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

  1. May 29, 2016 #1
    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 would be great for my career having a couple of those internships during summer, but I need advice to prepare. First of all, I don't have anything of note to put on my CV yet - no job experience, I mean. I do have some extracurricular activities (e.g: courses I've taken in electronics and programming in platforms like edX and Coursera).
    I've tried to participate in the competition teams, like SAE, but it was hard to conciliate it with my studies.

    Could you give me any ideas of how to prepare myself - and my CV - so I have better opportunities of landing those summer internships?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 29, 2016 #2
    I'm in the US and we use a resume, which might make my experience different from yours (I'm only assuming this based on your use of the CV, which is not as commonly used in the US).

    I personally think about internships long before they begin advertising them, and I target specific ones about a year before I actually do it. I'll look into the ones that I really want to do and look for specific skills they ask for on their website or in previous years (sometimes they'll have project pages and I can see what the previous interns worked on and what their skills were like); I'll also look on job websites like glassdoor to see what the interviews are like and what kind of questions or skills might be useful. First, I sign up for coursework that I believe would be extremely supportive of these skills. Next, I do participate in professional and academic societies, and I'll attend all of their local workshops, talks and seminars. It really gives me a lot of motivation and inspiration, and something to talk about in a brief cover letter, interview, or wherever internships might ask for small essays or personal statements. I'll look up professors who work on similar projects at my institution and see if I can work in their laboratories or if I can even sit down and have coffee with them to ask about what they recommend.

    With my other work experience... even if it's not as related... I'll find ways to bridge my experience into the project I want.
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