LAUNCHING TECH CAREERS
Landing one or more summer internships nearly doubles the likelihood of landing a job within six months of graduating from college. We also know that employers look for internship candidates that have some tech experience on their resumes, so it is a classic Catch-22. If you don’t have a ‘connection’, how do you land that first tech internship?
The Winternship, a paid, three-week, mini-internship experience during the January academic recess, is an innovative program that creates a new pathway into those coveted summer internships. In just three weeks, ‘Winterns’ get immersed in their host company’s business and work on a challenge project.
Over 80 companies have hosted over 700 Winterns in the last few years and the results have been amazing in terms of launching these young women into tech careers.
Applications for Winternship 2021 will open in mid-August.
What is a Winternship?
A Winternship is a paid, three week mini-internship experience during the January academic recess. Winternships are curated uniquely by each company to give Winterns an immersive experience in their business/industry. Winternships also include a group challenge posed by the company for the students to tackle together and then present/pitch at the program.
Why should you participate in a Winternship?
Participating in the Winternship program gives you insight into an industry and a specific business. This experience can be highlighted on your resume, giving you real-world experience/exposure outside of your academic studies. In addition, the Winternship will allow you to gain team building experience (and possibly long-lasting friendships with your peers) as you work on the challenge project with your team. The challenge project can be added to your portfolio/lists of projects on your resume, in addition to giving you practice pitching in front of senior executives. We believe that with one or more of these ‘Winternship’ experiences under your belt and on your resume, you will be much more competitive when it comes time to apply for a full 10-week summer internship and eventually a job.
Who are the Winterns?
First and second year CUNY students interested in tech careers. Winternships may be open to juniors if we have open spots, so if you are interested you should apply. Applicants have to have a GPA of 2.0 or higher to be considered.
Do Winterns have to have declared a major/minor in CS or a related degree?
No. Since Winterns are first and second year students, they might not have declared a major. However, we are targeting students interested in computer science and related degrees.
What type of companies participate in Winternships?
Startups, big enterprise companies, mid-size companies, and non-profits. Companies come from a variety of industries.
How many Winterns do companies hire?
We want the students to meet each other and share the experience in a group so we are asking companies to hire 5 or more Winterns.
Are the Winterns paid? How much?
Yes. We ask that companies pay the Winterns whatever they would pay a junior-level intern. Winternships at different companies may pay differently.
Do Winterns have to interview with the companies to get hired?
No. Wintern candidates will fill out an application so Break Through Tech can best match them to a company. Winterns will not be required to interview with the company before the Winternship. Some companies may ask to screen their selected/matched Winternship candidates. Students who were accepted into the early match (had to have applied by September 13) will have the opportunity to meet with some Winternship companies.
Can Winterns specify what company they want for the Winternship?
The Winternship application will allow Winterns to fill out information on their areas of interest, but Winterns are not guaranteed that they will match to a company that fulfills all of these areas.
What is the timing of the Winternship?
The Winternship is a three-week period in January when class is not in session. The January 2021 timeframe is between January 4 – 22.
When and how will I be notified on my Winternship placement?
Wintern applicants will be notified by email by the end of November if they matched and to what company.
Do companies have to follow certain curriculum/template for the Winternship?
Companies can tailor their three-week experience as they see fit. We expect each company to be unique.
What is the group challenge?
The group challenge is a tech challenge posed to the Winterns at the beginning of the Winternship. During the three weeks, students will work on the challenge together and at the end of the Winternship they will pitch their concepts/findings/solutions to execs/leaders of the company. This gives the Winterns an opportunity to work together, practice their pitching, and add a project to their resume/portfolio.
Who designs the group challenge?
Each company designs their own challenge. Depending on the skills of the Winterns and the preferences of the host company, challenge projects could involve coding a prototype, doing a data analytics project, designing a new work process or website, etc. Each company will understand the skill level of their Winterns and will design the challenge accordingly.
Do the Winterns only interact with the tech team?
No! We want the Winterns to learn about all aspects of the company. At the end of the three weeks, Winterns should have a basic understanding of the business, how it operates, and what the challenges are so that they can talk about it in future interviews. Learning about the different functions and roles of people across the business is important.
Are companies expected to hire Winterns for summer internships?
No – companies are not expected to hire Winterns for summer internships. However, companies are welcome to extend summer internship offers or invite Winterns to interview for summer internships.
How do I apply?
The application consists of questions that will help us get to know you and your interests. These questions will be the guide for how you are placed with a compatible company.
What is the application deadline?
Applications for Winternship 2021 will open in mid-August and will be due in mid-September.
If I apply, am I guaranteed to get a Winternship?
No, although we will do our best to accommodate all Winternship applications we cannot guarantee that every student will match. First and second year students will be given priority.
I have more questions, who do I contact?