whilst the majority of placements will be advertised for 9th or 10th Week, some host might advertise outside of these inital weeks. All micro-internships that take place at the end of Trinity Term must be completed before the end of July.

Summer Vacation Cycle - All placements during this cycle will take place during September.

Please note that no micro-internship will take place during term time.

Any queries about dates should be sent to micro-internships@careers.ox.ac.uk

Will I be paid?

Physically attending your micro-internship - If you physically attend your micro-internship, the Internship Host must reimburse you with both local travel expenses (within the relevant city, e.g. Oxford, and not inter-city travel) and lunch expenses on submission of receipts Please note that the same applies if your micro-internship is taking place in another country and you are required to attend. It is therefore the responsibility of the intern to pay for any flights/accommodation.

Completing your micro-internship from home - Should you complete your micro-internship remotely, the host organisation will not be required to cover these expenses (unless they require the student to undertake any travel as part of the internship).

Please note that for Michealmas Term 2020 and Hilary Term 2021, all micro-internships must be completed remotely from the student's home and therefore the host will not be required to cover any expenses. As such, no travel will be permitted as part of any micro-internship in these two terms.

If you think you will be unable to take up a placement for financial reasons please let us know by emailing micro-internships@careers.ox.ac.uk.

Is accommodation provided?

Accommodation is not provided through the programme. It is the responsibility of applicants to arrange, and cover the cost of, their own accommodation. We strongly recommend that you research this before applying. For Oxford-based placements, if you live in college accommodation we recommend that you approach your college with a request for a 9th or 10th week extension as soon as you apply for your micro-internship. See below for further information about accommodation. As students only have 24 hours to accept or decline micro-internship offers, we cannot hold offers whilst students wait to hear from their college. Colleges may also be able to provide travel and accommodation bursaries for students undertaking work experience (including outside of Oxford).

On what days will the micro-internship take place?

You will find the days the micro-internship is due to take place on the micro-internship advert on CareerConnect. Usually this will take place in 9th and 10th week, but dates may differ (see above). All micro-internships are a maximum of 5 days. Placements are usually Monday-Friday, but might run over a weekend (if stated).

Before applying for a micro-internship you should ensure that you will be available for the entire duration of the placement.The duration and working days are decided by the host organisation. These are usually specified in the advert but if you have any further queries you can email micro-internships@careers.ox.ac.uk

How many hours per day will I work?

Usually, micro-internships are full-time hours (for example - but not limited to - 9am-5pm) each day, although this is decided by the host and will be communicated to you before your placement. Some hosts offer flexible working hours and this is usually stated in the advert. Therefore, please ensure before applying that you are available during the placement week.

I am unable to intern for one day during the placement week. Can I still apply?

Students are expected to undertake a micro-internship as they would any other professional placement. Students are unable to apply if they cannot commit to the week. However, if flexible dates are specified in the advert, you may state your date preferences in your application. Any concerns or queries about dates can be emailed to micro-internship@careers.ox.ac.uk

How many times can I apply/how many offers can I accept?

You can apply to two micro-internships per term, although you may only accept one placement offer per term to ensure fairness and accessibility across the programme. If we run a second round, you can apply for a further one during that cycle.

How competitive are micro-internships?

This question is the most frequently asked during our Application Support Sessions. We encourage students not to be deterred from applying to 'popular' placements - if you think a certain micro-internship is ideal for you, we encourage you to apply! Micro-internships are a great way to explore and try something new. Instead of being concerned with the number of applicants, it's your chance to work on your application to make it stand out. We cannot determine how many applications a placement will receive: some places are competitive, others less so. If you are not successful on one occasion, it is a perfect chance to develop your application and skills for the next time.

Am I able to accept further work experience with my host after the micro-internship?

The Internship Office greatly encourages a connection between students and hosts, including any future internships, full-time or part-time positions, and students are more than welcome to accept further opportunities.Should your host organisation offer a further opportunity, we recommend that you read our Internship Best Practice webpage, and bear in mind our Internship Office Policy on Voluntary Placements, below:

Through the Micro-Internship Programme, the Internship Office facilitates voluntary work experience placements with reimbursement of local travel and lunch expenses on submission of receipts. Due to the voluntary nature of micro-internships, their maximum duration is 5 days. If, following the micro-internship, the hosts wish to engage interns to undertake work or undertake a full internship, this arrangement should be made directly between hosts and interns. Hosts should remunerate students at the minimum wage or above for this separate arrangement; the UK Government webpages provided useful information on minimum wage policy and employment rights for interns.

My question is not answered here!

Please contact us! You can email micro-internships@careers.ox.ac.uk. To keep updated with the launch of vacancies and deadlines for the submission of applications, make sure you follow the Careers Service blog, sign up to our Internship Alerts mailing list, and follow the Internship Office on Facebook.

Accommodation in your college for Oxford placements

If you would like to undertake an internship in Oxford and currently live in University-maintained accommodation, we suggest you approach your college as soon as you apply for a micro-internship to see if you will be able to secure an extension for 9th or 10th week. Please note that accommodation in college is by no means guaranteed, especially in Michaelmas when most rooms are used during the admissions process. However, if a room is available, we can provide a letter of support to your college if necessary: please contact us at micro-internships@careers.ox.ac.uk.

Accommodation in another college for Oxford placements

Several colleges have kindly offered accommodation support to students doing micro-internships that are unable to stay in their own college. A list has been provided below of these colleges:

Lady Margaret Hall - There are up to 10 rooms available each term, and discounted rent will be charged at £25.65 per night. Access to the Dining Hall will be provided at a ‘break even’ price, (which may be higher than the subsidised price students are used to paying in their own college). Alternatively, all bedrooms have a kitchenette close by if the residents want to cook for themselves.

Students can send enquiries about this accommodation offer directly to Penny Hall, Accommodation Manager, accommodation.manager@lmh.ox.ac.uk

Lincoln College – Lincoln College usually have several rooms available during 9th and 10th of Hilary and Trinity Term. Discounted rent will be charged between £40.00 - £50.00 per night. Access to the Dining Hall will be provided at a ‘break even’ price, (which may be higher than the subsidised price students are used to paying in their own college). Please note that Lincoln are unable to offer rooms to students undertaking their placement during 9th and 10th week of Michaelmas Term.

Students can send enquiries about this accommodation offer directly to Luke Bullivant, Conference and Events Manager, luke.bullivant@lincoln.ox.ac.uk

St Catherine’s College - St Catherine’s College is able to offer 12 rooms during 10th week of Hilary and Trinity Term. Discounted rent will be charged at £21.64 per night. Access to the Dining Hall will be provided at a ‘break even’ price, (which may be higher than the subsidised price students are used to paying in their own college). Please note that St Catherine’s are unable to offer rooms to students undertaking their placement during 9th week in Hilary and Trinity and unable to offer rooms to students during both 9th and 10th week of Michaelmas Term.

Students can send enquiries about this accommodation offer directly to Susannah Young, Accommodation Officer, accommodation@stcatz.ox.ac.uk

St Edmund Hall – St Edmund Hall is happy to offer accommodation during 9th and 10th week of Hilarly and Trinity Term, subject to availability. Rent will be charged at £25.00 per night and includes breakfast. Whilst they are unable to offer dinner, most areas have small pantries where simple food can be prepared. On occasion, St Edmund Hall may have a limited amount of accommodation available to students in 9th and 10th week of Michaelmas, however it is advised to contact them directly to check availability.

Students can send enquiries about this accommodation offer directly to Sue McCarthy, Conference Manager, susan.mccarthy@seh.ox.ac.uk

Other options

If you are unable to obtain an extension in college, or if your placement is in another city, you might consider some of the following options:

  • Staying with friends or family
  • Circulating a request for a spare room via your JCR/MCR mailing list, president or meetings – many students who live in house- and flat-shares outside of college will have rooms available in Oxford during the holidays
  • Asking friends at other Oxford colleges to book a guest room for you
  • Approaching the accommodation offices of other Oxford colleges directly
  • If outside Oxford, approaching the accommodation offices of other universities directly
  • Facebook groups like OxGrad Housing can be useful for finding or requesting rooms in Oxford
  • Websites such as Airbnb or Spareroom
  • YHA Oxford has private rooms from £55, and there are many cheap hostels and hotels across London and other cities.

Please note that micro-internship hosts are unable to help with accommodation unless specifically stated otherwise.

If you require extra funding for your micro-internship to cover travel or accommodation costs (internship hosts can only reimburse within the relevant city travel and lunch on submission of receipts), we recommend that you approach your college as they may have travel grants or bursaries available. If you think you may be unable to undertake your placement due to financial or accommodation issues, please contact us as soon as possible (micro-internships@careers.ox.ac.uk) and we will try to help.

If your application to a micro-internship has been successful, then firstly: congratulations! You can be confident of yourself and your abilities, and hopefully we can help you to make the most out of your internship! We understand that students have busy academic schedules, but it is important to do a little preparation before embarking on your placement.

In 8th week, the Internship Office runs ‘Making the Most of Your Internship’, a workshop to help you maximise your opportunities before, during and after your placement. The workshop usually runs for an hour over one lunchtime. This is particularly helpful for micro-interns, although all students are welcome to attend. Booking and details are available on CareerConnect during term time (please see the Events tab on CareerConnect).

It is important to ensure that practicalities such as travel and accommodation are arranged in advance of the internship: please see the accommodation section on this webpage. Should you need to book travel outside of Oxfordshire, it is recommended that you do so in advance, as often cheaper tickets can be found. Colleges may have bursaries available to assist with travel and accommodation costs for work experience, so it’s worth researching this as far in advance as possible. Regarding expenses covered for the Micro-Internship Programme, all hosts must fully reimburse local travel (within the relevant city) and lunch expenses. All expenses are reimbursed only on submission of receipts.

In terms of preparing for your project and workplace environment, here are a few things to think about before:

  • Enjoy yourself! – have fun during the internship, as five days will pass quickly!
  • Contacting your host – the Internship Office will ‘introduce’ you over email, so make sure you correspond with your host to make arrangements and find out the details you need.
  • Research – employers appreciate knowledge of their organisation, so it’s always best to research the organisation, role and industry sector beforehand. It also means that on the first day you will have less catching up to do.
  • Enthusiasm – be proactive and enthusiastic: a good way to create a positive impression!
  • Location – do you know where you are going and how to get there? (Don’t forget to keep receipts for expenses).
  • Working hours – do you know them?
  • Dress code – smart, casual? Workplaces vary greatly. This is important for making a good first impression!
  • Project details – do you know what to expect when you arrive?
  • Goals – have you discussed with your supervisor what you hope to achieve from the placement?
  • Brush up on any skills – if your project requires certain skills, do they need a bit of practice? This might be useful for a more technical internships (e.g. programming).
  • Questions – do you need to know anything? Don’t be afraid to ask!
  • Update your CV – keep notes of what you have done during the placement and once you have finished the week, update your CV straight away whilst it’s fresh in your mind.

One very important thing to remember when organising your micro-internship: it’s important to ensure that you allow yourself a rest around your internships and academic life during your vacation, to make sure you come back into the next term feeling refreshed and ready to start.

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