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What’s After Finishing an Engineering Degree (Should an Internship Be Part of Your Plan?)

A senior engineer training an engineering graduate for a post-college internship position.

Everybody started somewhere. Even the great engineers we know today started as students with little to no knowledge of the whole of engineering. 

And that’s why you have internships while still in university—to learn from the experience and build a career for yourself. But can you still do a post-graduate internship in engineering? Or have you passed up on your chance?

Engineering Internship after You Graduate

Internships are incredibly beneficial, especially if you want to prepare for your career. But if for some reason, you were not able to intern when you were an undergraduate, it is not too late. You can still pursue an engineering internship after college. 

Why You Should Get an Engineering Internship

Having enough credible experience is one criterion of many major companies before hiring anyone, especially newly graduated engineers. So, if you need convincing to join an internship program even after you graduate with an engineering degree, here’s why.

Survey Says

A National Association of College and Employers survey conveyed that roughly 44 percent of new employees are from the internship program.

And NACE revealed in a 2015–16 survey that 60 percent of engineering graduates do not have jobs because of their lack of required skills and experience. In joining an internship program, you give yourself a chance not to be part of this statistics. 

Real-Time Experience and Exposure

In an internship, you get to have hands-on experience in the environment and projects that relate to your degree or line of work, allowing you to apply your knowledge and practice your skills and not just entirely depend on theories.

What makes an internship great is, for sure, getting to work under a mentor who will guide and correct your performance, as well as train you to develop and hone the skills you need. It’s a place where your mistakes are expected but corrected.  

A female engineering graduate getting exposure and hands-on experience during her post-college internship with the help of a senior engineer.

Explore Another Job Opportunity

An internship can be a stage where you think and re-think for your future. You will be given the same work your chosen field requires, and you can figure out whether it’s for you or not. Internships help you decide on goals and passion and even help you choose a company you are interested in working with.  

Network

During an internship, you meet and connect with different professional people who can help you in your career. These professionals can help you learn your purpose and expand your knowledge. They can even give you a reference, recommendation, or testimonial for the job roles you want to apply for. 

Where to Intern

If you’re already willing to go through an internship program even after getting your engineering degree, deciding where to intern is the next question you should find the answer to. Many companies, especially Handshake, hire engineers for internship roles. You can apply to companies like Procter & Gamble as they consistently work with engineers of different types. 

You can also check for other companies offering off-cycle internships that are open to graduates. Or, there are smaller companies that provide internship opportunities and assess their interns for a short period to determine whether they fit the role in the company. 

How to Get Accepted

Deciding where to intern is the easy part. It’s how you’ll get accepted to intern that’s a challenge. Thankfully, there are tips to help increase your chances of landing the internship and possibly a job or a career.  

Research

Before applying, doing a vast amount of research can help you find the right one and can even get you a step ahead of the game. There’s so much the Internet can do today.

You can research possible roles you might want to explore on your engineering internship or even take it as far as knowing your employers in the field. This helps you gauge your chance of landing the role. 

Perk Up Your Resume

Your curriculum vitae will be one of the things the company will check to decide whether to take you in or not. And writing a CV that is based on your achievements when you were a student will up your chances. Also, if you have other extracurricular activities relating to the role, it’s best to include your experiences. 

A one-page resume with skills, education, and experience headers, lying on top of a keyboard.

Prepare

Preparation is key. Knowing what to say or do will help determine your luck, especially during interviews. Make sure you make a good impression on the company you want to intern for. 

Internship Types for Engineering Major

Paid Internship

Large organizations and the private sector usually pay interns for their roles while still getting the experience and skills to build their careers. 

Unpaid

When interning for non-profit organizations, they allow you to acquire work experience in turn for providing service. Hence, the organization usually does not pay you for being an intern.

Partially Paid

In other organizations, you get paid partially for a stipend, which is a fixed amount given regularly. 

Summer Internship

This usually lasts for 8–12 weeks to help you choose the career you want.

Cooperative Education

Compared to internships, which usually last for a few weeks or months, Co-op ed usually lasts for one year or more. 

Research Internship

This type of internship is more true for the senior engineering students who conduct related research from the company where you intern. 

Remote Internship

This is a more flexible type as the company allows you to work in your comfort zone. However, your learning will significantly depend on your dedication.

Conclusion

A senior engineer mentoring a junior engineer on the job for his post-college internship.

If you are still on the lookout for a job without an internship, maybe it’s time for you to check out programs that could help you enhance your chances of landing an internship role. Statistics say that those who have had internships could land a job more than those who did not, but in the end, it’s still your dedication and motivation that will determine your career.

Written by The Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis is a lifestyle blog about the journey of college to adulting. Here you can find the tips for college, self-improvement, adulting, and more.

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