How to Get an Engineering Internship

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Studies show that engineering graduates who take on internships have a better chance of landing a job. While good grades and a solid engineering degree are important, applicants who have demonstrated on-the-job employment skills have a leg up over those who don’t.

It’s a well-known fact that many engineering firms recruit new graduates directly from their internship programs. Your typical internship will last only a few months during the summer or part-time work during the school year while you finish your degree. Some pay at an hourly rate, others are unpaid.

Landing an internship often takes a bit of work, but the rewards are well worth it. Here are some tips on how to secure an engineering internship:

Check with your school careers office
Your university careers office can usually help you secure an internship. They should be “connected” with a variety of firms who are eagerly looking for interns. Your careers office can also help with the application, your cover letter and resume.

Check with your professors
Your senior-year or graduate professors are often well connected with engineering firms in your area. Ask them for an introduction to a firm you’re interested in. They may also help focus your final projects or thesis toward the needs of a specific engineering firm—to make you stand out as a candidate for that firm's needs.

Check with specific companies
Many internships are not publically advertised. You’ll need to do some research and find firms that offer engineering internships. Pay particular attention to how and when to apply—deadlines, specific application procedures, etc. Fine-tune each internship application to the needs of that company. Begin your engineering internship search six to eight months before you expect to start work.

Check online job boards
Constantly monitor professional networking sites like LinkedIn and internship job boards like Simply Hired or those on Employment Crossing.

For an added perspective, check out this video:

Got any thoughts on landing an engineering internship? Include your comments in the section below.

Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients. Please see more of his blogs and view additional job postings on Nexxt.


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  • Laura
    This takes me back.  One time I interned in a law office and ended up learning what the unglamorous side to law looks like.I did bank deposits, courtroom deliveries, took calls, and got sent to give the difficult clients bad news, but overall it was worth it. The internship was paid, I learned new skills, got a new workplace experience, and made some useful contacts, and worked with interesting people.The experience helped me cut though all the fanfare and see what things were really like.  So now if I do decide to go into law it'll be a properly informed decision.

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