July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
COVID-19 changed everything. During April 2020, the Student Engineers’ Council (SEC) at a large southwest university recognized that many students in the college of engineering were notified that their summer internships with companies had been cancelled. It was devastating to students who wondered how they were going to replace the professional development experience outside of the classroom. In three weeks, the President of SEC and Professors of the Practice from the engineering entrepreneurship program developed a summer training program which focused on professional skill development through a virtual implementation. All of the faculty involved had run internship programs in their companies and were convinced that a program could be offered, not to completely replace an internship at a company, but to build the professional skills students would need in their jobs. Ultimately, the virtual internship program involved over 350 students, almost 60 mentors, and 7 faculty. It was divided into two 6-week phases – 1) professional skill training and 2) teamwork project implementation. The second phase involved mentors to guide student teams as they investigated the commercialization of their assigned product or service. The final presentation by student teams was as if they were presenting to a group of executives from the virtual company they had worked for, to fund their project to move to the next level. Students presented a technical, marketing, sales, manufacturing, and financial plan for their project. Surveys were conducted pre and post training to assess the effectiveness of skill development. A final survey was conducted of students and mentors which will be combined with faculty data gathered via interviews to assess the effectiveness of teamwork development. Overall, students gave the program high praises and the university is determining how to implement this program in the future. The paper will provide the details of the program, results of the survey data, and findings from various interviews of participants.
Boehm, R., & Beyerlein, M., & Potter, K., & Lu, J., & Moore, L. L. (2021, July), A Virtual Internship Experience Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36631
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2021 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015