3 answers

What should I do to get an internship during winter break?

Asked Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

I am a rising junior majoring in Computer Engineering. I would like to use my winter break effectively by getting an relevant internship to occupy that time. I've heard that's it's incredibly difficult to do so, though. I've been googling "software development winter break internships" and similar things, but I haven't had much success. Any advice on what I should do?
#career-development #computer-engineering #internship #internships #career #technology #software-development

3 answers

Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

Let me tell your about an interesting internship experience: During my daughter's senior year in high school, the highlight of the year (and of the whole high school experience) was to be a several month long internship program. Everyone signed up and indicated the type of internship that they wanted - all except for one girl. This girl wanted to become a doctor and wanted her internship to be with the local EMS unit at the local fire station. So, she talked to the head of the EMS unit and got his approval and made arrangements with the school to create her own internship. Of all of the students about which I heard, she was the one who benefited the most by her internships. My daughter's was definitely not the highlight of her school career. Her first choice fell through and her final assignment was not really what she wanted and did not give her the type of exposure that she had hoped for. 


This shows that you can create your own internship! Locate a company that fits the parameters of the type of experience and exposure that you are seeking and work with them and the appropriate people in your school to put it in motion. After all, if there is an internship program existing today, anywhere, it had to be created by someone.


Additional ways to locate internships:

  • Visit and talk (a face to face conversation is desirable so you can have a two way conversation with dialogue) to the director of alumni relations to arrange to meet face to face with and talk to graduates working in your area of interest to get their advice and the possibility of openings they might know of
  • locate professional associations to which professionals working in your career areas of interest belong, so that you can meet face to face with the contact person and attend a meeting or so . Many times these professional associations know of internship opportunities. You can locate professional associations by talking with your academic adviser and/or by visiting the reference librarian at your school or local library. These people should be able to provide the names of the associations, where and when they meet and names and contact information of officers of the groups. You can call or visit the contact person (do not text or message or email, as you need to have a two way live conversation). Many times these associations have meeting on campus.

Rori’s Answer

While it may be difficult to secure an internship for the couple of weeks during your winter break, many companies are interested in having students for longer co-op opportunities (i.e. 12 -16 weeks of full-time work spanning a semester or a couple of quarters). This is extremely attractive to employers since you'd be there for a while and gain the ability to contribute with such a lengthy time span. As a student, this is a great opportunity to gain experience, build strong relationships, and see what it would truly be like to work for the company full-time after graduating. I'd advise working with your career center to see how it might affect graduation timing (such as figuring if certain classes are offered during other times of the year) if you were to take off a semester/quarter to intern. If it will work out for you to do a co-op, I'd be sure to add it to my resume under the objective/looking for section and let companies know during fall career fairs that you're interested. Good luck!

Gerard’s Answer

Updated Troy, Michigan

My first stop would be to my university's career center. Get on the radar with a counselor so that they can keep an eye open for an opportunity that would work well for you. Next, I would research organizations that are of particular interest to you, and then reach out to their HR department regarding internship opportunities.