Pre-Internship Projects

CLA students present their project showcase at the Minnesota Children's Museum
CLA students present their final showcase at the Minnesota Children's Museum, a local employer who hosted a pre-internship project in May 2023.
CLA students pose onsite at Penske
CLA students pose onsite at Penske, a local employer who hosted a pre-internship project in May 2023.

Get Ready

CLA 3002, Career Kickstarter is helping you Prepare for finding an internship, research opportunity, or other career-related experience.  We also want to help Bridge you to one of these important larger career experiences by ensuring you have at least one short-term, real-world experience so you're more competitive for internships or other career opportunities.  

What are pre-internship projects?

Pre-internship projects provide students with professional assignments and immersive experiences in a variety of career fields. These projects are short-term (1 week) and are completed by a small team of students. Students are given a project prompt to develop with the support of their student team, an industry expert, and a CLA staff mentor.

Projects vary based on industry type and students’ career field preferences. You can review these examples of industry-based projects students completed in May 2022 pilot. CLA staff are still confirming employer partners that will host student teams in the 2023-24 academic year, but here is a list of previous projects that were successfully completed in May 2023.

Pre-internship projects are intended to support historically under-served populations of students, such as those who are first-generation college students, who hold marginalized identities, or who are from low-income backgrounds. Student will receive $600 for their participation.

When can I participate in an pre-internship project? 

We are facilitating projects at two different times during the 2023-24 academic year:  

  • Winter Break | January 8-12, 2024
  • May term | May 13-17, 2024

If you are a CLA student interested in participating or learning more, please complete the application form below. 

Priority deadline for winter break projects has now passed.


Pre-Internship Project Stories | 2022-23 Academic Year

Read about recent student experiences with pre-internship projects at a variety of employer sites.


Project Stories | Spring Pilot 2022

Learn more about our initial Get Ready Program pilot in spring 2022. Employer hosts included ConnextMSP, Tubman, Polaris, and S Pratt Consulting LLC.


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 ConnextMSP article 

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

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 

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