Student externs analyzed and tested advanced composite aircraft structures at Aurora Flight Sciences.

Maybe layoffs have left you shorthanded and doing the work of two or three people. Or important projects have fallen by the wayside because you can’t hire that new person you were counting on. Perhaps your company needs to find employees with a particular mix of skills, future summer interns, or an inexpensive way to market to the right potential workers. A little creativity can help employers and employees weather the economic crisis.

Here’s one solution: access and audition top talent for free by hosting an externship this January during Independent Activities Period, Jan. 4–29, 2010, for MIT undergrads or graduate students. Opportunities may range from one week up to the full month and typically provide meaningful challenges for students, be it with research, lab work, data analysis, software development, project planning, or more.

Past experiences have included helping research, design, and build an interactive, live-action spy challenge with 5 Wits Productions; working on computer vision in radiation oncology at Mass General Hospital; and analyzing and testing advanced composite aircraft structures at Aurora Flight Sciences (pictured). Discover other externship opportunities students have had and how they’ve launched careers.

Companies of all sizes are encouraged to submit sponsor applications by Sept. 22. Learn more about becoming an externship host.