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New short-term internship program to help students, businesses

Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 6:17 PM CST
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HANNIBAL (WGEM) - As businesses become more and more dependent on the digital world, there’s a need for workers to fill that gap.

To help with that, the Hannibal Regional Economic Development Council has launched a micro-internship program that provides Hannibal region businesses with opportunities to engage college students on short-term, paid, professional projects. The goal is to help companies assess potential hires.

“Because most of them are remote, you can put a schedule in for, say, February and have someone within a week or two,” said HREDC entrepreneurship specialist Maria Kuhns. “And they can work for you while they’re in school. So, it’s very much conducive to your schedule and theirs and additionally it is paid so it’s beneficial to the student as well they’re not giving their time away for free.”

Kuhns says HREDC partnered with Parker-Dewey to install the platform. In using their services, businesses will pay a flat rate and students will get 90 percent of the pay while 10 percent goes to Parker-Dewey.

Lauren Jackson, who manages the Mississippi Marketplace said on top of managing the store and filling in during staffing shortages, she is in charge of managing the website, Facebook and Instagram accounts.

“We have had to have a social media presence to be remembered and let people know of the new items we have coming,” Jackson said. “Especially a lot of businesses downtown that have a generation of owners aren’t as up on what’s happening on social media how to work social media presence or have a social media presence.

Kuhn’s said businesses, like Jackson’s, could benefit from the micro-internship program as it will help fill that need for social media presence in modern-day business.

“Having this internship that is short term and also flat rates they’re not dealing with payroll and things like that really solves an issue for them,” Kuhns said.

Kuhns said the interns equally benefit from it.

“This gives them more of a short term way to ask, is this something I really wanna do?” Kuhns said. “It also gets them actual deliverable materials that they can put in their portfolio whenever they’re applying for jobs they can show, ‘Hey I actually did this project for this company.’”

Kuhns said programs like this one have successfully hired students into the workforce because they completed that micro-internship.

Jackson said the Mississippi Marketplace would be willing to give the micro-internship program a shot.

“A couple years ago we had a student from HLG and he was working a lot on our social media and that was very beneficial to my mom,” Jackson said.

Universities, colleges, students and businesses can go here to apply.

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