What is Internships: Definition and 90 Discussions

An internship is a period of work experience offered by an organization for a limited period of time. Once confined to medical graduates, internship is used for a wide range of placements in businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies. They are typically undertaken by students and graduates looking to gain relevant skills and experience in a particular field. Employers benefit from these placements because they often recruit employees from their best interns, who have known capabilities, thus saving time and money in the long run. Internships are usually arranged by third-party organizations that recruit interns on behalf of industry groups. Rules vary from country to country about when interns should be regarded as employees. The system can be open to exploitation by unscrupulous employers.
Internships for professional careers are similar in some ways. Similar to internships, apprenticeships transition students from vocational school into the workforce. The lack of standardization and oversight leaves the term "internship" open to broad interpretation. Interns may be high school students, college and university students, or post-graduate adults. These positions may be paid or unpaid and are temporary. Many large corporations, particularly investment banks, have "insights" programs that serve as a pre-internship event numbering a day to a week, either in person or virtually.
Typically, an internship consists of an exchange of services for experience between the intern and the organization. Internships are used to determine whether the intern still has an interest in that field after the real-life experience. In addition, an internship can be used to build a professional network that can assist with letters of recommendation or lead to future employment opportunities. The benefit of bringing an intern into full-time employment is that they are already familiar with the company, therefore needing little to no training. Internships provide current college students with the ability to participate in a field of their choice to receive hands-on learning about a particular future career, preparing them for full-time work following graduation.

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  1. O

    Other Applying for SULI Internships, have questions about the PPPL

    Hello, I'm a sophomore applying to the SULI internship program with a strong interest in theoretical plasma and nuclear physics. I'm particularly interested in the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and have some concerns about housing assistance. I'd like to know if the assistance...
  2. J

    Looking for physics internships requiring one letter of recommendation

    I'm currently a college freshman studying physics. The only previous research experience I had was a virtual one with the EPA on things not really related to physics (it was about 3D printer emissions). I'm trying to look for something for the summer and I've already applied for a bunch...
  3. BiologyQueen

    DoE CCI Summer 2021 Internships

    Hey everyone! This is a forum for anyone who applied to the DoE CCI Summer 2021 Internships. Has anyone gotten a reply back from their labs? I am waiting on LLNL and SNL. I applied for Biotechnology, Engineering technology-Bio, and Energy Technology Bio. -Feel free if you have heard back...
  4. S

    Physics SULI Fall 2020 Acceptances: Has Anyone Heard Back?

    Has anyone heard back from SULI yet? I applied for the Fall 2020 internships with LANL as my first choice and have yet to hear anything in reply. My status still says "Application complete and pending." I don't know if there's a wait list or if I wasn't accepted or if COVID is slowing things...
  5. R

    Physics Internships in the US as a Canadian

    Hi, I apologize if this isn't the place to ask this. I am a second-year Physics student in Canada, and I have a scheduled 8-month co-op soon (from September 2020 to April 2021, yes it's still early). I wanted to work in the US, either as part of a national research laboratory, or a university...
  6. B

    Physics Internships in Physics for post-undergrads

    I have recently graduated with a BS in Physics and have not decided what field to pursue in my graduate studies and may wait a couple of months (up to a year) until I enroll. I am mostly interested in Quantum Information (both software and hardware-wise) and plasma physics (fusion). I was...
  7. Wrichik Basu

    Other Trying to understand what internships are

    I have some time at hand before I join college for undergraduate studies. Being interested in research, especially in experimental physics, I was looking at the possibility of doing an internship at a nearby university. But the thing that I can't understand is: what am I supposed to do as an...
  8. R

    Physics Internships for High School Students

    I am a junior in high school and I am wondering if there are any internships or research opportunities for high school students. Thank you!
  9. E

    Job Skills Are internships necessary for transitioning into data science?

    Hello, I want to switch careers from EE to data science. I am taking courses in the field, reading books, and will do some online projects. Do I need to take internships on top of that? If yes, how willing are the companies to take interns? Would they respond if I emailed them without...
  10. Biscuit

    Physics Internships, which one is the right one

    So I am a new student here at The Ohio State University. Every once in a while people come in at the beginning of lecture and pass around sign ups for internships. I haven't really been guided on the whole world of internships so I have a few questions I was hoping some of you could answer. I...
  11. J

    Need Ideas on Where to go For a Physics Internship

    Hey, I have been given the opportunity to go on a free six-week internship at almost any college or university around the country, and I need help finding out which colleges and universities have great physics opportunities along with people who are willing to take a 17 year old. Any ideas will...
  12. sa1988

    Engineering Physics student going for engineering internships?

    I'm looking for summer internships and have been in touch with IASTE China who said they could probably find me positions in: - Industrial engineering - Mechanical engineering - Software engineering TL;DR: Looking for input from physics grads who've gone into these areas of industry. How...
  13. J

    Physics Paid physics Internships for international students

    Hi there, I am looking for a paid physics internship for undergraduate international students in US and Europe. The internship should be in experimental high energy physics or Astrophysics.
  14. LeftMyHeartInErebor

    Other Find Physics Internships: Tips & Advice for Success

    I'm trying to think ahead and start looking for summer internships, I'll be done with my sophomore year of physics by then. I know there are a lot out there, I know of a few, have stumbled on a few, how do I find more? I know that getting as much experience as possible is necessary for my...
  15. TranscedentKid

    Biology What kinds of internships in biotech/Med should I look for?

    I'm on the pre-med path. My interest is human enhancement via gene therapy, electronic prosthetics, and both internal/external medical devices. I'm also interested in the creative business and entrepreneurial ends of these technologies. Any advice on what specific kinds of internships I should...
  16. ramzerimar

    Engineering How to prepare for internships during 2nd year in MechE?

    I'm now heading towards the fourth semester in my Mechanical Engineering course, and I think it's a good time to start thinking about summer internships. Where I live, those usually happen in January-February, and companies start advertising their internship programs in september. I think it...
  17. X

    Chemistry Finding Chemistry Internships: Am I Being Too Choosy?

    I am an undergraduate chemistry student. The school won't provide the list of companies, it's a DIY to look for companies where I could practice my chemistry..fine by me though it's difficult in my country. I had my 1st internship in a chemical company. I stayed there for about almost a month...
  18. Y

    Paid Internships in Lasers & Electro Optics

    Hi All, I am a student of Master of Technology course in Applied Physics, specializing in Lasers & Electro Optics from, India. As part of the curriculum of the course, I have to do internship in an industry or a R&D Lab working in Lasers & Electro Optics. I would be highly grateful to you all...
  19. mrnike992

    What companies hire freshman for summer internships?

    I'm looking to get an internship over the summer, and I know that most companies don't consider freshman but I was wondering which ones were known to. I'm a declared nuclear engineering & physics double major but I'm open to almost any field, as I'd be open to changing majors if I enjoyed the...
  20. Richa Sharma

    Physics About internships related to quantum information science

    Hi, guys, I am an undergraduate pursuing electronics and communication in her 3rd year. For last few months, I have been trying to obtain internships in the field of quantum information so that I could have more exposure to it. I am already pursuing the subject learning it in bits by bits and...
  21. H

    SULI DOE acceptance Spring 2016

    Hi everyone, I was wondering if anyone has heard back from the DOE regarding the SULI applications. I applied to the following labs: - Princeton Plasma Physics Lab (astronomy, plasma physics) - Los Alamos national lab (astronomy, condensed matter) In the key dates it says that all offers...
  22. Dayman

    Summer Internships (international)

    I'm a Junior International Student studying Physics and Econ at the University of Texas at Austin, just wondering if anyone here got into CERN, Fermi Lab or the UCLA internship(or other physics internship open to internationals!), what was your resume/gpa/credentials like when you applied? Just...
  23. B

    Why don't I get international internships? (Volvo, Nissan)

    I'm from eastern part of Europe. Does that make me less likely to get international internships/jobs in England or USA? I've been rejected several times by Volvo and Nissan. There's no way I'm under-qualified already having >1 year industrial working experience and enrolled in master production...
  24. M

    Physics Major applying for EE internships

    Hello all, I am a senior physics major currently in the process of applying into an EE masters program. I'd like to get an EE related internship next summer to get some work experience. How should I go about this? There is a career fair at my school sometime this fall. When I approach potential...
  25. M

    Where Can I Find a Physics Internship for Winter Break in the USA?

    Hello: I've been trying to find a physics internship, research program, learning experience program, etc. etc. during the winter break in the USA (between the middle of december to the middle of january - so about 1 month). Can anyone guide me to any resources that might help my search. I have...
  26. B

    Internships during graduate school? (Physics related)

    I was wondering if there is anyone out here who was in a PhD physics program that did internships during grad school? ( Or plans to do an internship) Google searching this usually leads me to many CS people that have done this. I guess it's not that common for physics people? I do not want to...
  27. H Smith 94

    SEPnet Internships: Yay or nay?

    Hi! I am currently a 2nd year physics undergraduate looking for a summer internship. Our employability mentor is really pushing this http://www.sepnet.ac.uk/students_employers/careers_placements/internships/info_students.html and I'm interested but worried about how useful it will actually be...
  28. A

    UK student looking for internships in US. Recommendations?

    Hi all. I recently attended a very inspiring talk given by a company which sponsors European students for a so-called J-1 visa which enables us to apply for maximum 12 months internships in the US. I would be supported the CIEE which means that all of the problems in terms of insurance for...
  29. B

    Entry Level Engineering Jobs at Top Defense Companies: GPA vs School Reputation

    hello all, i am currently an electrical engineer at cal state fullerton and have an overall gpa of 3.5 currently a sophmore. I was wondering if anyone knows how difficult it would be to get a job as an entry level engineer at say Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheedmartin, northrop grumman. these...
  30. C

    How often are summer internships awarded to pre-meds?

    Suppose for a moment that, in an attempt to remain competitive for med school, some physics major goes about asking for a summer internship at his/her undergrad. (Said physics major declared that major because the student wanted to do what s/he loved) How often are summer research internships...
  31. Dishsoap

    2015 Summer Internships Thread

    I posted one of these threads for the 2014 summer internships. Please post what you apply for and don't forget to update it when you've heard back! REU at CERN (I figure my chances of getting in are even lower if I don't apply!) University of Michigan REU University of Colorado - Boulder REU...
  32. B

    Internships vs. Graduate School

    So I am currently an undergrad student working on a BS of EE. I ultimately want to get a masters degree in biomedical engineering from a certain school. I currently lack work experience in engineering. I would like to find a job dealing with electrical equipment in a hospital or some medical...
  33. Dishsoap

    Internships for one with research experience (REUs, or no?)

    Greetings, fellow PFers. I'll begin by saying that I'm looking for a few internships for people with research experience. I'm applying to a few REUs just in case, however I hear that they are geared more for people with few research opportunities at their home university, and that isn't the...
  34. D

    Summer Internships Europe 2015

    I am currently an undergraduate at a small physics school in Texas. I'm a freshman, but I'll be graduating in ~2.5-3 years (lots of ap credits/local uni). My parents are in the process of moving to Europe(Italy), and I really would like to find something physics related I could do for the...
  35. S

    Programs Do internships exist for people with Bachelor's degrees?

    I'm trying to improve my standing for grad school. I graduated with a terrible gpa (2.6) and I'm hoping that maybe work experience combined with good GRE scores and letters of recommendation could make up for it. And if that doesn't work at least I'd have something to put on my resume.
  36. J

    Physics Graduate Programs Involving Internships in Industry

    Hello PhysicsForums! I'm currently a senior undergraduate physics major looking at grad school options. I hope to pursue a future career in industry rather than academia. I've found a couple graduate programs that are very interesting to me. 1) Georgetown University Industrial Leadership...
  37. interhacker

    Schools Do Extra-Curriculars and Internships matter for grad school?

    I just looked Physics graduate admission application guidelines on websites of various US and other International universities. There wasn't any mention of Extracurricular activities at all, unlike undergrad applications which use them as a crucial factor for admission decisions. Do they matter...
  38. B

    Engineering Internships: academic research vs. industry

    I am currently a mechanical engineering student planning to work in the aerospace industry. I am a likely candidate for two internship opportunities; one of them is at a smaller aerospace firm that builds target drones and the other is at a university doing nanosystem research. Which would be...
  39. L

    Internships for 1st-year students (UK)

    Does anyone know of any UK or Europe based internships, work experiences or research opportunities for first-year students? I am wondering if it will be possible to do something like this over my university holidays to improve my experience, but everything I have seen so far is only for 3rd and...
  40. H

    DOE SULI internships - how competitive?

    I'm a senior and will be graduating this year with degrees in mechanical engineering and computational math. I kind of applied last minute, having heard of it before but not giving it much thought until a couple of weeks before the deadline. Anyway, I feel that overall I'm a very strong...
  41. S

    Astrophysics Summer Internships for International Students

    Hi Guys, I'm an international student at Columbia University getting my undergraduate degree in Astrophysics. I'm planning to do summer research, and I'm thinking of schools outside of Columbia University. This has been difficult as most REUs stipulate US citizenship or Permanent Residence...
  42. teroenza

    Where Can Out-of-State Students Find Spring 2014 Internships?

    Hi all, Does anyone know of any research opportunities for out-of-state students during the spring 2014 term? I am a senior physics major, graduating this semester (early). I have applied to many NASA programs through it's OSSI application, and the DOE SULI programs, but did not get in. I...
  43. Y

    Physics Internships: Advice for Undergraduates

    Hello all, I am currently a sophomore in college, majoring in Physics. I am starting to look for some internships, and seem to be having a lot of trouble. Most places I have found are searching more for engineers than anything else. Although they say they are looking for engineers, I have...
  44. U

    Quantitative finance internships for rising seniors?

    Unlike many of the CS majors, Physics undergraduates have a hard time getting internships at startups, and some of the bigger companies have us do works that's simply boring or unrelated (ie database management, front-end web programming, etc). I know there are a couple quants that hang out...
  45. M

    Where to look for physics internships

    I'm a first year physics student at the University of Tennessee, and if it is possible, I'd love to be able to do research this upcoming summer. I understand that odds are definitely against me, but I still want to try, and if anything I will gain experience searching for internships and...
  46. I

    Programs Physics Majors Internships (and a bit more)

    Hello there PF! Recently I've been trying to decide between engineering and physics as a college major, and I came across this forum and thought I might as well see what you guys had to say. As you can tell from the title, I'm particularly concerned with what internship opportunities are...
  47. M

    Math Major Internships: What Does the Job Entail?

    A lot of places like national labs list that they're interested in hiring math majors as interns, but I'm having some trouble finding what sort of things they would do. I can think of really vague ideas like modelling things using computers, but otherwise I'm pretty confused. Does anyone know...
  48. B

    Internships: How do I beat the computer?

    Hi! I've reached my 3rd year of undergrad in ME and I've reached that point where I'm applying for just about any internship that is a) paid and b ) mentions an engineering degree. I am at a happy point where I honestly don't care what the work is, as long as its a job that applies mechanical...
  49. D

    Schools Internships for high school graduates

    Hello, Im wondering about internships for high school graduates in Europe. I want to study theoretical physics in the UK, but before i do that I am taking a gap year. So my question is if you know any good internships I could attend? I am Dutch and Swedish and just graduated from the IB program...
  50. D

    Methods people use to find internships?

    Before people start telling me to Google the answer I was wondering what other methods people use to find internships? I would really like to get some experience in my field so I can decide whether I would like to continue pursuing this.