EIT’s courses are specifically designed to balance academic excellence and preparing our students for the competitive engineering jobs market. One critical aspect of preparing for a career in the sector is the practical skills earned in undertaking an internship.
This month we sat down to map out the top five reasons for doing an engineering internship…
No matter how much time you spend in lectures and workshops, there’s no substitute for putting what you’ve learned into practice. And where better to do that than in a real-life industry situation? It’s the perfect way to prove to yourself – and a prospective employer – that your knowledge can be transferred straight into the workplace.
Not many people can say with 100 per cent certainty that they know their perfect career path. An internship gives you the chance to dry-run your choices and get a better feel for life beyond graduation. Maybe you aren’t sure if you want to work in electrical or mechanical engineering, or maybe you just can’t pick between one employer or another – the best way to decide is to get out there and try them for real.
With more graduates than jobs, an employer isn’t going to choose one candidate over another based just on their engineering talent – there’s a whole range of other competencies that factor into their decisions. Do you interact well with other team members? Can you think on your feet? Are you confident and a good communicator? An internship gives you and a prospective employer an idea of how you’d use these ‘soft skills’ in a work environment. The better you are at closing the gap between these and your hard learning skills, the better a candidate you will seem.
One of the most important things you can gain from your internship is networking opportunities. The people you meet on a work placement could well be the people who are looking to fill a role in six months’ time…and you could be the first person they think of. Using your time in the workplace to make friends and contacts is as vital as demonstrating your ability to employers.
Diving into a live-fire industry setting will give you a good idea of where your skills serve you well…and where they don’t. One of the biggest take-homes from an internship is the feedback and advice you get from your employer – don’t be afraid to ask if there are any areas in which you need to improve or consolidate. What you learn could make all the difference in future applications.
Throughout 2021, EIT is committed to providing a higher level of assistance to students seeking internships and work placements. We’ll be making further announcements throughout the year on the exciting plans and further benefits for current and future EIT students.
At EIT, internships are conducted post the successful completion of the first year of students’ programs. Students are required to have passed (grade of 50% or more) all first-year units and have good financial standing. It is a prerequisite of graduation that EIT’s on-campus bachelor’s and master’s students complete 240 hours of work integrated learning.