Melissa Marazzo

How a Senior Pursued Her Passions with Goodwill Micro-Internship

April 30, 2024 Written by Jessica Downey | Photo provided by Melissa Marazzo

Last winter, senior communications major Melissa Marazzo had the chance to combine one of her hobbies with two of her professional passions when she completed a video project with Goodwill through Parker Dewey.

“I’ve always been an avid shopper of Goodwill,” said Marazzo. “Storytelling and video production are huge passions of mine, so when I saw an opportunity that offered both, I knew I had to apply.”

Parker Dewey is an organization that connects employers with paid micro-internships to college students and recent graduates. A micro-internship is a short-term paid assignment that allows students to gain professional experience on projects in their industry of interest with more flexibility and less time commitment than a traditional internship. 

“I found out about micro-internships with Parker Dewey in my COMM418 class when a guest speaker from the UD Career Center came in to talk about finding a job and internships,” said Marazzo. “While there were many options, I only applied to one.”

Goodwill of Delaware & Delaware County's Vice President of Brand & Community Engagement Leah Williams posted a request for a video project that involved shooting footage in Goodwill stores and editing videos over the course of three to four weeks.

“This micro-internship enabled us to fulfill an immediate business need while giving the student an immersive, condensed learning experience,” said Williams. “Melissa learned about our mission firsthand from people we serve and employ, and was able to add to her portfolio.”

Marazzo was responsible for facilitating and recording interviews with Goodwill employees and customers and filming b-roll on site to create four promotional videos. 

“This was such a great experience, both in the sense that I gained real life industry production experience, but also because I got to work with some really awesome people, which only added to the overall project,” she said. “I learned so much about creative problem solving and how to quickly pivot and find a solution when something goes wrong—that’s an invaluable skill I can carry over to my future career.”

Williams said she was pleased with Marazzo’s work and that she believes her success was due to the preparation she received from the University. 

“In my experience working with UD students, I’ve found them to be focused, invested and proactive,” said Williams. “UD provides students with clear direction and guidelines and provides support to ensure that students and employers have a valuable experience. They’re invested in their students’ success.”

Marazzo suggested micro-internships with Parker Dewey as an alternative solution for students who are interested in gaining professional experience but lack the time for a semester-long commitment.

“I would totally recommend a micro-internship to other UD students,” said Marazzo. “In such a short time period, I learned a lot, got to work with new people and gained professional content for my portfolio. It’s a real world experience on a smaller scale.”

On the other side of the equation, Williams encouraged other employers to take advantage of the initiative for immediate help.

“The experience is seamless,” said Williams. “The recruiting and interviewing process is in the hands of the employer, it’s a short engagement and, as a nonprofit organization, we especially value the funding that provides the student with compensation for their work.”

For students interested in pursuing jobs and internships with Goodwill, Williams offered a few words of advice. 

“Take the time to learn about our mission from our website and social media,” she said. “Goodwill is so much more than the store! As you’re answering questions on the application, include the question in your answer to provide a focused, thoughtful answer. Share with us why you’d like to intern with a nonprofit organization.”

Williams said she hopes programs like the one offered by Parker Dewey spur more student interest in working for nonprofits, especially those close to campus.

“Delaware has a very engaged, connected nonprofit community,” she said. “Interning with a nonprofit provides you both with an opportunity to contribute to people in need, but also a glimpse into the work of a nonprofit and valuable connections with community leaders whom you may work with in your career after graduation.”

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