Cornell University

Office of Career Services

201 Ives Hall, 607-255-7816

WISP Student FAQ

If you do not find the answer to your question on this page, please feel free to contact us.

How do I apply for the Winter Intersession Program (WISP)?

To participate in WISP, you must complete 3 steps:

  1. Attend the required info session which occurs in late September.**
  2. Complete an online application to provide us with basic information.
  3. Submit your résumé to the WISP resume book via CCNet.
  4. **Important deadlines will be covered at the required info session.  Failure to comply with these deadlines may compromise your eligibility to participate in the program.

What is the WISP lottery and how does it work?

The WISP lottery is the process by which the majority of students are matched with their WISP internships. It is a unique placement method, in that you as a student get to choose your employer, rather than the other way around. This is intended to level the playing field for all participants, regardless of previous experience, and allows everyone equal opportunity to explore various career options.

The lottery functions much like the campus housing lottery. You will be randomly assigned a lottery time. Prior to the lottery day, you should review all the available positions in the job descriptions section and develop a list of your top three or four WISP choices (being sure that you meet the minimum qualifications for each). On the day of the lottery, you will come in to the office with your list and select a WISP from all the remaining available opportunities. Once you have selected a WISP in the lottery, you are obligated to complete that internship.

Lottery times are non-transferable and cannot be changed. If you absolutely cannot be present, you may authorize someone to act on your behalf. Please notify the WISP coordinator prior to the lottery day if you are sending a proxy.

How can I get a paid WISP?

A limited number of paid WISPs are available each year. For these, the employer has the option to select a particular student to fill the position through a resume collection and in some cases an interview. All paid WISP opportunities will be posted in a separate section of the job descriptions. Instructions for applying for paid WISPs on CCNet will be released after initial registration. Instructions for applying for paid WISPS on CCNet will be released after initial registration.  It is your responsibility to check the page periodically and keep abreast of all available paid opportunities. Students will be notified as to whether or not they have been selected for any of the paid WISPs prior to the WISP lottery in order that those students not selected may still be placed in a non-paid position.

There are no WISPs posted for my geographic area. Can I still participate?

Absolutely. Although we are always trying to expand our geographic base of available WISPs, there are students who come from areas where internships are traditionally scarce. In these cases, it is possible to work with the WISP coordinator to conduct an targeted search for a WISP opportunity. This will require a bit of extra legwork on your part, but is well worth the effort. If you are interested in pursuing this option, it is very important that you contact the office soon as possible to get started. The earlier you begin your search, the better your chances of securing a WISP in your geographic and career-interest areas.

Are the dates for WISP flexible?

In most cases, yes. The standard WISP period runs from just after the fall semester is over until just before the spring semester begins. Within this period, you may negotiate with your sponsor your specific internship dates. Typically, students work for 2-3 weeks, but this may be flexible, depending on your sponsor.