Black Gold Farms to offer micro-internships

Program aims to bridge the gap between education and experience.

A micro-internship opportunity has come to Grand Forks through Black Gold Farms, with potentially more opportunities for the recently popularized concept in the works for the company.

Parker Dewey, an online platform that puts students and recent graduates in touch with companies seeking help, is a trailblazer in the area of micro-internships. Human Resources Assistant Katie Scharfe at Black Gold Farms said she did her research in micro-internships through the Parker Dewey website.

Similar to conventional internships, micro-internships are shorter-term paid positions within a company that could potentially lead to long-term employment. Black Gold Farms is offering a Human Resources micro-internship that will coincide with a student’s winter holiday -- the second week in January and will last for a week.

The requirements for the position are based more on “soft skills” since the company can’t recruit for the internship based on experience.

“We are trying to create less barriers to entry,” Scharfe said. “I know that a conundrum of getting a job is how do you get experience when you need experience for a job? So this is trying to, by bridging the gap, trying to eliminate that cycle.”


The “gap” that Scharfe refers to is the gap between education and experience. Black Gold’s micro-internship won’t focus on one project but several aspects of the job, to help the prospective intern gain work experience.

“For this one, we have some projects planned in employee engagement, researching best practices, payroll and compliance,” Scharfe said. “It’s not just one single thing we have them focus in on, so they can kind of dip their toes in a little bit of other projects and get more experience to be more marketable to add to their resume.”

The benefits of the program are two-fold, for both the intern as well as the company.

“We are looking at ways to create a stronger talent pipeline, so this is one way for that,” Scharfe said.

She mentioned that it can be difficult for a student to get a traditional internship, with so many students applying for one position, or the timing of the internship not fitting into a student’s schedule.

“Since this is just the beginning, we are looking at offering them during breaks, but I’m hoping in the future we could expand it to offer more throughout the year,” she said.

Students interested in applying for Black Gold’s micro-internship can search the job search engine, or visit Black Gold’s website at and click the “careers” tab.

Adam Kurtz is the community editor for the Grand Forks Herald. He covers higher education and other topics in Grand Forks County and the city.

Kurtz joined the Herald in July 2019. He covered business and county government topics before covering higher education and some military topics.

Tips and story ideas are welcome. Get in touch with him at, or DM at @ByAdamKurtz.

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