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Don't have an internship? Here are some alternatives

Question asked by Zubin Ajmera in #Internships on Oct 20, 2015
Zubin Ajmera
Zubin Ajmera · Oct 20, 2015
I want to share some useful experiences which you can accomplish (if you don’t have an internship or even if you do) to put on your resume. You can do some of them even if you aren’t a student in an university. Personally, I feel internship gives someone an incredible opportunity to learn and grow, and with the activities I’ll enlist, you’ll be able to achieve that. Yes, I wasn’t able to land an internship too when everyone else did, but in retrospect, I feel I was fortunate enough to have an unique experience. In no particular order, here we go –

1) Join an Organization/Community

Joining an organization within your university or in your network can boost your profile, not only in terms of academics, but also a chance to learn about the latest news in the industry. It’s also good to join a community which aligns with your specialization or what you’re interested in. Some of them (which fall under the industrial engineering umbrella) are –
Apart from these, there can be also additional organizations which are specific to your university and which you can get involved in. For e.g, back in NCSU, I was a part of the Sustainability Commission which allowed me to work on projects under them. Ideally, it’s always good if you’re able to work on projects in your field. Volunteering organizations can demonstrate your social cause and community work.

Action Step:
1) Brainstorm 10 potential places where you believe you can get involved (this can be within your university or outside but get it to 10)
2) Research who is the point of contact for these organizations (you can find the contact information from the website or using your university’s directory or asking someone you know.)
3) Reach out to this point of contact and express your willingness to be a volunteer of the organization. In some cases you might be paid, but remember, our important focus is to gain experience not money at this stage.

2) Learn a Software or an Online Course

With industrial engineering, there are possibly hundreds of tools and courses which you can take. This will fall within manufacturing, logistics, consulting, (even) marketing. Depending upon your level of interest, learning a software or taking an online course can definitely boost your profile. Some courses make you work on a software, some courses have a certification in place where if you complete all of their necessary set of assignments and projects, you get credibility. This will help tremendously when you eventually apply for full-time jobs or happen to know the software where you work. Like I said, there are many topics to discover within industrial engineering, but my suggestion would be to learn softwares in these subject areas (to start with) –
  • Forecasting
  • Simulation
  • Statistics
Action Step:
1) Go to Coursera or Udemy (you’ll need to sign up for the first time)
2) Search for a keyword in what you’re interested in. E.g – Forecasting, Statistics, Operations

3) Join the course


3) Work under a Professor (for a research project)
With so many research opportunities available in any university, you can work under a professor in a research field of your interest. Of course, not all professors will have or offer you work, but in many cases, professors are willing to put you in a project if you’re genuinely interested.


If not that period, you can always ask to work for a future semester. Call me weird, but I worked as a part-time TA (teaching assistant) for a Human Resources class, not aligned with what an IE should have done, but it gave me a unique experience to know a lot of people and undertake work. In IE itself, there are vast research topics for manufacturing, reliability engineering, logistics, but it will vary from university to university. Also, one of the challenges that we might face would be deciding and knowing which research areas do we like and are interested in. Thus, what I want to encourage you to do is not over analyze on “what’s my passion” stuff, but instead ask these questions, which can help you figure out what areas of industrial engineering you will be potentially interested in –

  • Which class/classes have I enjoyed so far? (eg:- manufacturing product development)
  • What part of the classes did I like the most? (eg: Voice of Customer model, Regression analysis)
  • If I had 2 hours extra, what class/subject would I most likely do? (eg: any logistics class)
Asking similar questions will help you narrow your choices and you’ll be able to figure out what can be the potential topics for a research project. Posted in: #Internships
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare · Oct 20, 2015
Rank A1 - PRO
@Zubin Ajmera - We appreciate your efforts; but please be aware that copying content from other websites is not allowed on CrazyEngineers. If you are writing articles to generate link-backs to your blog; then this may not be the most ideal place. All the external links will be automatically 'nofollowed'; which means search engine bots will ignore them.

Please avoid any form of advertising via CrazyEngineers. We are very strict about this rule.
Zubin Ajmera
Zubin Ajmera · Oct 20, 2015
Hi Kaustubh,

Not copying or advertising any stuff, just publishing the stuff which I have on my own website.

No intent to generate backlinks or so, I only want to educate and share my knowledge on the subject, that's about it😀

I am extremely mindful of advertising or anything, so only want to help with relevant content. If I appear as trying to be spammy, please feel free to let me know and also remove the content if you'd like.

Thanks for your assistance.


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