Although STEM jobs are well-paying, it can be a hustle to get employed because of the experience such jobs need before they can employ you. This is why internship is very important for STEM graduates and engineering graduates to be in particular.
Engineering as a profession, requires a very hands on approach and although it all runs on some form of theory, practical work dominates the field of engineering. This is why internship is very important in engineering as it prepares the graduate for the real job market by exposing them to real time challenges and how they are handled by professionals already practicing engineering.
It’s a shame however that students have to go through a rigorous hassle just to get internship places in government establishments and private engineering firms. Here at Runrex, we understand the hassle that graduates go through to get internship places and have put together 10 practical tips on how to apply for engineering internships. Here are the 10 tips on how to land first engineering internship;
10 Tips on How to Land First Engineering Internship
Understand the internship experience you are looking for
This is the first step towards finding engineering internship- understand the sort of experience you are looking for. Do you want field experience? Are you looking for overall professional experience on how your engineering field works? Understanding this will help narrow down your search for the best firms to look for internships in.
What industry are you interested in?
Engineering is a very wide field. Narrow down the specific area of specialization that you intend to get experience in and this will make your search for internship much easier. Electrical and electronics engineering students for example, have the choice between instrumentation and control, power and telecommunication options.
What size of company do you intend to intern at?
There are large multinational companies and small private engineering firms. Although most multinational companies offer paid internships, the experience interning at private small companies is better as you work with a closely-knit group of individuals who will be helping you understand how stuff works.
Get help from your college’s careers department
Every college has a careers office whose primary function is to help students connect with the job market and potential employers. Get in touch with the careers department and let them know about your search for internship and they will help refer you to appropriate institutions.
Draft a mistake-free letter seeking for internship
With the help of your college’s careers office, draft a letter seeking for internship in the various companies. In the letter, briefly introduce yourself, your academic qualification and briefly explain why you feel the institution is the best place for you to intern. Ensure the letter looks professional and attach a Curriculum Vitae to back you up.
Apply to a number of companies
It is always advisable to apply to as many companies as possible. The more the companies you apply to, the higher the chances of getting considered. Once considered by multiple companies, choose the company that affords convenience and is the most relevant to your career choice as possible.
Use online platforms to get internships
Online platforms such as enginterns.com help bridge the gap between graduates and engineering firms that offer internships and employment. Such platforms let you to apply to multiple relevant companies at once and get feedback on the same platform.
Connect with practicing engineers
Connecting with other practicing engineers will also help increase your chances of getting internship places in engineering firms. Networking is very important in engineering and will help you get leads as to which companies are looking for interns and the best time to apply for the internship.
Research on the company before making applications
Nothing impresses employers more than applicants who actually take time to understand the ethos of their companies and what the company entails. Before making an application for internship therefore, take time and research on the specific companies and include a small segment in your application letter signifying that you understand the ethos of the company and would love to help company prosper.
Put yourself out there
Put your portfolio out there. Use sites such as LinkedIn to get leads on companies offering internship. Make yourself as visible as you can to potential employers and increase your chances of getting leads. Make good use of social media, your friends and relatives in the field and sooner or later, you will get internship at one of the firms.
Be patient and stay positive
While it takes some people a single application to get an internship place, it might take some up to ten applications before they get the lucky break. It is therefore imperative to stay patient and positive as you wait response from the various companies that you make applications to.
Give Runrex a call for professional advice on internship
Want help on how to increase your chances of getting engineering internships? Give us a call here at Runrex today and we will help advise you on how to narrow down your search and stand a chance of getting internship in a good company.