11 answers

When is the best time for a college student to scout for internships and/or research opportunities?

10
100% of 9 Pros
Asked Viewed 196 times Translate

I am taking summer classes this summer and planning to take more next summer so I can lessen my course work over the school year. During the school year I work part time on campus and my school runs by the quarter system, so I feel like summer classes are a must. That being said, I have left my third and fourth year summers free for internships and research. I go to college in a different city than my hometown so by then I should have money an off campus apartment and should be able to do summer research at my school. I am a math major planning to go to graduate school for engineering, so I do have extra courses lined up for me to learn thermodynamics and other basic things engineers must know.

Are there any internships/research I can do as a math major? By my third year I will have learned to use Java and become well-versed in Matlab. By my senior year I will have learned cryptography (upper division math elective at my school).

Is the summer after my junior year too late for research/internships? Should I get one sooner so that I could list more opportunities on my resume/application? Is one more preferable over the other and is it easy to balance summer classes with research or internships? How important is GPA versus skills gained from classes (like those I mentioned above)? And would you mind sharing your own personal experiences?

#internship #college #research #engineering

10
100% of 9 Pros

11 answers

John’s Answer

3
100% of 2 Pros
100% of 1 Students
Updated Translate
Many internships, especially competitive, paid programs with big-name companies, require you to have previous internship or extracurricular experience, so it is important to get started early if you can Ashley.

INTERNSHIP IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER

Generally, you can apply as early as your freshman year of college for an internship. Although your career interests and your workplace skills might not be that developed as a freshman, a freshman-year (or sophomore-year) internship can be a good place to start weeding out potential major choices and career paths. Most students will complete an internship during their junior or senior years to increase the chances of the internship leading to a job offer, but, it is becoming more and more common for students to hold internships throughout the entire duration of their college career in order to gain experience.

THE BEST TIME TO PLAN FOR A WINTER INTERNSHIP IS NOW

FOR A WINTER INTERNSHIP –August and September.
Just about two weeks in between semesters. It is not popular among companies as it isn’t enough time to get anything productive done from the internships and college students also find it too hectic. However, it is a great opportunity to squeeze in extra work experience which will give you an edge BIGGER Internships Latter.

FOR A SUMMER INTERNSHIP –January and February.
Summer Internships are generally held anywhere in the months from April to July, for an internship duration of four weeks to twelve weeks. The duration and schedule are dependent on your college schedule and the company timeline. Companies might change their requirements according to your availability but often that’s not the case.

TIPS FOR FINDING INTERNSHIPS

• Many companies have a schedule of hiring for interns and they announce it on their websites or social media pages. These open much in advance and you should do your research and create a list of dream companies. Follow their websites at least six months in advance, so that you can send in your internship application as soon as the dates open.

• This is the right time to also apply for companies that do not have structured internship programs. 3-4 months will give you enough time to find the concerned person for internships, submit your internship application, resume, and also attend interviews. If you apply just few weeks in advance, it may not be enough time for the company to give you their decision.

• To ensure you are ready with your internship application, you should be ready with your resume, portfolio, and LinkedIn profile, so that you can apply instantly.

Ashley to ensure that you have a hassle-free internships application process, always think ahead. The secret is in applying early enough if you intend to take up competitive internship opportunities. Furthermore, you need to think about the type of role you want and familiarize yourself with strategies that assist you in getting an internship. Moreover, note that unlike university courses, there are no sector-specific or standard timelines for landing an opportunity.

Hope this was Helpful Ashley
Thanks so much for the advice! Ashley T. Translate
Your Welcome Ashley, It was my Pleasure. Don't wait for the stars to be aligned. Reach up and rearrange them in the way you want, I think you just might become one! John Frick Translate
John's answer is great and incredibly detailed Adele Suttle Translate
Thank You Adele. Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much. John Frick Translate
3
100% of 2 Pros
100% of 1 Students

John’s Answer

2
100% of 2 Pros
Updated Translate
For me, I found a co-op program to be the most beneficial preparation for an entry level position. Depending on the opportunities your university offers, I would suggest going the co-op route with additional internships where it makes sense. For example, I rotated between my studies and my full-time co-op position beginning the summer and fall after my sophomore year. I would work for a semester then return to school for the next semester. This is a 5-year graduation path, but you've already earned 1+ years of real experience you can add to your resume. Then if it's possible, add part-time internships to your schedule while you're in classes.

It's all about making your resume stand out from the others during a very competitive hiring process.

Hope that helps.

John
2
100% of 2 Pros

Syed’s Answer

1
100% of 1 Students
Updated Translate
Hi Ashley,

The more quality internships you have on your resume, the easier it is to get a good job coming out of college. GPA is important as a screening mechanism for resumes, so get the highest GPA possible. If you're doing something highly technical, then the content of your courses matter. Otherwise you're better off prioritizing a higher GPA.

I suggest pursuing internships and or research over summer classes although you can manage both. In my experience, those with internships in the summers got better employment outcomes than those who rushed to take summer classes and had holes in their resume.

These days it has become very competitive, so sophomore internships are almost a must. That said, the coronavirus situation and your Math major should offset the risk of not having something on your resume for sophomore summer (that is if you just finished your sophomore year).
I am actually just finishing up my freshman year. I was hoping to get something technology related. Would this mean I would need to develop some skills first (e.g. Matlab and/or Java)? Ashley T. Translate
1
100% of 1 Students

Cynthia’s Answer

0
Updated Translate
I would say that you should start researching internships once you have gone through at least the basic courses in your studies. Ex if you are in accounting then get to at least intermediate accounting. Why? you want to get internship opportunities that are relevant to you career and employers typically hire students at around 3rd or 4th year because they know they will get more knowledge and better results.

I did my first internship the summer after completing my second year and then again during my senior year. That last internship ended up being my first job and helped me build the career I have today.

In summary study hard your first two years, maybe do some volunteer work and by your third year start looking for significant job opportunities.

Cynthia
0

Dhaval’s Answer

0
Updated Translate
Hi Ashley,

The best time for a college student to scout for internships and/or research opportunities is in summer break ( 3 months) and also winter break(1 month). You're right 3rd and 4th year summer time should be good time to do internships and get good experience. If you like Math, did you consider tutoring students ?

Are you looking for engineering internships ? What do you wish do once you graduate ?

More than happy to assists you if you have any more questions.

Regards,
Dhaval
Oh, I forgot to mention that I was looking for engineering internships or something related that will be a good learning experience and will be beneficial to have on my applications for graduate school or jobs. I would like to go to grad school for mechanical engineering, and hopefully pursue a career in this (the dream would be to work at JPL). I have visited JPL and seen the career fairs at school earlier this year and it really piqued my interest! My school's winter break is unfortunately going to be cut to 2 weeks. I have not considered tutoring students because the common core system has changed the way kids learn math. I am only familiar with this at the high school level. Ashley T. Translate
No worries got it ! I did the same thing applied for summer engineering internship and that help me to get Full time opportunities after I graduated. Try looking for internship on : https://www.indeed.com/ Dhaval Dagli Translate
Thank you! I'll definitely check it out. Ashley T. Translate
0

Benjamin’s Answer

0
Updated Translate
Hi Ashley!

I did my internship in my penultimate year, i.e. the year before I graduated. Most internships here in Sydney run from November-February, and internship program applications usually open around June. It won't hurt you to start looking right away though so you can at least know what's out there.

Good luck!
Thank you! I have started looking but have not seen anything around my area. Ashley T. Translate
0

Cynthia’s Answer

0
Updated Translate
I would say that you should start researching internships once you have gone through at least the basic courses in your studies. Ex if you are in accounting then get to at least intermediate accounting. Why? you want to get internship opportunities that are relevant to you career and employers typically hire students at around 3rd or 4th year because they know they will get more knowledge and better results.

I did my first internship the summer after completing my second year and then again during my senior year. That last internship ended up being my first job and helped me build the career I have today.

In summary study hard your first two years, maybe do some volunteer work and by your third year start looking for significant job opportunities.

Cynthia
0

Blake’s Answer

0
Updated Translate
Hey Ashley,

Summer of your junior year is the perfect time for internships. This allows you to hopefully work for a company you enjoy over the summer, and then get a job offer for when you graduate the following year. I would recommend attending job fairs. If you don't have one for your subject specifically, I would attend one for another major. Even if it's only to get you some practice interviewing.

Thanks,
Blake
0

Shenelle’s Answer

0
Updated Translate
I highly recommend going to your school's career fair and networking with companies scouting out new employees. Then you can make a personal connection.
0

Vi’s Answer

0
Updated Translate
Hi Ashley,

The more internships you can do, the better. I found that most interviewers for full-time roles will care less about what classes you took in college and more about what hands-on experience you have to offer.

You can start exploring summer Internships as soon as the summer after freshman year. I would, however, recommend that you give yourself a break that first summer and spend the next few summers at an internship. For larger companies with internship programs, they're not only an opportunity to show that you can be a valuable asset to the company, while you're learning new skills, but also an opportunity to meet students from across the country. Who doesn't like new friends?

One of the things to keep in mind for internships is that they can serve as longer interviews. For example, if you intern the summer before your senior year of college and the company has budget for it, you might be offered a full-time role after you graduate. It's always great to go into senior year of college with a job offer, which will help you either be calm about focusing on your studies and know you'll have a job after graduation, or you can use it to negotiate other job offers you might have at other companies.

Part-time internships during the school year are also possible. This is what I did during my last 2 years of college. They're usually around 15-20 hours a week and if you manage your time wisely, they can give you the opportunity to work during the school year and earn some extra money (if it's a paid internship), while gaining hands-on experience.

One thing to note that sometimes your first internship might not be paid and might be volunteer time/class credit. However, as you gain more experience, try to look for paid internships.

Good luck!
0

Jaden’s Answer

0
Updated Translate
Ashley
I think there is never a bad time to do an internship during college. Getting work experience on your resume is essential for getting jobs after your graduate. I recommend doing an internship the summer before your final semester so you have a chance at getting a job with the company you did your internship with. Gaining connections during any internship will give you references for potential employers to call. Connections could also land you a position at the company your intern for.
0