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Engineering Internships: How To Find Your Dream Internship - [Guide]

Question asked by Kaustubh Katdare in #Internships on May 6, 2014
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare · May 6, 2014
Rank A1 - PRO
In this part of 'Summer Internships For Engineers: The Definitive Guide', we will look at the sure-shot, proven and 100% result oriented ways of finding your dream internship. Through the following articles, we'll identify a systematic approach and process every engineer should follow. Please be very clear in your mind that finding your dream internship is often time-consuming and tiring process. The earlier you start, the better are your chances of finding it.

Starting With 'Why?':

This is a very generic rule; but you should begin by answering the question: Why am I applying for Internship? As we discussed in the introduction of this series, there could be multiple reasons. Even if you are being forced by your curriculum to find an internship, you should take it in a very positive way. Answering this question would help you find answer to what your dream internship would be. It's often a tough question to answer; but let me make it easier for you. Try to match it up with your long term career goal. For example, if you are a mechanical engineer willing to make a career in the automobile industry - your dream internship would most likely be with an automobile company. The answer to 'Why', in this case, would be - Because I want to understand how engineers work in an automobile company.

You Don't Have To Aim For Big Brand Organization For Internship

A lot of engineers set their aim very high. While getting an Internship with Google, Microsoft, Audi, BMW or a similar big brand multinational would look incredibly awesome on your resume; it's not a must. Why? Because getting internships with these companies is often very tough and it may not necessarily solve the purpose of Internship. It's always good to find internship with a company that gives you exposure to some 'real work' than a big brand that restricts you to a very small task of a big project. You should start reading Internship experiences and also connect with your seniors to get recommendations. CrazyEngineers would be a great place to share your own experiences with fellow engineers. The point I'm trying to make is that - try to get an internship with a company that offers you some real exposure. Learning and gaining experience through the Internship are our chief goals. Always keep that in mind.

Searching For The Right Company To Apply For Internship

Now that we know we're looking for 'real work' than 'brand', the job of finding the right company to apply for internship becomes easier. Your first point of contact should be your college / University's training and placements department. A lot of companies contact the T&P department to hire interns for specific jobs. Often your college will be your best source of information about companies. I'm however aware that several colleges, especially in India have absolutely defunct training and placements department. If yours is one such, don't worry. Let's see what are the options for us.

There are several websites that list out internships with city-wise categorisation. All you need to do is enter the keywords for your area of interest (viz. electrical, VLSI, civil etc.) and pick the city of your choice.

You should also check out the most prominent companies in your own city that work in the domain of your choice. For example, if you are looking for internship in IT; check out the IT companies in your city. Most of the companies will list out Internship opportunities on their official websites.

One often neglected website to search for such a search is LinkedIn! If you haven't created your profile on it yet; you should do it right now. A lot of companies have gone the LinkedIn way to advertise the internship opportunities available with them. Since not many of your friends would be looking on LinkedIn, you might just land with your dream internship. This is bit old style; however, keeping an eye on the newspapers' 'careers' section would be a good idea. A lot of good opportunities get missed because not every company out there is using social / online / digital media to promote their available positions.

Finally, you should also check with your professors, lecturers and alumni networks. Be shameless in asking for references or introductions with people they may know. This is one of the very effective ways to get an internship.

Don't Give Up!

This one is an old advice; but it's seldom followed. As we discussed, finding your dream Internship is quite a challenging and tough task which often consumes a lot of time. It's easier to give up. However, if you are serious about your career and want to gain hands-on experience on real-time projects; your choices are very limited. Do not give up on your hunt for the internship of your choice.

If you have used other ways to find your dream internship, do share them below. We'll now proceed to the next part in this guide which will focus on what to do when you spot your dream internship opportunity. It's very important and I recommend that you should not skip it. All your questions, doubts, queries on how to find your dream internship are welcome below.

Next: How to Apply For Internship: DOs and DONTs. Posted in: #Internships

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