Industry internships?

  • Thread starter tomtheemu
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  • #1
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Hi all,

I'm a junior undergrad majoring in chemical physics, and starting to think about plans for next summer. My assumption for a while has been that I'll stay at school and do research towards my thesis, but lately I've been considering other options. My school doesn't require a thesis, and I could also try to make a lot of progress this spring so that I wouldn't be too poorly positioned next fall even without working over the summer.

The reason I'm hesitant is because I've spent the past 2 summers doing university research (isotope geochemistry at my school and then experimental pchem on an REU), and I think it'd be fun and educational to branch out and spend some time outside academia before I graduate. My request, then, is for any recommendations that you all might have for where to look for opportunities in industry this summer that would be relevant for someone with my background. I'm primarily thinking about original research, but I'm also definitely open to more engineer-y options, assuming they'd be interested in someone with a pure science background.

-Tom
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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I don't have any specific ideas for you. But I'd recommend it, I did an internship in industry last summer and it was a great experience. And the pay was triple what I got the previous summer working in a professors lab.
 
  • #3
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I don't have any specific ideas for you. But I'd recommend it, I did an internship in industry last summer and it was a great experience. And the pay was triple what I got the previous summer working in a professors lab.
Yeah, the money is definitely a factor as well - there's funding for me to stay at school but it's basically living expenses. Being able to pay down some of my debt after the summer is definitely a motivation.

What was the general timing on what you did? Several of the companies I looked at, it seemed, haven't even posted their opportunities for next summer. Should I be looking and applying now, or wait a month or two?
 
  • #4
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I applied right around New Years to about 10 positions at one company in the town where I live. I didn't hear back from anyone. About two months later I was lucky enough to have a family friend track down the hiring manager, who it turns out he works with, and got him to actually look at my resume.

I don't pretend to understand it, but that really showed me the importance of networking. I guess these guys have bigger fish to fry. When it comes to hiring interns, it's kind of an after thought. You need to have some way to actually get their attention.

Edit: The positions were posted in December I think.
 
  • #5
1,654
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I applied right around New Years to about 10 positions at one company in the town where I live. I didn't hear back from anyone. About two months later I was lucky enough to have a family friend track down the hiring manager, who it turns out he works with, and got him to actually look at my resume.

I don't pretend to understand it, but that really showed me the importance of networking. I guess these guys have bigger fish to fry. When it comes to hiring interns, it's kind of an after thought. You need to have some way to actually get their attention.

Edit: The positions were posted in December I think.
You are correct. I'm working for an economic development organization while I finish my undergrad. Networking and developing relationships are of paramount importance in business and government. It's just the way it is. If you're qualified for whatever position you're seeking and you know the right people, you have a good chance of succeeding. I certainly don't advocate superficial and selfish networking but genuinely establishing professional relationships.
 
  • #6
lisab
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You are correct. I'm working for an economic development organization while I finish my undergrad. Networking and developing relationships are of paramount importance in business and government. It's just the way it is. If you're qualified for whatever position you're seeking and you know the right people, you have a good chance of succeeding. I certainly don't advocate superficial and selfish networking but genuinely establishing professional relationships.
+1

I didn't really understand this either, until I was more closely related to the hiring process. When a position is advertised to the universe, you just wouldn't believe how many poor quality applicants are received! Instead of slogging through trying to find the gems out of the mud, a hiring manager would rather get a lead from his/her network. Saves time.
 

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