At this point in the year, many undergraduate engineering students have their internships lined up for the upcoming summer. Whether you know who you’ll be working for this summer or are waiting to hear back from your dream firm, keep these helpful tips in mind to make the most of your engineering internship:
1 | Continue to research your company and your department. You’ve probably already done quite a bit of research about your company, but it never hurts to know it all. Nothing is worse than being asked a question or given an assignment about an aspect of the company you know nothing about. Most engineering firms have abundant information on the internet, whether from their own websites, news articles, press releases, or partner websites.
2 | Stay curious and ask questions. Throughout your internship, there will always be something new to learn every day, you’ll just have to look for it carefully; these new things might not directly be about engineering.
3 | Find a mentor. There will be multiple people at your internship who will have experience that can help you grow. Whether it’s your direct supervisor or a coworker who has recently been hired full time, seek their mentorship for your internship. Ask questions, watch what they do, and ask for advice. This is a surefire way you’ll be more prepared for what to expect when you graduate and get your first job.
4 | Be flexible. Your internship is a learning experience, and you’ll quickly realize at your internship that you may need to help with some unexpected tasks. Perhaps you’ve been assigned design work for a specific client, but your supervisor needs you to jump into a new project without much notice. Take a deep breath, and trust your skills. Showing your supervisor that you can be flexible when assigned new, unexpected projects, is an impressive quality.
5 | Accept constructive criticism. As a new engineer, you may not know all the details that come with a new engineering position. Though you’ll be doing your absolute best every single day, there will be times when your supervisor or coworkers will give you some constructive criticism regarding the work you produce. Don’t sweat it. It’s constructive for a reason. The only way you’ll grow in your career is to acknowledge good advice and accept it.
6 | Expand your networking skills. We get it. You probably chose engineering because you not only love the challenge, but you also probably don’t enjoy large amounts of communication. However you’ll soon realize that in order to have a successful career, you’ll have to do a lot of communicating. During your internship, make the effort to reach out to full-time employees and engineers that you normally wouldn’t have spoken to otherwise. You never know when a casual conversation could turn into a full-blown career.
Following these important tips for your next internship will give you a better perspective about the industry, help you develop your professional skills, and make lasting connections. Interested in a fulfilling internship with Gausman and Moore? Check out our Careers page to browse through our various internship opportunities in our Roseville, Duluth, or even Santa Clarita office.