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What is an Off-Cycle Internship?

Off-cycle internships, as compared to their traditional internship counterparts, are internships that take place outside the normal internship cycle.  Whereas most internships take place during the summer months, an off-cycle internship would take place during the non-summer months.

For colleges and universities that operate on a trimester schedule, these off-cycle internships can be extremely attractive as the internship would coincide with the students time-off from school.  Off-cycle internships are just as worthwhile and prestigious as traditional internships.  The only major difference between the two being when they occur.

Off-cycle internships are especially popular in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.  The majority of companies and businesses which offer off-cycle internships happen to be in the banking and financial industries.  These bulge bracket banks also offer off-cycle internships in the United States for students on the trimester schedule.

If you are looking to find an off-cycle internship, your best bet is to begin on the corporation’s website or your school’s job board.  Though less common than regular internships, they remain popular among big banks and financial institutions.

If you’re unable to find any off-cycle internships, feel free to reach out to hiring managers requesting opportunities for an off-cycle internship.  Your request may be granted due to the need for additional help during these non-peak dates.  You can also try to target and reach out to smaller and more boutique firms, who are typically easier to get in contact with and setup these programs relatively quickly.

Off-cycle internships are also great for students who may fear that they won’t receive a traditional, summer internship.  As competition and the total number of applicants for off-cycle internships is typically less than that of traditional, summer internships, it makes it slightly easier to land one.

The experience and resume boost from an off-cycle internship is just as valuable as a traditional, summer internship.  You should put as-much effort as you would in an off-cycle internship as you would at a traditional one.  You can follow our guide on how to be a great intern here.

Lastly, when applying to an off-cycle internship, you will typically need to commit and provide evidence showing your availability for the internship length.  As these internships are typically within the banking and financial sector, they may require extra hours at the office and late-night stays.  Be sure to have the bandwidth and flexibility needed to complete the internship successfully.

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