Career Exploration and Development

Winter Term Internship FAQ

    Is the Career Development Center the only place I can go with questions about Winter Term?

    Although the Career Development Center has information and opportunities for Winter Term, you should first talk with your academic advisor about your ideas and plans. In addition, the Office of Winter Term offers information regarding group and individual projects, faculty sponsors, requirements, deadlines, funding, and more.

    If you are considering an internship or a career-related project, the Career Development Center can help.

    How do I choose a project or internship?

    Considering potential projects for Winter Term can be overwhelming. It's a good idea to talk with your academic advisor if you're having trouble narrowing down your options for a project. If you are interested in an internship or career-related project, you can:

    • Visit drop-in hours for help applying for internships through Handshake.
    • Schedule an appointment with a career advisor [Winter Term > Winter Term Internships (Career Development Center)] to discuss strategies for arranging your own internship.
    • Attend the Winter Term Fair. Career Development Center staff will be there to help you search for internships by industry and geographical location.
    When should I get started?

    Although it's never too early to think about possible Winter Term projects, October is a good time to:

    • Visit the Office of Winter Term's Winter Term Guide for information about individual, group, and international projects.
    • Start talking with your academic advisor and prospective project sponsors.

    If you plan to apply for an internship, you can begin searching for opportunities on Handshake in mid-October. All postings will be available by the Winter Term Fair on October 19. It is a good idea to use Career Development Center drop-in hours to work on resumes and cover letters, as well as get familiar with Handshake if you haven't already. Employers may consider applications on a rolling basis, so it's best to apply as early as possible.

    How can the Career Development Center help me?

    The Career Development Center helps in the following ways:

    • Searching for internships through Handshake
    • Guidance on your resume and cover letter
    • Talking through your ideas for a Winter Term internship
    • Applying to internships and navigating the process of accepting and/or declining internship offers within a narrow timeframe
    • Sponsoring Winter Term internships for students without a faculty sponsor

    Stop by during drop-in hours to talk with a Peer Career Advisor about these and other topics. 

    Where does the Career Development Center find Winter Term internships?

    Each year, Oberlin alumni working at various organizations contact the Career Development Center to share Winter Term opportunities. These internships are designed to reflect a shorter duration than a more traditional internship while providing the training, mentorship, and experience that make an internship substantive and meaningful. Most - but not all - internships are offered by Oberlin alumni, who may or may not serve as the internship supervisor.


    How do I apply to Winter Term internships on Handshake?

    Students must submit a resume and cover letter when they apply to each internship. Additionally, some employers ask for references, writing samples, a transcript, or other materials. It's important to read internship descriptions carefully for application requirements and qualifications. We strongly encourage students to have their resumes and cover letters reviewed by a Peer Career Advisor during Career Development Center drop-in hours.

    Should I apply to more than one internship?

    We encourage students to apply to more than one internship, since some internships are competitive. Students should only apply to internships that interest them, and also consider opportunities that offer exposure to new experiences. Many students apply to 3-5 internships.

    I applied to an internship; what's next?

    Some - but not all - employers conduct phone interviews with applicants. It is very important to check your email and voicemail daily and respond to employers' messages within 24 hours. Employers may contact you by email or phone as early as a few hours after you submit your application to schedule an interview. Visit the Career Development Center's website for interview tips. We strongly recommend sending a follow-up thank you email to the employer after your interview.

    I've received an offer! What do I need to consider before accepting?

    The Career Development Center strongly advises students to research the organization, read the internship description thoroughly, and ask questions during the interview to ensure the internship is a good fit. Before accepting an offer, consider all factors, including housing, meals, travel, and transportation expenses, especially if the internship is in an unfamiliar city. Please read the Career Development Center's Reneging Statement.

    The deadline to accept or decline your internship offer(s) is Friday, December 10 at 5:00 p.m.

    I've realized that I cannot participate in the internship after I already accepted the offer! What should I do?

    As soon as possible, notify the Career Development Center at Please reach out to your contact at the organization to inform them of your decision (and be sure to apologize for the inconvenience!). You are not obligated to share details about your situation. The Career Development Center will follow up with the organization.

    Should I wait to register for Winter Term until I have accepted an internship offer?

    Due to changes to the academic calendar for 2021-22, most students who apply for a Winter Term internship will not receive an offer before the registration deadline. However, you may register for Winter Term prior to hearing back regarding an internship offer. When registering, select the Career Development Center’s group project. If your plans change, you will be able to change or add details to your Winter Term registration well past the deadline.

    I already indicated on my Winter Term application that I would be completing an internship sponsored by the Career Development Center, but I didn’t receive any offers. What should I do?

    Because many Winter Term internships are competitive, not all students who apply will receive an offer. If you find yourself without an offer, contact the Office of Winter Term for help arranging an alternative project. Please be assured that you may switch your Winter Term project after you have registered.

    I accepted a Winter Term internship; what's next?

    Congratulations! If you plan to be sponsored by the Career Development Center, please complete the Winter Term Internship Information Form by Friday, December 10. After completing the form, you will receive an email with details about next steps.

    If another employer contacts you about your application, graciously inform them by phone or email that you already accepted another internship offer. It is helpful for the employer to know your status as soon as possible, so they can reach out to other applicants.

    Who pays for my internship-related expenses?

    Students are responsible for their own Winter Term-related expenses. Winter Term project grants are available through the Office of Winter Term; grants must be requested as part of your Winter Term registration by Friday, November 19.

    Will remote opportunities be available for Winter Term 2022?

    Employers may offer Winter Term internships that are in-person, fully remote, or hybrid (a combination of both). Each posting will state whether remote work is available, and students should always discuss work location/flexibility before accepting an internship offer. Please keep in mind that work arrangements may change on short notice based on state and/or local public health guidelines.

    Who will be my Winter Term internship sponsor?

    Students may ask any faculty or staff member to sponsor their Winter Term internships. For help identifying a sponsor, students may contact their academic advisor or the Office of Winter Term.

    If you have not found a faculty sponsor, the Career Development Center  is available to sponsor your Winter Term internship. CDC-sponsored Winter Term interns will be required to attend two pre-internship workshops, as well as complete an ePortfolio designed to enhance and integrate their experience. 

    What are my responsibilities before/during/after the internship?

    You must register for Winter Term by Friday, November 19. Your faculty or staff sponsor will work with you to determine the requirements to receive credit for your internship. If you plan to be sponsored by the Career Development Center, complete the Winter Term Internship Information Form by Friday, December 10. CDC-sponsored Winter Term interns will be required to attend two pre-internship workshops, as well as complete an ePortfolio designed to enhance and integrate their experience. 

    Can a faculty member sponsor me for a Winter Term internship I found through the Career Development Center?

    Yes! If you are planning to complete a Winter Term internship with a faculty sponsor, please reach out to your chosen sponsor well ahead of November 19 to discuss your plans.

    Other Questions

    For additional help with Winter Term-related questions, please contact: