What is a Micro-Internship?
Micro-Internships are short-term projects or internships where students can collaborate with employers and/or MIT alumni on research, data analysis, software development, or other projects that will provide a learning opportunity while meeting a workplace need. These opportunities will enable students to prototype different careers as well as build mentoring relationships and professional networks they can maintain beyond the experience.
Duration & Timing
Due to the impact of Covid-19, CAPD encourages alumni and employers to offer micro-internships throughout the fall semester and during the January IAP break.
- View the academic calendar for fall semester and IAP start and end dates.
- Micro-internships typically range between 2-4 weeks and 10-35 hours per week, however, terms are flexible and predicated based on the nature of the highly-specific, project-based work.
- Employer/Alumni and students can negotiate the specific terms as each individual situation or need may vary.
- Employers/Alumni are encouraged to speak with students about their course-load to assess feasibility of a continued internship.
When developing a micro-internship, consider additional supports and supplies students might need to complete the experience, including laptop, printers, and Wifi access and security.
Hosts located abroad are encouraged to work directly with MIT’s MISTI program. MISTI works closely with international partners to place hundreds of students in internships abroad each year. MISTI program managers have expertise in the culture, language and internship practices of the host country and can assist with student recruitment, matching, logistics, and administration.
Login to Handshake. If you do not have an account, follow these steps to create a Handshake Employer User Account or join your Company’s existing Handshake Account.
Once your Handshake account is approved, post the opportunity. For Position Type, select “Internship.”
For Position Title:
- Label the opportunity as: Micro-Intern: Position Title (Semester). Example: Micro-Intern: Data Analytics (Fall).
- If you are an MIT Alumni, please include the term “Alumni Host” in the micro-internship job title. Example: Micro-Intern: Data Analytics (IAP-Alumni Host).
Complete the required job posting information. Include key information outlined on the CAPD Post a Job or Internship page.
To ensure the greatest number of applicants, CAPD recommends not selecting labels on the Preferences page (ie: School Year Preference, Major Categories) of Handshake's job posting page.
If you have any questions or need additional support, please Employer Relations Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Employers and alumni should pay micro-interns fair market value for their work.
- The 2019 Summer Experience Student Reported Pay provides an overview of MIT student pay during summer internships, including hourly pay.
- If an organization cannot meet these standards, consider paying micro-interns at least minimum wage which is $13.00 per hour in Massachusetts and will increase to $13.50 per hour in on January 1, 2021. A competitive pay results in a larger pool of applicants.
- For global micro-internships, we understand that internship compensation practices vary by country. See the MISTI internships page for more information.
CAPD will not approve an unpaid micro-internship unless it is in accordance with the unpaid internships guidelines outlined on our site.
When a non-compete/disclosure agreement is necessary, CAPD asks that employers and students follow the CAPD non-compete guidelines.
All MIT Undergraduate and Graduate students are eligible to apply for micro-internships. If hiring international students, consider the timeline restrictions outlined below. MISTI students may need to meet additional program-specific requirements.
Hiring Timeline Recommendations for Micro-Internships
- For Fall 2020 opportunities, employers and alumni are encouraged to post opportunities in Handshake as they become available.
- For January IAP break opportunities, CAPD recommends that employers and alumni post opportunities in Handshake by mid-September and offer positions to students by mid-November.
- CAPD recommends employers give students 5-7 business days to make a decision on whether they would like to accept an opportunity.
Hiring timelines differ for international students. Undergraduate and graduate international students hired for a micro-internship must receive off campus work authorization (CPT, OPT or AT) before they can begin. OPT authorization can take up to 120 days for processing. Employers are encouraged to this section of CAPD’s website for more information about hiring international students.
Host Eligibility & Expectations
- Offer valuable learning opportunities.
- Provide a paid experience.
- Hosts are encouraged to foster connections and/or mentoring relationships with students. For example, scheduling regular check-in meetings with students, consider connecting students to relevant colleagues within the organization.