Why students “win” in a Winternship

January 4, 2011 at 9:03 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Most students look forward to their winter breaks as the perfect opportunity to visit family, travel to see friends, stay up late, and sleep in. Yet more and more students are aware that the holiday break, which lasts as long as six weeks at some universities, is prime time to advance their career opportunities for a successful future. Students are taking advantage of the growing number of Winternships. Most Winternships are the same as spring, summer, and fall internships only on a smaller scale.

Winternships can maximize a limited time period, whether it’s for three weeks or more. Without a class schedule, students can work fulltime shadowing a professional in their field of interest and networking for future internships.  Even though a Winternship might be a condensed experience, it could lead to an invitation to return in the summer for a longer internship or for a job, according to a report on Goldman Sachs.  Also, because fewer students choose a Winternship, there’s less competition for a spot in a desirable company.

The approach to Winternships differs around the country. At Vassar, 12 students are selected and are paid a stipend for a shadowing/internship opportunity with alumna/us for one week during the winter break. Christie’s offers fulltime, six-week Winternships that provide an introduction to the inner workings of an art auction house.  These unpaid internships are available at New York and regional offices. Some universities, such as Johns Hopkins University, call the winter break Intersession and offer a variety of experiences from volunteer work to shadowing. Encourage your students to take an active role in creating their own Winternships or experiences at companies that appeal to them to give them the added edge come summer internship season!


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  1. Winterships are a wonderful concept! I have been a Career Services professional for 17 years at a private hospitality college in Chicago and each year, during this time, I encourage students to visit, contact or shadow employers of their choice. By having this concept organized as a wintership over their Break is very cleaver. It seems it would generate greater interest. I am looking forward to promoting this approach for holiday/winter break in 2011.

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