A mechanical engineering internship is one of the best ways to secure a job in the field after you graduate from college. Your educational background is extremely significant to employers, but it is perhaps equally important to have real-world experience in the field before you are hired. There are a few tips to remember that will help you look for and find the internship that could be the foundation of your mechanical engineering career.
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Revise your resume to highlight any of your background information specifically related to mechanical engineering. Include any work experience, volunteer work, engineering organization memberships and relevant interests to demonstrate your eagerness to get a job in the field.
Allow yourself plenty of preparation time to get a mechanical engineering internship. Most college students look for internships that take place during the summer months but often do not begin applying until the spring. Therefore, getting a head start during the months of November and December and submitting your application early (before the holidays, when most students are focused on final exams) is a good way to beat the rush of applicants.
Go to any career fairs or networking events hosted by your school or local engineering organizations. Even if you do not think you are qualified for the full-time positions advertised at these events, it is a good idea to meet and form professional relationships with as many people in the field as possible. You never know where you will meet the person who can provide you with a contact that leads to a first-rate internship.
Talk to a counselor or adviser in your college or university's career services department. There are a variety of excellent resources available within most university engineering departments that are available free of charge to students. Many employers contact these department directly for recruiting interns and employees.
Join an organization related to mechanical engineering, such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (see Resources below). Not only will you able to network with other students and faculty in the field, but you will also most likely gain access to resources that will aid you in your search for an internship, such as invitations to special events, lectures and conferences in the field of mechanical engineering.
Tips and warnings
- Be persistent and apply to as many internships that interest you as possible. Due to the competitive nature of the application process, it is a good idea to get your resume out to as many potential employers as possible.
- Prepare for your interview for an internship by learning more about the specific work that the company does. Most companies will have a website that provides a good amount of background information. Most likely, an interviewer will ask you what you know about the company's work, so it is best to be prepared.
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