If you are an engineering student, chances are you’ve been hearing about landing an internship since your first day of class. Your professors and advisors are right: for an industry like engineering, it is extremely important to show that you have both book smarts and on the job skills that are a necessary part of entering the workforce.
The great thing about studying engineering is that interns are in very high demand. There are a number of prestigious internships as well as more local opportunities depending on your field of study. Computer engineers can intern at big firms like Dell, Microsoft and Apple. Electrical engineers have opportunities almost anywhere, from small telecommunications businesses to national corporations like AT&T and Verizon. Structural engineers have tons of opportunities in building contracting and architecture firms. here are so many places where engineers are needed – the possibilities are endless!
If you are looking to spend your summer in an engineering internship, there are a few things that you should be prepared for. First of all, engineering internships, especially with major corporations, are often located in offices that are outside of major cities and metropolitan areas. Expect to work in a corporate business park somewhere in the suburbs, and be prepared to drive to work every day. You should also be ready to put your skills to work from day one. In a specialized field like engineering, internship supervisors will expect you to incorporate your classroom learning into the workplace. This means your internship won’t be the typical office assistant, and might involve quite a bit of critical thinking.
Engineering internships often present themselves in the form of apprenticeships. In an apprenticeship you have the chance to shadow someone who is doing exactly what you will be doing post-graduation. This means site visits, clients meetings and tons of exposure to the real world aspects of the industry.
To prepare yourself for an engineering internship, make sure you do your research. If you are working for a consulting firm, you’ll want to become familiar with the types of clients that your company works with before you show up on your first day. In fact, you can impress your interviewer before you even get hired by demonstrating an understanding of how engineers work with people, in addition to being familiar with the science and math side of things. You’ll have a leg up in an interview if you show a potential internship employer that you are more than smart, and that you know how to get along and interact with people in the day-to-day aspects of work. You’d be surprised at how important these attributes are for an engineering intern!
Please check out our listings for engineering internships here on InternshipFinder, and make sure to check back as we add more opportunities to the site.