Who knew there were internships to be had over winter break?
Apparently there are a large number of decently important companies that are willing to hire interns over winter break. I started with ENE Systems on the 10th of December, and I will be working with them until the 5th of January. I get to do all sorts of cool computer stuff, mostly just building utility softwares to help us deploy upgrades more quickly and maintain databases and standards around the office, but I learn a ton. I have had to use knowledge of C++, SQL, VB, Python, networks, calculus, and basically anything else I knew existed in order to put forth my best work. Earlier today I was all over tutorial websites trying to figure out how to finish a project and read my co-workers code.
I do not think all companies would be willing to hire for less than a month, with Christmas break in the middle. ENE Systems has a lengthy and friendly history with Wentworth grads, so I think that, and my prior experience with them were major contributing factors. In the engineering department alone (I don’t talk to too many other departments), the manager is a Wentworth grad, the integrator manager is a Wentworth grad, and 2 of the 3 newest employees are Wentworth grads.
In terms of scoring internships / co-ops, Wentworth beats out a lot of other schools because of our practical focus. I already have something over this winter and 2 options set up for the summer of my freshman year. It just takes a little bit of help with a resume, a few emails, and always being courteous. And of course, building a network.
I think many undergraduates would be surprised by the number of opportunities they are exposed to. I got my opportunities in the most unexpected places. I got my most recent offer for a co-op from someone I met doing volunteer work, in a roundabout way. I will go from collecting donations with him to working in high tech defense at Mercury Systems. There is also the method of applying to online postings, and some students have luck with that, but I have had more success contacting people outside those postings. In any case, Wentworth teaches us to use our resources, so I try to email, find people in person, and apply online.