A man writing in a notebook next to a laptopThere are many ways to gain professional experience outside of a traditional internship or job. These experiences can add depth to your resume and LinkedIn profile, and also give you great stories to share during interviews to demonstrate your strengths and skills. Here are some opportunities to consider this year that can help you gain professional experience.

Short-term internships

Short-term internships, also known as micro-internships, are positions that are typically 4-6 weeks long. These opportunities allow you to fit in professional experience at different times of the year than traditional internships.

Upkey is one platform offering these opportunities in a larger program. They provide professional development through workshops, mentorship, connections and hands-on experience. You can also check out the Parker Dewey platform and Handshake for micro-internship opportunities.

Job simulations

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to work in a specific job role or at a specific company, job simulations offer that opportunity. 

The Forage is a platform that offers 6-7 hour virtual roles where you can explore what it’s like to work at some of the largest companies in the world. You can practice doing the actual work of a company and submit your results to their staff to review. If they like what they see, you may just hear back from them about an internship or job opportunity. 

Start exploring The Forage to find opportunities. If you are in the Leeds School of Business or College of Engineering and Applied Science, you can use these custom landing pages that offer pre-selected options:

LinkedIn Learning

One of the best ways to sharpen your application for a job or internship is to add a strong skills section to your resume. Listing practical skills that set you apart can put you at the front of the line for hiring consideration.

LinkedIn Learning can help you develop all kinds of transferable skills that are sure to impress employers. Courses range in length, and you can choose from options that will teach you:

  • How to use Microsoft Excel, Adobe and other programs
  • Job-specific skills like coding, social media for business or building a website
  • Soft skills like public speaking, project management, leadership and more

Linkedin Learning is available to all CU students at no additional cost.

Innovation and entrepreneurship programs

CU Boulder has a rich culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, and there are some amazing programs on campus that support students in pursuing their dreams. If you’re interested in starting your own business or exploring an innovative idea, check out the following opportunities:

Learn more about innovation and entrepreneurship resources.


One of the best ways to learn about yourself, develop skills and give back to others is through volunteering. Volunteer roles can vary—you may find yourself doing everything from working with animals to writing grants to collecting data for organizations. 

There are plenty of opportunities to match your interests and fit your schedule. Connect with the Volunteer Resource Center (VRC) to learn more about finding service opportunities.

Forever Buffs Network

Connect with CU Boulder alumni and other students on the Forever Buffs Network. You can create an account and network or set up informational interviews with alumni to learn more about jobs or industries you’re interested in. 

Research opportunities

When it comes to research, CU Boulder is one of the world’s leading institutions. Research is useful in the classroom and on campus, but it can also be incredibly helpful in your future endeavors. If you’re interested in research, the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) provides hands-on experience in a research or creative project. There are also opportunities to connect with faculty mentors.

For more tips, check out weekly virtual programs and workshops from Career Services. These free workshops will share best practices for resumes, making progress in your job or internship search (especially during challenging times) and more.