Winter is a wonderland of opportunities. Thousands of companies offer internships to students and young professionals alike.
Yet that doesn’t mean getting an internship is easy.
A 2020 study found that one in 17 internship applications receive a positive response back from recruiters. In order to receive winter internships, you have to know how to find an internship.
How exactly does a winter internship work? When should apply for one, and how can you find one? What should you do to bolster your resume?
Answer these questions and you can find a great winter internship for yourself in no time. Here is your comprehensive guide.
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The Essentials of Winter Internships
Most colleges have a long winter break. It begins with the holidays and extends into January, with some colleges covering the entire month.
Students are expected to enjoy the holidays with their families, but they can then do something else in January. They do not have to come back to school unless there are opportunities on campus. They can remain at home and travel somewhere else for an internship.
Every winter internship is different. In general, students engage in short-term projects that experienced professionals oversee. They can attend lectures and sit on meetings so they can understand how companies operate.
Nearly all winter internships offer college credit. Supervisors can also act as references for future job opportunities. If you do very well on your internship, your supervisor may be able to get you a summer internship or job with the same company.
Some schools require students to find internships, while others do not. You may not be under an obligation to find winter internships for college students. But it is a good idea to get one because you gain skills and build experience for future jobs.
Paid and Unpaid Internships
There are more paid internships during the summertime, but you can find paid positions for the winter. Some offer stipends that you receive after you have completed your work.
Others offer regular wages. Companies like Google and Facebook offer internships that pay more than $7,000 a month.
As you might imagine, paid internships are more competitive than unpaid ones. The work will also be harder. You may need to work more than 40 hours a week, including on weekends.
Do not expect to get a paid internship. It is okay to spend some time researching for paid internships in particular. But your odds are not strong because the process is so competitive.
Think about the intangible rewards of your internship. You will gain experience, fill a gap in your resume, and make connections. These are just as important for your future as a little extra money.
When to Apply for Winter Internships
Winter internships tend to be less competitive than summer internships. But you need to get started in looking at internships early on.
Most companies post their openings in October. You can start your research in September if you don’t have a clear idea of what industry you want your internship to be in.
Career centers allow people to make appointments with counselors whenever they like. Visit a career center in late September or early October. They can give you winter internships software to perform better research.
You can start applying for internships in the middle of October. Application periods end toward the middle of November.
Companies schedule interviews as soon as they can. You will receive notifications of your application success by the end of November. You should decide which internship you will accept soon after you receive offers.
Researching Winter Break Internships
The timeline for winter break internships is tight. But that doesn’t mean that you should rush your research process.
Think about the work you are currently doing. You may want to hone your skills in your line of work, or you may want to make a transition.
You can find an internship that will develop your skills or introduce you to a new career path. Make a decision as to which internship works better for you.
You can start to research actual internships on the Internet. Use precise search terms. “Winter 2022 internships” will bring up current postings, while “winter internship” may bring up old ones.
Many companies do not post winter internships because of how short the winter break is. Other companies use the new year as an opportunity to change campaigns. This means that bringing a new intern on board would be very difficult.
If you are struggling to find appropriate internships, branch out. If you are looking for business internships, try looking at marketing and finance internships. If you want to pursue engineering, consider robotics and electrical work.
Look on campus to see if there are any positions. Talk to faculty and see if you can create your own internship by shadowing a professor or professional.
If you cannot find any internships, you can look at volunteer opportunities, including online volunteering. Working in a library or a community center will fill time and bolster your resume. Volunteering will make you seem compassionate, which can make you more credible to employers.
Securing Winter Internships
Researching will let you find internships that you can apply for. But you then need to put effort into securing an internship for yourself.
Use your connections whenever you can. Talk to your parents, relatives, and friends about people who can get you a job.
Follow good tips on how to network for jobs when you do so. You can reach out to people on social media, but try to talk to them face-to-face.
Schedule conversations with them and outline what skills you have. Try to paint a good picture of what your background is like. This includes discussing your weaknesses, which will make you seem honest and credible.
If a connection secures you an interview, thank them for doing so. You may be able to bring up the connection during the interview, but try to keep the conversation focused on yourself.
Keep in mind that networking should be transactional. You should offer a favor to someone who will put in a good word for you. You can put in a good word for them, or you can help them with a project like writing emails.
Even for a winter internship, you need to prepare a resume. Keep things simple. Recruiters only look at resumes for a few seconds, and being elaborate will encourage them to throw your resume away.
Place your contact information right at the top of the page. Include your full legal name, your email, and your phone number.
You can provide a professional summary on your resume. Write a few sentences about your experience and skill set, including your knowledge of technology. Go deep on your educational history, since you’ll have less working history to talk about.
But the majority of your resume should describe your professional experience. Put the position you have most recently filled at the top of your resume. Other great resume tips include showing a personal side by adding hobbies and interests and including other less-common resume sections that might help you stand out.
Mention any company you have worked for, then include several bullet points about what you did there. Repeat with each position you have filled.
You want to be clear with your language. Describe projects you have completed with precise diction. Include some hard figures and bullet points, such as any money you helped a company save and jobs you helped create.
But you don’t want to bore the person reading your resume. Use strong action words that grab their attention. Say that you “controlled” or “orchestrated” a group instead of “leading” them. Also, don’t forget to include a great cover letter!
Most winter internships do not have an extended interview process. You may go through one phone or videoconferencing interview before the recruiter makes their decision.
Winter internship interviews are not substantially different from other kinds of interviews. Most recruiters just want more information about your positions and skills. They also want a sense of who you are as a person, and they’ll ask you some common interview questions.
Feel free to provide a little more information than the recruiter asks for. If they ask you about a particular project, describe what the expectations for the project were and how you met them. This gives your recruiter a good sense of how you follow orders.
Make sure you have questions to ask your interviewer. You can ask about the duties in your position or the office structure. Do not ask about logistics or whether or not you got the position.
Walk Into a Winter Internship
Winter internships let you perform small-scale projects at important companies. You may be able to find a paid winter internship. But an unpaid one will give you some experience and skills.
Look for an internship toward the beginning of October. Look for many kinds of opportunities, including volunteer positions. You can use a career center and connections for help.
Follow good resume conventions, describing your experience with creative language. Give your interviewer all the information they need to assess your skillset.
Before we end, here are a few useful articles on landing the internship opportunity of your dreams:
- How to Use Goodwall’s Web Profile to Land a Job or Internship Opportunity
- How to Find & Get an Internship Through Goodwall in 5 Simple Steps
- How to Get an Internship in 5 Simple Steps
- Fellowship vs Internship: What’s the Difference and Which to Choose?
- Internship vs Job: What’s the Difference and Which One is Best for You?
- Externship vs Internship: What’s the Difference and How to Choose?
- Co-op vs. Internship: What’s the Difference & Which Should You Choose?
Well, we hope you enjoyed our article on winter internship programs! If you have any questions, feedback, or other points to add about winter internships, let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading, and good luck on your intern applications!