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Engineering internship

  1. Jan 27, 2014 #1

    at the risk of sounding like a spoiled child, I wanted to ask your advice on a matter regarding an engineering internship.

    I have the opportunity to spend a summer interning at Magna Steyr (a vehicle engineering company), but i'm studying physics.

    To put it simply, my goal is to get a Phd (a long way down the line for me) in a field of physics and work as a scientist. But, this might not work out. I have seen it written a few times here that 'physicists' can't just walk into an engineering position, so my question is, does an engineering internship have a tangible benefit for me if I were to end up pursuing a career in engineering of some sort.

    I can't see how it would hurt, but i'm not 100% keen, so i'd only want to do it if it could possibly make a difference.

    Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 27, 2014 #2


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    GE Measurement and Control is located not far south of where I live. I went to a career fair last semester and spoke with the HR manager. She said, in most cases, students who've done an internship with them are considered first for entry level positions. If you intern for a summer and do well, they'll send a "return offer letter" and you can circumvent the application and interview process for your next internship or entry level position.

    It would be very beneficial for you to have some experience/internship to put on your resume in case getting a PhD doesn't work out, for whatever reason. Having a plan B not only can't hurt, it puts you ahead.
  4. Jan 28, 2014 #3
    If your reluctancy to work there is greater than your motivation of getting paid for a summer, don't do it. But if I were you, it's great experience that won't hurt.
  5. Jan 30, 2014 #4
    My greatest reluctance is that I don't feel I have enough of a technical grounding to really be of any use!

    I don't know what an intern does on a day to day basis, but it would seem like a waste of time unless I was actively learning how to do something.
  6. Jan 30, 2014 #5


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    Typically I have to put more into an intern than I get out of an intern (not always, but typically).

    The intern wins because he or she sees what real-world engineering is like and will usually learn some practical skills and see how theoretical knowledge is applied at work.

    The organization wins because they develop a stream of potential employees (like a long-term interview), sometimes get fresh ideas or perspectives on their work), benefit from energetic, exciting interns, and stay more connected to the current education trends.

    So to answer your question, BOAS, you most like do not have enough of a technical grounding to be of use to the organization. You should still do the internship though.
  7. Jan 30, 2014 #6


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    Well said!
  8. Jan 30, 2014 #7
    I think you're right and your argument makes a lot of sense.

    The internship was offered to me afterall, it's not like I was forced upon them.
  9. Jan 30, 2014 #8
    Companies don't expect a lot if even you've graduated college (as I'm finding out). From my experience, if you work your butt off and are eager to learn - employers are more than willing to help the younger generation (us). So don't worry about not knowing enough, you'll be fine as long as you bring the right attitude.

    analogdesign couldn't have put it better. Thank you sir!
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