How to Ask For An Internship This Winter Break [Templates Included]

Winter break is the glorious time that we all look forward to a few short weeks after the semester begins. That vacation gets old really fast however. Why not get one step ahead of your peers and get a few more weeks of internship experience under your belt? An internship over winter break will help you develop your network and be productive while you are home from college.

The Why

Helps to build relationships with employers By volunteering your time, you stay fresh on an employer’s mind for summer opportunities or future job openings. If you are going back to help a previous employer, it helps you to strengthen relationships with them and shows that you have genuine interest in the company.You can never have too many internships. Having an internship during winter break when most students are off relaxing shows you are ambitious and dedicated to learning your craft. This reflects positively on your personal brand and speaks to your work ethic.
Less Competition It is also less competitive during this time and can allow you to get your foot in the door during the busy holiday season.Winter internships aren't as common because of the short time period and less students apply. However, companies need and can benefit from having interns during winter break because they usually have a gap between fall interns’ completion date and spring interns’ start date. Many employees are also on vacation during the holidays, so it will be a great help to assist those who are still in the office.
More Flexibility Have you ever wanted to intern in a different city but just couldn’t afford an entire summer? Winter break is a great time to get your foot in the door at a company in a different city because you can commit to a shorter time period and can crash with a friend without over-staying your welcome. It also helps you to gain experience if you are unable to commit a full semester to an internship because of academic or personal responsibilities.

How To Ask for an Internship

Network. Ask. Follow-up.

Create a list of companies you would like to work for. Make sure the companies you choose can provide you with a valuable internship experience and meaningful assignments during the time you are there. You can search for companies that are offering virtual internships, volunteer with a local business, or reach out to past employers. You also want to be mindful of the opportunities that you will have to network within the company and grow your contacts. This will be crucial when you are job searching in the future. If you have no companies in mind, or do not want to commute to work, consider taking on small freelance projects for family friends, neighbors, professors or other students( seeing as everyone is entrepreneurial these days). You can work on your time and still gain valuable experience to boost your resume and grow your portfolio.

Winter internship aren't as common, because they are much shorter than the traditional summer programs. However, this is the perfect time to test out a new industry or expand your skills. Don't be afraid to ask for an internship. Many business owners would love the help, but just don't have the time to find the help. Position yourself as eager to learn. Send an email to the person who would be responsible for supervising you in November. This will give them enough time to consider your offer and accommodate you. Call to follow-up and make sure you are selling your skills and the value you can bring to the team or business. Here are some templates to get you started.

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Email Template to Previous Internship Employer

Hello [Past manager],

I hope this email finds you well. Since interning with the company, I have learned x,y,z and feel that I am better prepared to __________. [Show how the internship was valuable to you.] I wanted to reach out to you and offer my assistance during winter break. I would really love to work with you again and continue learning more about the _____ [industry]. Can we set up a time to talk about this further next week? I look forward to hearing from you. [/zilla_alert]

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Email Template for Student Seeking Volunteer Experience

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 _______ skills and would like to strengthen them over the next few weeks while I am on winter break. I would be honored to asist 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. [/zilla_alert]

Once the time is set, come prepared to talk about some assignments and tasks you can assist with, the exact time frame and hours that you plan on working and how soon you can start. Solidifying as many details as possible beforehand will avoid you doing miscellaneous tasks and overwhelming your gracious internship host. After you land the internship, make sure you rock it.

Related: How to be successful at your winter internship.