The Micro-Internship Programme - Employer Information

The Micro-Internship Programme offers employers the opportunity to provide voluntary learning and development opportunities 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 the student's vacation periods. 

Each placement should provide an opportunity to observe and assist with notable projects, offering students the chance to develop their knowledge and employability. By helping complete these projects, our students significantly develop their skills and understanding within your organisations sector.

Whilst micro-internships are voluntary and unpaid, host employers must reimburse students with both local travel and lunch expenses on submission of receipts for any day the student physically attends their placement. If the micro-intern completes the placement remotely from home, it is not anticipated the micro-intern will incur any local travel or lunch expenses and so reimbursement will not be required. 

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Providing our students with voluntary learning and development opportunities offers a wide variety of benefits to both the employer and the student:

What are the benefits of hosting a micro-internship?

  • It gives you the opportunity to work with Oxford's bright, hard-working students exclusively on projects and tasks that you require assistance with. A fresh pair of eyes never hurt a project. 
  • Our students are dedicated to assissting you and getting as much out of the experience as possible. You will be supprised how much they can get done in five days, whilst producing amazing bits of work. 
  • Micro-internships are a great way to promote your organisation to Oxford students.
  • They provide a direct link between your organisation and Oxford University.
  • The Internship Office advertises the micro-internships to students and manages the application process, including delivering the application outcome to each student. All the hosts have to do is select the candidates that they would like to take on from the pool of applicants.

What are the benefits for students?

  • Gaining valuable work experience to add to their CV.
  • A chance to explore different sectors and roles.
  • The development of personal and professional skills.
  • An insight into a specific organisation and sector, with a chance to make contacts within the industry.
  • They are convenient to fit into a demanding academic schedule.

Work experience provision

In order for an internship to be eligible to be advertised through the Micro-Internship Programme, it must include specific details of a project (or a set of closely interrelated projects) with which they will be assisting 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 and engaging: so as to provide a valuable learning experience for the student and to push them, enabling the development of skills.

Projects may be self-contained or form part of a larger, ongoing project. Some micro-interns continue working on a project previously begun by past Oxford micro-interns or summer interns. The Internship Office appreciates that some organisations may not be able to offer a contained, short-term project as such; therefore work shadowing, observing and assisting can form part of the experience.

Previous micro-internship placements have included:

  • 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.

If you would like further examples of past internships, including those related to your industry sector, please email micro-internships@careers.ox.ac.uk

Internship Office Policy on Voluntary Placements

Through the Micro-Internship Programme, the Internship Office facilitates voluntary learning and development opportunities with reimbursement of local travel and lunch expenses on submission of receipts (should the intern physically attend their placement). 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 them to undertake any travel as part of the internship). Due to the voluntary nature of micro-internships, their maximum duration is 5 days.  Following the micro-internship, should the host wish to employ a student outside of the programme they are welcome to do so as long as the host organisation ensures that it complies with any employment law or other legal obligations including payment of National Minimum Wage (where applicable).  The UK Government webpages provide useful information on minimum wage policy and employment rights for interns.

The Micro-Internship Programme runs three times each academic year, coinciding with the vacation period at the end of each Oxford University term (December, March and June/July).

We accept employer micro-internship project porposal up to 4 weeks before the placements go live to students for that relevant term:

The Micro-Internship Programme 2021/22

 

Accepting employer project

Employer project deadline 

Micro-Internship Placement weeks

Winter Vacation

(December)

 

6 September 2021

 

5 October 2021

6-10 December 2021 OR

13-17 December 2021

Spring Vacation

(March)

 

29 November 2021

 

11 January 2022

14 – 18 March 2022 OR

21-25 March 2022

Summer Vacation

(June/July)

 

21 March 2022

 

19 April 2022

27 June - 1 July 2022 OR

4 – 8 July 20

Organisations are welcome to participate in the programme in more than one cycle each academic year.

It is possible to participate in one or both weeks in any cycle, although individual students can only be placed for a maximum of five days,

How do I participate in the programme?

1. Contact Us: Contact us on micro-internships@careers.ox.ac.uk and we can arrange a video call to discuss the type of project you wish to submit as part of the Micro-Internship Programme and answer any questions you may have.

2. Register: We will then ask you to register your organisation on CareerConnectCareerConnect is our online platform used by students and organisations to access vacancies and our services.  Once you have done this, we will check you have provided all the relevant information before approving your account.

3. Submit: Once your account is approved you will be able to submit your micro-internship proposal on CareerConnect. Once submitted, all proposals come through to the Internship Office for approval before going live to students. Please note that edits can still be made after submission, but not once the project has been made live.

Diversity initiatives and encouraging individuals with disabilities

The micro-internship proposal features a diversity initiatives section, where employers can outline any policies, programmes or practices they have which support diversity and inclusion within the workplace. We strongly encourage employers to provide information in this section. Where no formal arrangements are in place, we still welcome employers to add a statement. On the proposal form there is also a section to inform us whether you can make reasonable adjustments and provisions in your workplace for those with disabilities – the Internship Office strives to make its internship programmes accessible to all, and this includes individuals with disabilities. In the UK, this is in line with the 2010 Equality Act. Please contact micro-internships@careers.ox.ac.uk with any questions.

What happens once the proposal is approved?

All micro-internships are advertised on specific dates (please see timeline and key date tabs for details). The Internship Office is responsible for marketing all placements and responding to applicant queries on your behalf. We also provide Application Support Sessions where we give 1:1 advice.

How do potential micro-interns apply?

Students have approximately two and a half weeks in which to apply for a maximum of two micro-internships at a time, making their application directly to the Internship Office through CareerConnect. Our application requirement is a CV and 300-word personal statement.The closing date is set by the Internship Office.

Candidate selection

Once the application deadline has passed, the Internship Office sends the applications to the hosts. Hosts have approximately 10 days to make their selection. Due to the quick turn around, most hosts make their selection based solely on the CV and personal statements. However, you are welcomne to contact the candidates directly to arrange interviews via Teams, Skype or over the telephone if wished. Should you have any other selection methods that you wish to use, please do contact micro-internships@careers.ox.ac.uk to discuss these before undertaking them.

 

You then advise us of your preferred choice of intern(s) and any reserve candidates, if applicable. Host organisations are not obliged to select interns if no applications are suitable. The Internship Office communicates all decisions on your behalf, including to unsuccessful candidates.

What happens after selection?

Once offers have been confirmed, we put you in touch with your intern(s). We ask you to organise a short video or telephone induction prior to the placement week, to ‘meet’ the students, make necessary arrangements, and provide details of the project.

Micro-internship feedback

Once the micro-internships are complete, the Internship Office sends feedback forms to all students and hosts. Feedback is a requirement of the programme and helps us to develop best practice.

Second batch micro-internships

We arrange a second round of internships once decisions have been made regarding the initial applications. This allows employers the chance to re-advertise their placement(s) to seek more applicants. The student application window and employer selection time last for approximately one week each. As with the first round, the Internship Office is responsible for advertising and marketing.

Will students be paid?

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 reasonable lunch expenses on submission of receipts for any days the student physically attends their internship. For any days a student completes their micro-internship remotely from their home, the host organisation will not be required to cover these expenses (unless they require them to undertake any travel as part of the internship). 

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 proposal in our Guides to Submitting a Micro-Internship Proposal. We also have guidance on Setting up a Remote Micro-Internship.

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.

Can I submit more than one proposal?

Organisations are welcome to submit more than one micro-internship opportunity, providing that adequate projects and supervision are arranged. If you would like to host different interns for separate projects, we ask that you create separate proposals.

How many micro-interns can I host?

Please note that we recommend a ratio of one supervisor to a maximum of three students. This is in line with our Internship Best Practice. The Internship Office can make recommendations based on your project. For new hosts, we advise starting with a lower number to assess capacity. Employers can specify the number of places on the micro-internship advert, but this number can remain flexible and dependent on the applications received.

Does the location of my organisation matter?

We are open to working with organisations no matter where they are located in the world, we just ask that any placements locatead outside the UK are completed remotely.

Can I meet with interns before the placement week?

We recommend organising a short Video (Zoom, Teams or Skype) or telephone induction prior to the placement week – this is often beneficial to both student and host, to meet colleagues and understand further details of the project. Should you arrange to physically meet the student, you will need to cover their local travel expenses.

Can I accept a student who has completed a micro-internship with us before? 

Students are unable to repeat micro-internships with an employer as part of the Micro-Internship Programme – even if the micro-internship takes place in a different term or academic year. Students who previously completed a micro-internship with an employer are only eligible to apply again if the internship is deemed to be substantially different to the one that they completed previously.  If you are unsure if the project is substantially different, please contact micro-internships@careers.ox.ac.uk.

Please note students can only undertake one micro-internship a term for a maximum of 5 days

Can I offer micro-interns additional placements outside of the Micro-Internship Programme?

The Micro-internships are designed as short-term voluntary, learning and development opportunities, therefore we do not allow hosts to extend the period in which the opportunity is undertaken.  However, should you wish to employ the student outside of the programme you are welcome to do so. Please note that it is the responsibility of the host organisation to ensure that it complies with any employment law or other legal obligations including payment of National Minimum Wage (where applicable).  The UK Government webpages provide useful information on minimum wage policy and employment rights for interns.

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

The host organisation has the following responsibilities:

  • Provide an accurate and reasonably detailed description of the internship project(s) offered and what it (they) will entail, including an overview of the skills required by the ideal candidate(s) 

  • The internships should only be for Oxford students who apply through the programme. You may advertise similar internships/placements elsewhere, but those entered into the programme should be set aside with the intention of taking participants from Oxford. 

  • Select the micro-intern from the pool of applicants who apply through the programme. Selection for the Micro-Internship Programme can be made based on the application alone or you may undertake interviews (telephone, video call or face-to-face). If interviews are conducted, you should arrange these directly with the candidate(s). Reasonable travel expenses must be provided for any face-to-face interviews. 

  • Provide the placement project as described (or an appropriate alternative project subject to prior discussion with the Internship Office and the micro-intern). 

  • Provide the micro-intern with an appropriate space and equipment necessary to carry out the placement project. 

  • Designate a point of contact within the organisation, who will discuss practical arrangements with the micro-intern before their arrival, supervise the micro-intern, and act as the primary contact for communications with the University of Oxford. Should the micro-intern complete the placement remotely from home, please assure a similar level of supervision is provided (i.e. regular telephone catch-up etc). 

  • Reimburse the micro-intern who physically attends the office or is required to travel as part of the placement with local travel expenses (within the relevant city) and lunch expenses for the duration of the internship/placement. All expenses should be reimbursed only on submission of receipts. If the micro-intern completes the placement remotely from home, it is not anticipated the micro-intern will incur any local travel or lunch expenses and so reimbursement will not be required. 

  • Comply with local health and safety obligations in relation to the internship/placement(s). 

  • Provide assurance that your organisation’s insurance will cover potential liability that may arise from the internship(s)/placement(s), including where the micro-intern completes the placement from home.  

  • Provide feedback to the University of Oxford by evaluating the micro-intern(s) at the end of the placement. 

  • Make any necessary and reasonable adjustments to accommodate the micro-intern(s) (and where selecting by interview the candidate(s)) in the case of disability or additional needs, in accordance with any legal requirements and the University of Oxford Equality Policy. 

  • All micro-internships must be limited to a maximum of 5 days. Any further relationship between external (outside of the University of Oxford) hosts and micro-interns should be arranged separately and directly between host and micro-intern. It is expected that students would be remunerated if engaged on a full internship/placement or to undertake work. Hosts within the University of Oxford must contact the Internship Office before offering any role or full internship to a participant. 

  • Please note that the Micro-Internship Programme is open to all matriculated students, including those who have suspended their studies for the time being. More information can be found on students who have suspended their studies here.  

  • It is the responsibility of the host organisation to ensure that it complies with employment law in engaging the micro-intern including (where applicable) the payment of National Minimum Wage. We assume, if the micro-internship is advertised as unpaid via the Micro-Internship Programme, that the host organisation has done an appropriate assessment and concluded that the opportunity can lawfully be offered on an unpaid basis. 

  • University departments who are offering unpaid micro-internships should ensure that they provide the participant with a volunteer agreement (template agreement available from the Careers’ Service) and, if required, only reimburse travel expenses and reasonable lunch costs on submission of receipts from the micro-intern. No other payments or benefits should be offered. 

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