The recently held Academic Innovation Winter Institute, organized by the Office of Academic Innovation in partnership with Innovation Incubator centered on the theme of “Exploring Micro-Internships: A Guide to Understanding and Successfully Implementing Short-Term Work Experiences”.
This event, which took place Jan. 17-18, brought together over 60 faculty and staff members from across all colleges, offering a range of workshops and panels, including insights from industry collaborator, Parker Dewey. These sessions underscored the vital role of micro-internships in enhancing student career preparedness, providing concreate examples of their impact.
A significant highlight of the institute was the focus on micro-internships as short-term, paid work experiences, a program Innovation Incubator is piloting. These internships are designed to provide students with practical, hands-on experiences in their field of study while also compensating them for their work.
Throughout the institute, numerous aspects of micro-internships were highlighted, emphasizing their significance in aiding students in their future career pursuits.
“Micro-internships offer rapid skill development and can be incorporated into academic courses,” said Jesus Bermudez, micro-internship manager. “As many of these internships are offered remotely, it broadens the accessibility for students who might be unable to engage in traditional experiences due to other commitments or time restraints.”
The event featured panels of students and faculty, where participants like Lynn Horiguchi, a kinesiology major, recounted her micro-internship experience.
“With micro-internships, I was able to get Cal Poly Pomona’s learn-by-doing experience by working directly with children with disabilities, directly applying my major. This experience allowed me to put extra funding towards my tuition and provided a great opportunity to work in a new environment alongside my peers. Overall, it contributed to my growth and navigation in the career that I am going into.”