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I am going to grad school full time (no job) to get my masters after having graduated a number of years back. I applied recently for an internship that a company was advertising in the hope that the reason they were looking for an intern was because they had problems finding someone with experience and maybe they would be interested hiring me full time.  Anyways, today I got a call back from them and I am now having second thoughts about the whole thing.  I don't have anything else lined up for the summer but I am afraid they are just looking for really cheap labor and the work isn't going to be anything I am going to learn much from.  This isn't based on anything but it is just a feeling I am getting.  Should I just take it and not think to hard about it? The company does do things I would be interested in getting involved in.

RE: Internship

So. What do you lose by going there?

RE: Internship

There is a chance you'll primarily be cheap labor - sadly that's all a lot of our interns end up being.

However, if they impress then we are sometimes able to find positions for them.  Or even if we don't have a position immediately, when one comes up months or even years later we may contact them to see if they're interested.

Sure experience you get may not be directly relevant to what you  think you want to do, or what you actually end up doing, but it might still count toward that '1-2 years experience' or similar that so many job adds for junior positions have.

Also, you should be able to learn something from almost any experience - even if it's soft skills like how to interact with people older and more experienced than you in a technical job setting or something.

If nothing else you may be able to make a few connections with some employed engineers that might come in useful at some point in the future.

Like Berkshire says, what do you have to lose?  If you don't take this do you have some other opportunity lined up?

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Internship

...and you think when you get your first job you won't be just "cheap labor"?  That's the role of all new engineers.

I don't know about your field of endeavor, but in general consulting, companies make a lot of money off junior engineers...they charge a pretty good rate for them, pay them 15 to 20 percent of that, make sure the senior engineers babysit them and smile all the way to the bank.

RE: Internship

I don't know. For me, I just kind of wonder when I see this for a summer internship.

REQUIRED ACADEMIC SKILLS:  MBA or other advanced degree required.  Analytical undergraduate majors in engineering, math, economics, and statistics preferred

REQUIRED PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: 2-5 years working experience preferred

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE: Interest in North American Renewable Energy, Power & Gas Industries

Who with an MBA or a masters degree and 2-5 years of experience is going to sign up for an 8-10 week internship? Am I the only one who finds this goofy?


RE: Internship

Better to have an internship show up on your currently short resume, than generally just wasted the Summer away.  At least you gain one thing and that is working in an office with different kinds of people.

My internship was making an intranet website while at Caltrans for their highway repaving schedule.  I didn't learn anything engineering wise, but I did learn about the office environment and that I would never work for a Govt. company.  I also made pretty decent money at the time as well.

B+W Engineering and Design
Los Angeles Civil and Structural Engineering

RE: Internship

I agree with all of you.
Karlmalone, you said you have graduated a number of years back. Did you have a job in the meantime?
Fom my experience and experience will count towards you. You have to turn the experience into a learning experience.

Joe Borg

RE: Internship

Karkl, did you happen to play basketball for the Jazz?  I'd put that on your resume.

Kidding.  Sure you've heard that a million times.

Seriosly though, I'd take the internship.  If it's just the summer, then worse case, you lose 4 months doing some beginners work.  What do you have to lose?   

RE: Internship

For the open-eyed engineer, all of life is a learning experience.

My first internship was basically working on a factory line for ten weeks. At the time, I didn't feel like I was learning anything imporant about engineering, but in retrospect I got to experience a *lot* of what the staff on the floor do for their entire jobs. It's really helped me out in my engineering roles since I understand the types of problems they deal with and the value of listening to them and helping them do their jobs more easily, and can pipe up and speak from experience when I think an idea is impractical to expect people to perform.

Basically, experience is experience. The best job in the world won't teach someone who doesn't want to learn and the worst job in the world will teach someone who does.

RE: Internship

SiliconeAurora thumbsup


RE: Internship

The key is not to stay on the line pipe


RE: Internship

SiliconeAurora:  Your description is so right on.  Yet it seems like it can be generic towards any field as well.  bigglasses

B+W Engineering and Design
Los Angeles Civil and Structural Engineering

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