So, you know what an internship is. You may have even done one or two over the years. But, what about a winternship? These are internships that Fuqua’s Career Management Center (CMC) sets up for students to complete over their winter break. Winternships are short and sweet, but they still give us valuable, practical experience to use in our careers after graduation. I think the winternship program is one of the best resources available to MMS students. Winternships can even develop into long-term opportunities, like mine did.
Winternships range anywhere from investment banking to nonprofit work, so there’s something for everybody. Some are even paid! But the best part is that they are offered all over the U.S., and some allow students to work remotely. Some of my classmates winterned in exciting places like New York and Washington, D.C. and found that it was a great way to get a taste of life in another area in the U.S. But I chose to stay closer to home — right here in Durham, North Carolina. Since I was raised in the Triangle area, I wanted to stay here to see all my friends and family over winter break.
So my winternship process started as all internships do, with a job posting. I saw a few interesting postings on Fuqua’s career site, but one really caught my eye. A local company called Mi-Co was looking for a sales & marketing intern with some graphic design experience, which luckily, is right up my alley. After an application and a few interviews, I was so excited to find out that I got the internship. Another MMS student interned with me, but she worked in a different function. All in all, it was an awesome experience. My boss was very positive and encouraging, and he gave me a lot of freedom to work on projects that interested me. So, in addition to writing blogs and press releases, I even wrote my very first whitepaper! I also did some website design, customer insight analyses, and I got to tap into my inner designer by creating a new set of company business cards. These are all work samples and experience that I can add to my portfolio and highlight in future job interviews. After all, how many students my age can say that they’ve written a whitepaper?
Thankfully, Mi-Co seemed to like the work I did, as they offered to extend my internship. So I am still interning with Mi-Co, working remotely. The flexibility allows me to work when it fits into my school schedule, which is great for a busy student.
All in all, my winternship has taught me so much. I learned about marketing a brand — something that I will always keep in the back of my mind, regardless of where I end up working. Winterning has also helped me work on managing my time effectively, meeting deadlines, and becoming familiar with working in a professional setting. I feel very fortunate to have had this opportunity, which would not have been possible without the MMS program.
If you’re an incoming student, there are also options to work with Fuqua’s CMC to find a summer internship before you start the MMS program. I imagine that doing one of these “sumternships,” as we call them, could also be very advantageous for students. So check it out, and remember to connect with the CMC if you’re interested.
I was born in London to Iranian parents, but I was raised a few miles from Duke's campus in Raleigh, NC. I came to the MMS program to strengthen my analytical skills and to expand upon my undergraduate education in fashion and textile management at North Carolina State.