Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Internships and volunteer work

  1. Mar 9, 2007 #1
    I'll be applying for university this year, so I need to do some internship and some volunteer work.
    I'm definitely going to the science field (I don't know which but not medical), and I need to ask what type of internships should I do.
    What type of volunteer work should I do, and how much?

    Thank you,
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 9, 2007 #2
    I really dislike the notion of "volunteer" work... See, volunteering these days are NOT about volunteering anymore...It is about college application, or maybe an add-on to the resume. Sigh, anyway, I have to admit that I have the same attitude toward these things.

    Anyway, doing things is always better than doing nothing. the amount of "volunteer" work you do really depend on what kind of university you go to. I would suggest just get one or two volunteering job, and enjoy your summer. last minute attempt at piling up community services won't make too much of a difference... but it is always a nice addition in your college application.
  4. Mar 10, 2007 #3
    Yeah, I know, I hate that too. Volunteering was supposed to be do good, and forget it. But now you either don't do it, or if you do it, you do it so you could write about it on your resume. But I don't blame us students, I blame the universities handling this in such a way that they've made volunteering, actually improving your chances to get into college.
    Anyway, what type of internships should I do. Something related to engineering probably.
  5. May 11, 2007 #4
    i still need an answer!
  6. May 11, 2007 #5

    how do you plan on landing an internship with no engineering background when college sophomores,jr./sr engineers are also trying to get that internship?

    When I was a Junior in high school I filled out several essays and other things and got into something called the Pennsylvania Governor's School of information technology which really helped me, in fact it helped me land my co-op with IBM but I'm a jr. in college as well. They said it was impressive that I was driven at such a young age and that I always knew what I wanted and that was to be computer science/software engineer.

    The fact of it is, I changed my mind several times but they don't need to know that.
    Last edited: May 11, 2007
  7. May 12, 2007 #6
    So what should I do? Don't colleges give priority to work experience, volunteer work, and co-curricular activities after academic performance?
    If not then what should I do? I want to get into a good college and I have two months in summer in which I can do something, but what?
  8. May 12, 2007 #7


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    College internships go to college students. If you're just out of high school, I'm not sure what you can expect to get. Do you know anyone that works in any of the fields you're interested in? Perhaps they will be able to help you find a job/volunteer placement that suits your interests. But the best thing to do is get as much work experience as you can, no matter what the job. It all counts.
  9. May 12, 2007 #8
    All internships require you to have some hands-on experience in the field and the background knowledge for it. You will not get an internship as a freshman or even a sophomore unless you worked in that field before entering college. Even with some work experience, you will have a difficult time getting an internship unless you have the college knowledge to back it up.

    I suggest you get 1-2 years done in college and then apply for internships in your junior year. Don't go after the big ones, like google, intel, NSA, etc right away. They require a huge load of internships before getting into their internship programs, ie. they hire very experienced people.

    I made the mistake of going for an internship for Intel when they were doing interviews down here. I got shot down when they told me I lacked any prior experiences for their positions despite having done very well in their interviews. It was a mistake because it hurt my pride/self-esteem :((.
  10. May 12, 2007 #9
    I am not sure work experience really means work experience relating to your major. I worked on a farm and as a lawn care "expert" all four years of high school. It was back breaking pain but I enjoyed it. I think the fact that I worked a hard job for so many years showed that I was a hard working person. My grades also backed up that I was hard working and smart.

    As for volunteer work, I joined habit for humanity when I was 11. My parents forced a moral respondsability to help people out when I can, so I never did it for college. When I turned 14, I joined a high way crew and picked up trash from the highway every saturday.

    The point of this? Simple, find a job so that you may learn personally from it, not just for college. You ruin a lot of experiences when they are just tools for acceptance into a college. I believe if you are sincere about what you do, you'll go further than those who are not.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook