This blog is written by Erin, our campus ambassador for the College of William and Mary.
If you’re like most college students, you likely have visions of sleeping in, home cooking, and holiday cheer when you think of your winter break. Most colleges and universities adjourn for 3 or more weeks to observe the holiday season that takes place between semesters. What if you used that time to advance your career instead?
“Winternships,” or abbreviated internships that take place during the winter holiday are gaining popularity among college students. With all the free time that winter break facilitates, the aspiring professional has time to shadow a professional or intern for a company full-time, gaining valuable experience and skills. Basically, a winternship is an abbreviated version of a summer internship.
A winternship is a multi-beneficial opportunity. Not only do you get to utilize your winter break in an educational and career-oriented fashion, you are also too busy to become bored at home. While movie marathons and hot cocoa with your high school friends are fun for the first week or so, after much longer your visions of sugarplums are replaced by a longing for campus life and the freedom that accompanies it. A winternship allows you to keep some of the independence that you have grown accustomed to whilst being away at school. By working, you can still feel like a semi-independent individual, even while you are back at home.
In addition, winternships can give you an extra advantage when you go to apply for a summer internship. Companies will see that you took initiative and spent your time usefully and will be more likely to consider you for a position. Also, the skills you picked up working between semesters will likely be useful during the summer.
Finding a winternship is easier than you may imagine. Many companies don’t offer official internships for winter break, but if you inquire yourself, they will be willing to take you on for a few weeks. After all, why would they say no to free help? In addition some colleges offer winter break research and work opportunities. Look at the resources at your school to see what is available.
It is most beneficial to look for a winternship in either your hometown or somewhere where you have a place to say, such as with a relative or close friend. Because it is only for 3 or 4 weeks, finding an apartment can be an unnecessary and expensive hassle.
Winternships can be a great addition to your resume’ and a wonderful opportunity to explore a career field. Start applying within the month, so companies have time to adjust and prepare for your arrival. If you do receive one, work hard to make a good impression and learn everything you can; but just make sure you do fit in some time for Frosty the Snowman, ok?