Engineering Internships Are A Must For Students Today

ECL Readers: This post is an excerpt from the chapter titled Action #2: Internships…Internships…Internships, in the free SUCCESS MANIFESTO FOR 21st CENTURY ENGINEERING STUDENTS. In lieu of reading the post, you can view the embedded 5-minute video (mid-section of post) which delivers all of the chapter content.

I have a firm belief that a minimum of one internship before graduation is a must for engineering students in today’s world. Why, you ask?


I’ll share my answer in a moment, but first I want to ask you to suspend your thinking for a few seconds and go with me inside your head.

Go With Me Inside Your Head

Picture me standing right in front of you (in other words…I’m right in your face). My arms are extended and I’ve grabbed both of your shoulders with my hands.

Now I’m shaking you back and forth, almost violently. While shaking you, I’m repeating this phrase loudly, over and over, “Internships…internships…engineering internships.”

Ok, come on back to reality. Do you get the picture? Do you get the message?

My message is that the top companies who offer the top jobs, the top pay, and the top career growth opportunities, are looking for students who have had one, two, or even three or more internships before they graduate.

Here’s The Deal About Internships

There are a million good reasons why internships are important, but the catch-all reason I like best is because engineering graduates who have interned are primed and ready to hit the ground running when they go to work full-time.

Graduates with solid internship experience are better able to quickly add value to a company, when compared to their peers who didn’t have any engineering internships.

My Stand On Internships Is Steadfast…Here’s Why

Can you sense that I feel pretty strongly about this internship thing? Here’s my short story and where my bias comes from.

EngineWorksA single summer internship in 1979, and four additional three-month intern sessions with John Deere grew into a 25-year career.

During those 25 years, I built solid, satisfying relationships (and true friendships) with hundreds of coworkers, dealers, suppliers and customers. My personal development was fully supported with internal training and a host of lateral and promotional job moves. My John Deere paychecks supported my family and helped to fund our boys’ college educations.

Still today (early 2015), some 35 years later, I have relationships with numerous John Deere employees and retirees.

Remember, all of this started with a single summer internship.

 If desired, view entire post in this video from the MANIFESTO

So Where Are You On Internships Now?

I hope I’ve begun to convince you to add internships to your overall college career plan. They are truly one of the best ways of linking classroom learning to real world problems that companies are trying to solve.

My perspective and understanding about the importance of my studies shifted 180 degrees after my first summer internship. I also learned the critical importance of communications skills.

There are many other benefits that come from interning, but I’ll save those for another day, another blog post, and another STRAIGHT TALK GUIDE.

Question: What’s your opinion about the need for engineering students to work as interns before they graduate? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

ECL Readers:This post is an excerpt from the chapter titled Action #2: Internships…Internships…Internships, in the SUCCESS MANIFESTO FOR 21st CENTURY ENGINEERING STUDENTS. On THIS PAGE, you can learn more about the MANIFESTO, watch a short summary video and request a FREE downloadable PDF copy.



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