CLA Get Ready Program

Photo of project team at Tubman
Photo of project team at Polaris

The CLA Get Ready Program is about preparing students for, and bridging them to, participation in an internship, research, or learning abroad experience — what we refer to as a high-impact practices. Research shows that students' career outcomes improve with engagement in one of these high-impact experiences. CLA Career Services has designed the Get Ready Program in three phases to support students through this career development process:

  • Prepare: Students take a career prep course their sophomore year called, Career Kickstarter 
  • Bridge: Short-term Industry Based Project to gain real-world experience
  • Make the most of their Experience: Students take an internship course alongside their internship experience

Bridge Phase: Industry Based Projects

CLA has funding to support our CLA Get Ready Program sophomore cohort of President Emerging Scholars with scholarships as they participate in short-term (1 week) industry-based projects and immersive experiences. We are seeking employer partners that would benefit from having a project completed for their organization and want to engage more deeply in the career development of these students. 

FAQs About Industry Based Projects

Industry (or community) based projects are professional assignments that are similar to those given to new hires or interns. Projects are short-term (approx. 40 hours) and are completed by a small team of students. Organizations will need to have a project concept and designate an industry expert mentor for the groups of students who are working on the projects. CLA staff will offer guidance in project development. 

  •  Build a connection with CLA students and introduce them to the industry
  • Provides fresh ideas and a preview of students work
  • Ensures new staff are building the skills needed to be successful in your field
  • Build your organization’s brand on campus
  • Expand your organization’s candidate pool for internships and recruiting needs. Project participants may be your next best employee! 
  • Strengthen your capacity to serve your community, develop new initiatives or enhance existing programs with fresh ideas.
  • Identify a project concept or need at your organization. This list of project concept ideas can help you get started.  
  • Provide clear outcomes for students completing the project. 
  • Host students for a site visit or immersive experience depending on your structure and internal modality to provide context about your organization. 
  • Engage in a Project Launch meeting and 2-3 check-in meetings during the week.
  • Engage in a Project Showcase where students will present their project. The employer mentors will provide project feedback to students. 

CLA will facilitate projects at three times during the 2022-2023 academic year to best align with students' academic commitments: 

  • Winter break: January 9-13, 2023
  • Spring break: March 6-10, 2023 
  • May Term | May 11-12 & 15-17 (Thursday-Friday and Monday-Wednesday - no weekend hours required)

Choose one or more weeks your organization is interested in supporting a student project team. 

You can meet with a CLA staff member to work through the details of your project, as well as your project outcomes. We will help make sure that the project has definition and clear roles for our student teams as they collaborate.

Yes. With the range of student needs and geographic locations over breaks, CLA Career Services would like to have some project options that are completely remote.

CLA has received a generous grant from Target Corp to support our CLA President’s Emerging Scholars in gaining real experience that can fit more easily into their schedules. Students will receive a $600 scholarship for their week of work. Students will not be completing these projects for academic credit.

Yes! While CLA has funding for a period of time to support students in this career development opportunity and organizations in piloting the projects to see how it will benefit them, we welcome financial sponsorship of student teams. In particular, for the 2022-2023 academic year, we could use financial support given directly to students for transportation (metro pass fees, uber fees). 

Yes! While the CLA Get Ready Program centers student learning and career growth, our hope is that students will gain real experience creating something tangible. Students will be proud to have an organization use their work — and will be compensated in the form of a scholarship through the grant funding. 


Project Stories | Spring Pilot 2022


Learning New Skills, Addressing Real-world Challenges

Host Site: ConnextMSP an initiative of GREATER MSP Partnership
Project: Ambassador Program Design

An inclusive talent network, ConnextMSP is working to ensure that early-career professionals of color in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region are recruited, hired and supported by local employers as they launch their careers. This is a critical initiative of GREATER MSP a regional economic development partnership to ensure the partnership is advancing inclusive economic growth and building a 21st century workforce in the region.

ConnextMSP was one of six host sites that participated in May 2022 in the University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts’ (CLA) industry-based projects pilot as part of its Get Ready Program.

Continue reading the ConnextMSP article


Improved Recruiting, Advancing Diversity and Equity Commitment

Host Site: Tubman
Project: Research & Social Media Outreach

Tubman is a multiservice organization providing safe shelter, transitional and rapid rehousing, legal services, mental and chemical health services, youth outreach, in-school violence prevention education, mobile case management, support groups, job readiness, financial education and more to about 20,000 people in the Twin Cities, each year. These programs support individuals and families seeking safety, hope, and healing as they move from fear to freedom.

Tubman was one of six host sites that participated in May 2022 in the University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts’ (CLA) industry-based projects pilot as part of its Get Ready Program.

Continue reading Tubman article


Gaining Knowledge and Insights a Two-way street for Students and Corporation

Host Site: Polaris
Project: New Customer Growth

Headquartered in Minnesota, Polaris Inc. proudly serves customers in more than 100 countries. Employees at the $8.2 billion company drive change and innovation, and are empowered to take on challenging assignments and roles with an elevated level of responsibility.

Product Manager Matt Mukomela is a CLA Alum (BA ’11) with an Economics degree and a Management minor from the Carlson School of Management. Mukomela worked with four CLA students as they participated in a weeklong project at Polaris that helped them gain insight into working in corporate America.

Continue reading Polaris article


Excited, Humbled and Inspired by Collaboration with Today’s Students

Host Site: S Pratt Consulting LLC
Project: Website redesign

CLA alumna Stacy Pratt (BA ’99), never planned to own her own business. But following a layoff she used her extensive experience in facilitation and training with Fortune 100 companies, non profit organizations and local governments to launch a business and chart a new career path.
A culture and talent consulting service, S Pratt Consulting LLC provides customized business solutions that promote inclusive cultures, support diverse talent, and enrich workforce relations. S. Pratt’s vision is to create inclusive work environments that reinforce employee engagement and
retention while achieving organizational goals.

Continue reading S. Pratt Consulting, LLC. article