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Winternships: Everything You Need to Know

Posted Nov 19 2013 - 12:00am
Tagged With: winter break

Bundled in a chic jacket and a killer pair of heels as she hails a cab, you see her. Eyes wide and strutting with a purpose, she looks like she’s on her way to one of the most important appointments of her career. In reality, she’s a whippersnapper just like you, running an errand for her supervisor. She’s one of many college students who choose to spend their winter break exploring internship opportunities rather than lounge at home watching Scandal marathons (though that does sound enticing). What kinds of opportunities exist for a wintern in the making? Read on for the deets:
 
WINTERNSHIPS 101

serena gossip girl star hailing a cab blake lively
Serena is the most stylish intern around.

Full-Time
As opposed to interning for a company during the summer or a full semester, some students will take on an internship during their winter break to give themselves that extra edge. Many will crash with friends or family in major cities like New York or Los Angeles just to make some additional contacts and learn valuable skills. Many will work full days a week in order to fully maximize their experience. “I chose to do a winternship not only because it’s my last chance to intern before I graduate, but I had a really wonderful experience during the summer at the same company,” says Kayla*, a Her Campus staffer and student in Connecticut. “Sure, I thought about staying at home, but I’d much rather be learning new skills, making more contacts, and gaining more experience in the industry where I hope to one day have a career.”

Shadowing
Another opportunity? Shadowing. If the company of your interest doesn’t offer winternships, reach out to an employee and request to shadow someone for a few days. “This is especially helpful when you are trying to clarify your career direction,” Director of Career Services at Hofstra University Suzanne Dagger said. Dagger is currently working with a student who is deciding between a pre-law or psychology path. “Over winter break, he has arranged with someone in his community who is a lawyer to shadow for three days.  This will help this student see some of the reality of this work and not just what he knows from television,” she said. If you reach out and request to shadow, this could in turn evolve into a winternship or a potential position in the future.

Benefits

That Extra Edge
Like any internship, diving into the industry of your choice is an exciting and informative experience. “Winternships allow students who are on winter break the opportunity to spend a solid six to eight weeks interning for a given company,” says Caroline Orlando, CEO of fashion company Lady Vanderbilt, who has had several interns in the past. As a student, gaining an exclusive look into how your field operates and what kinds of positions exist for an upcoming college grad is a beneficial experience. “Winternships are great options for students looking to engage in public relations, social media and marketing, as they can be exposed to the industry within its entirety after just a few weeks,” Orlando says. This will certainly give you a leg up on the competition and an excellent addition to your resume.

One HCer named Judy* created her own opportunity at a well-known publication by being persistent with her potential internship supervisor. She dedicated herself to her winternship everyday over winter break and it eventually turned into a full-time job! Interning during the colder months certainly has its advantages.

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