We all know that the right engineering internship can lead you to a successful career, but how can you grab this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? This article is a step-by-step guide to help you out.
Which Field Are You Interested In?
The answer to this question should be obvious if you’ve picked your major. Many people look for internships just to see if they will like a certain job. Moreover, they hope this will help them decide if they would want to do this job for the rest of their lives. This is not an easy decision to make, after all.
You can start your internship search by doing research on the most popular areas. Look on LinkedIn, Craigslist, Glassdoor, or Internships.com and Internshipprograms.com. In addition, Forbes magazine recommends checking your university website. You could also try asking your teachers. If all else fails, google “engineering internships” and check out the local offerings.
Choosing the Company
After meticulous research, you should have a list of companies that offer internships. Just like you did when you were applying for college, you should prioritize them by first, second, and third choices.
Write a Resume
Most internships are not paid. Still, they should be approached just like a job. You need to submit a resume that highlights your skills and talents. However, the chances of you having practical experience are slim. You wouldn’t be applying for an internship if they weren’t. What do companies usually look for in interns? Here are a few things to consider:
- Communication skills
- Multi-tasking abilities
- Computer skills
- Problem-solving skills
- A degree or courses
Don’t stay silent about work experience and try to get good letters of recommendation.
Writing Your Cover Letter
Your resume isn’t the same thing as the cover letter. The latter is your chance to present your skills and qualifications in greater depth. It also gives your potential employer more information about who you are as a person. Tailor your cover letter to the internship you’re applying for. Moreover, look for keywords in the internship ad and use them.
Your resume should not be more than a page long. It should be clear, concise, and free from grammatical errors. It should have an objective statement that is one or two sentences long. For example, “Ambitious engineering student looking for an opportunity to gain experience at a reputable, sustainable, and innovative engineering company.” This is the first thing the company will see, so assure yourself the statement is unambiguous, goal-oriented, and draws attention to your strengths.
Moreover, you should add your volunteering history, your education, and your work experience after the objective statement. It’s best to summarize each aspect in one or two sentences in order to fit everything on a single page.
There’s always the element of luck in your application process. You can do everything right and still not land the golden opportunity. If you’re not happy with the internship, stick it out and learn from your mistakes. There is always the next time.