In its second year, participation in the microinternship program at St. Mary’s College of Maryland doubled. The program, coordinated by the Career Development Center, is a highly interactive career exploration program that connects students with alumni for a 1-2-day job shadow.
Microinternships serve as a way for students to receive hands-on experience in a particular job field, explore different fields and refine their goals. As an added bonus, approximately a quarter of the host sites use the program as a hiring tool.
This winter, 60 students participated in a microinternship program at one of 37 host sites compared to 29 participants and 26 sites last year. Here is a sampling of what students did:
In her one-day microinternship at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., Caitlin Andrews ’17 was paired with Jen Maliszewski Nikolich ’05, collections manager and curatorial assistant at the museum.
Andrews said, “The microinternship has given me great exposure to the three facets of museum work — collections, education, and curatorial — and has helped me to better understand where I might fit into the working world as a young college graduate. … The experience helped to confirm that this was a field of acute interest for me, one that I would certainly like to pursue for a career.”
Sara Eaton ’17 completed a microinternship with Ecosystems, a consulting company in McLean, Va. She was paired with Allison Smith McFall ’13, a value consultant with the company.
In addition to observing McFall’s work as a value consultant, Eaton presented her own work, based off a sales scenario given to her as an example of the work expected of a value consultant. She analyzed data provided to her on printers and quantified and structured it to determine the value of replacing a printer before five years.
McFall ’13 said this was the first time Ecosystems participated with a microinternship program and the company would be willing to do it again based on the positive experience. She said staff gave Eaton similar exercises job candidates would get and they had more time to talk with Eaton than they would in a typical job interview.
Eaton said she enjoyed that the microinternship gave her the opportunity to experience a job with time to try out other work experiences. She said that is important for students in order to find out what best suits them. “If you don’t like the field, you don’t have to commit a significant proportion of time,” she said. “If you do enjoy it, then you can experience it more thoroughly through a full-time summer internship. It’s also a great opportunity to network.”