THE BLOG
11/06/2014 10:43 am ET Updated Jan 06, 2015

What You Need To Know About 'Winternships'

Geber86 via Getty Images

By: Kendall Greer, University of South Carolina

The weather is getting colder, and college students everywhere are gearing up for winter break. Everyone is excited to catch up on sleep, eat some good meals and spend time with family. However, this time could be spent gaining valuable experience, to help you toward your career, with a winter internship or "winternship"!

A winternship is an internship that takes place in between the fall and spring semesters, typically December to January. If you have the motivation to fit some work experience in this winter, and think that a winternship might be right for you then read below to see why, and how to get a wintership, and also what companies are currently offering them.

1. Why to get a winternship

There are some clear reasons why having a winternship is beneficial. Winter internships boost your resume and give you the hands-on experience that companies look for after you graduate. However, when companies see that you took time out of your short winter break, that could have been spent sleeping in and catching up on TV shows, to have an internship, it will show your motivation and drive to be productive during your rare free time.

Another reason to get a winternship is to build relationships and network. After your winternship you could be offered a summer internship position or even be kept in mind for a future job opening.

2. How to get a winternship

First, make a list of some companies that would offer great experiences and valuable networking opportunities. The next step is to send emails to these employers. See the template below from thebrandingmuse.com to help with composing your emails.

"Dear ___________I admire x,y,z about your company and would like to quickly introduce myself. I currently attend____[school] studying_________[major and interests]. Would you consider allowing me to donate some of my time to your ______[department] efforts during the busy holiday season? I have developed strong _______[skills] and would like to strengthen them over the next few weeks while I am on winter break. I would be honored to assist your team and am confident that I can add value while developing new skills. Are you available to discuss the possibilities and my qualifications when your time permits? I look forward to hearing from you."

When you hear back from the employers that do offer winternships, at that time they should talk you through their application process. It is best to send the initial emails in October or early November so you have time to hear back from the employer and complete an application if necessary.

3. Who offers winternships

Most companies do not promote winter internships, which is why you have to research and reach out to employers to see if they do have winter opportunities. Lauren Berger a.k.a The Intern Queen made looking for winter internships a little easier. A few days ago she posted her "Top 5 "Winternships" This Week!" on internqueen.com. For those of you who are interested in fashion, PR, business, or media check out the companies below:

1) Esquire
2) Overbrook Entertainment
3) Behrman Communications
4) The Society Group
5) JTwo Films

It's hard to think about winter break without thinking about sleeping all day, and lots of time with family. However, if you can give up the extra sleep a couple days a week during your break you can get a few extra weeks of experience that will help you, one day, snag your dream job!