It’s more than just a catchy name. ‘Winternships’ are four-week internship experiences designed to be completed during the break between fall and spring courses. Some students organized opportunities independently. However, the Career Management Center (CMC) posted numerous opportunities in a variety of fields, including marketing, finance, and consulting.

This abbreviated internship is perfect for anyone looking to gain more experience in a new industry, new city, or new position. As new interests were sparked with various classes throughout the summer and fall terms, students were able to gain experience outside of the classroom in various fields. While some students enjoyed a well-deserved four-week break after three terms of classes, others like myself found this time to be a great opportunity to gain more diverse work experience.

Finding the Right Fit

As with any internship opportunity, finding the perfect fit is essential. I was lucky enough to find a Winternship that tied together my professional and extra-curricular interests. After studying economics and sociology in undergrad, I discovered my deep passion for marketing. I enjoy learning why people behave in certain ways and purchase in certain patterns and how these tendencies are affected by sociological factors such as geographic location and gender. The marketing classes I have taken at Fuqua further deepened my interest in this field. For these reasons, global market research has proven to be especially interesting to me.

Living in Durham has opened my eyes to opportunities outside of the classroom, as well. After moving here in July, I discovered a new workout—barre classes. These workout classes incorporate ballet techniques and small motions with the use of a ballet barre. I became hooked after my first class and have been attending ever since.

When I saw a Winternship posting for a global market research position with a company called Physique 57, my interest was piqued. After further research, I discovered that this was a boutique barre studio headquartered in New York City. They were looking for an intern to research possible cities for global expansion. I had found the perfect fit!

Winter Work

After a few rounds of interviews, I was thrilled to hear that I had been selected for the Winternship. Although the research could be done remotely, I had made plans to be in New York City at the start of my break to visit with a friend. While in the city, I was able to see the facilities, take a class, meet with my supervisors, and discuss my research strategy and outline for the next few weeks. I utilized the skills I had learned about market research to design a comprehensive outline of what to consider when expanding abroad.

I returned home ready to complete my research. I was able to work at my own pace and set my own schedule. I enjoyed taking off a few days to spend time with family over the holidays and doing heavier research on the days that I didn’t have many distractions.

The Long-Term Benefit

My Winternship experience gave me insight into market research in a unique industry. The independent nature of the project allowed me to improve my time management and discipline in completing a task. I was able to gain real marketing experience while simultaneously assisting a company with their expansion strategy.

A Winternship allows an MMS student to apply skills learned in the classroom in a real-life work environment. If you want to gain experience in a particular industry or position, a Winternship might be a perfect opportunity for you. The skills I gained in my Winternship have helped me in my other Fuqua classes, and I predict they will continue to help me as I work with marketing in the future.