Do you have questions about Winter Term internships? Chances are, you'll find the answer here.
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 the Career Development Center to learn about available internships or to discuss strategies for arranging your own internship.
Looking for ideas? Take advantage of the following opportunities to identify a Winter Term project:
- Search Handshake - These internships are often hosted by Oberlin alumni. Most internships will be posted by the first week in October, but we will continue to post new internships on Handshake until the Winter Term Fair.
- Visit the Office of Winter Term website for information about individual, group, and international projects.
- 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 start talking with your academic advisor and prospective project sponsors. If you plan to apply for an internship, search Handshake for opportunities starting early October and continue to visit Handshake for new postings until the Winter Term Fair.
It's also a good idea to use Career Development Center drop-in hours to work on resumes and cover letter, 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. All opportunities will be posted by October 10.
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 or career-related project
- Applying to internships and navigating the process of accepting and/or declining internship offers within a narrow timeframe
Stop by during drop-in hours, weekdays from 3-5 pm, to talk with a Peer Advisor about these and other topics. Additional drop-in hours are posted on our website.
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.
As organizations' staffing, resources, and needs change, they may or may not offer Winter Term internships every year. However, we encourage students to continue searching Handshake for other opportunities that fit their interests. New internships will continue to be posted until the Winter Term Fair, so keep checking!
How do I apply to Winter Term internships on Handshake?
Using an online system to apply for Winter Term internships is a great way to become familiar with the electronic process you may encounter on other internship and job databases. 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 qualification. We strongly encourage students to have their resumes and cover letters reviewed by a Peer Advisor during Career Development Center drop-in hours, Monday-Friday from 3-5 pm.
Should I apply to more than one internship?
We encourage students to apply to more than one internship, since some internships in major metropolitan cities (such as NYC and DC) are competitive. Students should only apply to internships that interest them, but also consider opportunities that offer exposure to new experiences in different cities. 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.
The Career Development Center has an interview room with a landline phone, which students may use for phone interviews during our office hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm). Contact us at 440-775-8140 as soon as you schedule your interview for the best chance to reserve the interview room.
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.
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 email@example.com. You also need to contact the representative you spoke with during the selection process directly to inform them of your decision and apologize. You are not obligated to share details about your decision. The Career Development Center will follow up with the organization to resolve the situation.
I haven't received any offers, and the Winter Term registration deadline is almost here! What should I do?
Many Winter Term internships are competitive, and even the most qualified applicants sometimes do not receive an offer. We recommend discussing one or more backup plans with your academic advisor so that you will be ready to register for Winter Term by the Registrar's deadline (Friday, December 6 for domestic projects; Friday, November 15 for international projects). You may change your Winter Term project after you have registered, if necessary.
I accepted a Winter Term internship; what's next?
If another employer contacts you about your application, politely inform them by phone or email that you already accepted another internship offer. It is very helpful for the employer to know your status as soon as possible, so they can reach out to other applicants.
Any Oberlin faculty or staff member can sponsor your Winter Term internship. Possible sponsors could include your academic advisor or a professor in a subject related to your internship. The Winter Term registration deadline is Friday, December 6 for domestic projects and Friday, November 15 for international projects. For more information about sponsorship or registration, please contact the Office of Winter Term.
Who pays for my internship-related expenses?
Students are responsible for their own Winter Term-related expenses. If you need financial assistance to participate in the internship, apply for a Winter Term project grant when you register. Due to limited availability of funds, the sooner you submit your registration, the better your chances of receiving funding.
I plan to spend Winter Term in an unfamiliar city. What resources are available to help me find housing?
Some employers may offer housing or assistance, which they will indicate on their posting in Handshake. For internships without housing offered by their employer, see our Tips for Housing.
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.
What are my responsibilities before/during/after the internship?
You must register your internship as a Winter Term project by Friday, December 6 (Friday, November 15 for international projects). Your faculty or staff sponsor will work with you to determine the requirements to receive credit for your internship.