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Summer Internship

  1. Feb 17, 2008 #1
    If I am going to be working at Lockheed Martin (Space Systems) as an intern... is it a good thing? I realize that any solid internship is a great experience to have, but will it make me competitive when searching for a fulltime job? I ask primarily because of the fact that LM hires MANY interns and it doesn't seem as competitve, as compared to places like Qualcomm, Intel, Analog Devices, Broadcom, NVIDIA, Yahoo!, etc...

    Perhaps this is a stupid question, I dunno :/
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 17, 2008 #2


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    Internships are VERY important for someone who wants to go work in industry. Real-World experience is very important to companies looking to hire engineers. While LM may hire lots of interns and because of this, be less competitive, it can't possibly hurt to say you interned with the world's top defense contractor! In short, it will definitely be of help to you in the hunt for a full time job. Congratulations and enjoy the experience!
  4. Feb 18, 2008 #3
    I have been dealing with the same issue as you, DN. In fact, I was trying to choose between some of the companies that you listed. In the end, I took the advice that basically everyone gave me: an internship is an internship. As long as you're with a company that has name recognition, it will be a very positive experience and a strong addition to your resume.
  5. Feb 18, 2008 #4
    Maxwell, which company did you end up choosing?
  6. Feb 19, 2008 #5
    I ended up going with LM. They worked with me to put me in a group that does exactly what I'm interested in -- plus their offer was good. Most importantly (for me), I will be close to my university so I will be able to meet with my adviser and work on my thesis over the summer.

    I'm not sure what company I want to work for when I graduate, but they must have a good 'leadership' program and also be located near a good university. The LM near me has both of those things, so I'll use the internship experience to decide if I want to work there after I graduate.

    Finally, I'll be obtaining a security clearance through my internship, and that will definitely be a positive factor on my resume when I am applying for a full-time position.

    You can't really go wrong with a 'big name' company for an internship. You should just choose which parameter (salary, a specific program, location, etc) means the most to you and make a decision. That experience will look good no matter where you apply once you graduate.
  7. Feb 19, 2008 #6
    I also found it odd that LM wasn't very competitive. Even for FULL TIME jobs.
    My one friend is clueless on programming, I actually don't even know how he got through his Comp Sci degree frankly.

    They asked him about 3 technical questions for a full time position that any high school student would know. They offered him 63k start salary though, so its not bad pay. Just the quality of people LM is hiring doesn't seem impressive.

    Its like oh LM, yah I can get hired by them if I want... rather than oh LM! that is tough to get into, congrats!
  8. Feb 19, 2008 #7
    When interviewing with a few defense companies, I noticed this:

    I think you could say that the INTERVIEW was not very competitive. It is not littered with technical questions and puzzles. It does however take credentials to get there in the first place!

    So yes, many people with high GPA's and great resumes can get to the interview. These people may in all actuality be clueless, and pass the interview because the companies don't offer a lot of technical questions.

    Then there are people who have low GPA's and/or poor resumes who are brilliant, yet, they may never get to the interview in the first place.

    Also, in the interviews with defense companies (in my experience) they asked a lot of questions about former internships, and projects (such as senior design) in school. I was asked to explain what I was working on, and they expected a technical description.

    Now, contrast this to some "other" companies I interviewed with. I interviewed with a company who had REALLY difficult technical questions. It took a good resume to get there in the first place, and I guess it took someone who "knew their stuff"? This company asked me questions on hardware design that I've never seen before. I had trouble answering the questions, because I had NO CLUE what they were even talking about!

    Now, which interview matches up with ones technical ability better? Managers asking about technical projects in school, and former internships OR asking silly (in my opinion) questions that are designed to be difficult (unless you know the trick)?

    So your argument was that it was easy to get a job with LM. Well I would say the INTERVIEW may be deemed easier then other companies, but it still takes GOOD credentials to get there in the first place.
  9. Feb 19, 2008 #8

    I would agree with you but maybe this kid knew someone inside, he didn't have any work experience, had a 3.0 GPA, and is graduating this semester from Penn State so its not like its a super hardcore college like MIT or something (I also go to Penn State).

    I do agree with you though, I wish all interviews were just asking past intern experience then I would get hired by everyone! But sadly, very few companies are like this, like Google/Microsoft to get in, you really have to know your stuff and have a great resume.

    I've also found out, smaller company's tend to ask a lot of technical questions as well. I guess it all depends on the background of who is interviewing you as well.

    But to not get too off topic, the important thing about the internship is that YOU DO something related to your major or your goals. If you end up making some stupid board game (which I saw some interns at LM did when I was visiting there) then your wasting your time. So make sure you know what type of projects you'll be working on to make sure it fits you.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2008
  10. Feb 19, 2008 #9
    When I was interviewed by LM I was asked A LOT of questions about my projects and thesis work. To be honest, it makes more sense to ask these types of questions than it does to have me analyze a circuit. If I was not able to speak about my projects in detail, or if I could not describe my thesis work, then a few questions from the question bank would be reasonable -- otherwise, it would have been a waste of time.

    I brought examples of my projects with me and I walked them through my block diagrams, my code, my state machines, etc. I thought it was an effective interview and if I ran a company, instead of asking the candidates to analyze an op-amp, I'd ask them to bring in examples of their projects and explain them in major detail. I would base my questions off of those explanations.

    Granted, the interview might have been different because I am a graduate student, but I thought it was pretty effective and they were able to garner a feel for who I am and what I know based upon my projects and thesis work.

    Finally, I've never heard of measuring a company's 'prestige' based upon how they interview or how hard it is to get an internship with them. If anything, having more interns is a positive thing because they have the money to carry more of them. I'd measure a company by its place in industry and how the company has performed as a whole. I don't think it's reasonable to measure them like you would a university by their 'admittance' rate.
  11. Feb 19, 2008 #10
    I would agree with you Maxwell, but look at google.

    Who wouldn't want to work for Google?
    Do you see how much their employee's make?
    Do you see all the benefits and cool perks the google employee's get?
    Its INSANE to get in there, you have to be top of the top (usually).

    Google has a ton of $$$ to throw around, they could hire as many co-ops/interns as they want (just like LM) but they aren't going to do that, they want the cream of the crop, thats why their interviewing process is so intense. Thats just 1 example.

    Same with Microsoft. If you can't get passed their technical phone interview, they will shut you down right there and say sorry, maybe next time. You can't get a phone interview with them unless you have a semi decent resume. Once you get passed the phone interview you get flown to a site that is interested in you. From there you have a 4-5 hour interview with 6-10 people.

    Speaking of Microsoft, I have my final interviews with them coming up. I'm pretty nervous because the interview is 4-5 hours, and they said its extremely technical. Be prepared to code and solve tough problems in front of a crowd.

    I see what your saying but, these are just 2 examples, where they are prestige and their interviewing process is very competitive.

    I will agree though other big company's also have the same interviewing techniques as LM, such as IBM. But I'm also not very impressed with IBM (in the software group) after doing an 8 month co-op with them. There are very few real coders at IBM ( I was a Software Engineer so I was one of the lucky ones who did get to code) after talking to the people in my department and in websphere and in rational, mainly everyone is doing test and automation because they aren't producing new software like Microsoft or Google is all the time. The employee's working for IBM told me, I'm jealous you get to do cool stuff, we don't get to even touch code. They are just doing hot fixes on their already massive software bundles like zNetView/OMEGAMON XE/Rational Application Developer/Lotus Notes/etc.

    But on the other hand, there is an "elite" group at IBM called Extreme Blue. Their interviewing process for Extreme blue is totally different, it resembles more like Google/Microsoft interviewing. So why is it that the "elite" group is hired similar to highly technical question interviewing rather than just past school projects? I don't know about you, but I see a pattern.

    I'm not bashing LM either, hell I would work for LM if I don't get hired by Microsoft or Cisco (CISCO is also technical but not as bad as Google/microsoft). I already made up my mind I don't want to work for IBM even though they offered me a job. I'm also going to apply to Google but that will be a long shot! But maybe if I get IBM and Microsoft on my resume I may have a chance if i can get past their initial interviews to get Person to Person with someone.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2008
  12. Feb 19, 2008 #11
    I definitely see what you are saying, mr_coffee. However, I have to ask: how many work sites do Google and Microsoft have? It seems that LM has more business units than Microsoft and Google. Each business unit, distributed throughout different work sites, probably obtains a few interns. This could add up to a lot of interns. IBM might be comparable.

    I also see what you are saying about the cool perks offered at Google and Microsoft. If either of those companies had jobs in my field, I would definitely apply.
  13. Feb 19, 2008 #12
    My biggest reason for not applying to Google is they don't build jets...
  14. Feb 19, 2008 #13
    Oh one other thing.
    I'm definitely NOT knocking Google. I've heard great things about them.

    And more inline with the OP.
    For comparison (number of employees):
    Google - 16,805
    LM - 79,000
    Cisco - 63,500
    Intel - 94,100
    Analog Devices - 8,800

    Boeing - 159,000
    LM - 140,000
    Honeywell - 116,000
    Raytheon - 72,000
    General Dynamics - 81,200

    IBM - 355,766 (wow)
  15. Feb 19, 2008 #14
    Thanks for posting FrogPad.
    That's interesting.
    I do agree, Google doesn't make Jets...yet. hah

    The main reason I don't like IBM is a lot of people are unhappy. Unhappy enough to form their own alliances. If you google any other company, they don't have 1,000's of employee's trying to start unions to get respect from their company and better pay. Try googling sometime IBM alliances.

    Many people say IBM is a skeleton of its former self.
    When I got in there I heard an employee talk to another one, "can you **** believe it, they just told us no raises this year."

    Sorry to get off topic.
    Goodluck on the Internship!
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2008
  16. Feb 20, 2008 #15
    what happens to them finally??:frown::frown:
  17. Feb 20, 2008 #16
    They work for a smaller company, perhaps?
  18. Feb 20, 2008 #17

    I started to make a new thread until I saw this one. I'm a junior Comp. Engineering major. My uni's co-op department just contacted me about a potential internship this summer with Northrop Grumman. I would be required to work at max 20 hours while enrolling in 9 hours of CPE classes this summer. My question is, how many people have "paralled" co-op and classes? Would I be over-spending myself?
  19. Feb 20, 2008 #18
    It depends on what you'll be doing.

    I know several friends working part time with IBM and taking 12 credits. Working 20 hour weeks.

    They have class M W F, and no classes T TH so they put in the 20 hours T and TH, works out quite nice for them.
  20. Feb 21, 2008 #19
    But the fact that they are genius, doesn't that matter??
  21. Feb 21, 2008 #20
    How can a company, whose main goal is to make money, be sure that someone is a genius and will be productive within the company? Don't get me wrong -- good grades do not always indicate that a person is smart, but there needs to be some sort of litmus test that companies can use to screen applicants.

    If you had 5,000 applications being sent to your company a week, what sort of filtering system would you use? You can't interview all of them.
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