Why students “win” in a Winternship

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 Winterships. Most Winterships are the same as spring, summer, and fall internships only on a smaller scale.

Winterships 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 Wintership 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 Wintership, there’s less competition for a spot in a desirable company.

The approach to Winterships 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 Winterships 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 Winterships or experiences at companies that appeal to them to give them the added edge come summer internship season!

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