Asee peer logo

Using Graduate Internships To Enhance Graduate Student Education And Research

Download Paper |


2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Methods & Techniques in Graduate Education

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1549.1 - 12.1549.7



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Yamilka Baez-Rivera Mississippi State University


Lennon Brown Mississippi State University

visit author page

Lennon Brown, III, was born in Jackson, MS, on January 22, 1981. He graduated from Mississippi State University in May 2004 and also received his Mastes of Science in Electrical Engineering from Mississippi State University in May 2007.

He has worked with many different aspects of Electrical Engineering. During his graduate career, he emphasized in the power engineering field of Electrical Engineering. He also worked in the power industry in regards to increasing his knowledge of power theories being conducted in realistic environments. He is currently working with Mississippi Power Company in Gulfport, MS. He currently holds the position a Distribution Planning Engineer.

visit author page


Noel Schulz Mississippi State University

visit author page

Noel N. Schulz received her B.S.E.E. and M.S.E.E. degrees from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1988 and 1990, respectively. She received her Ph.D. in EE from the University of Minnesota in 1995. She has been an associate professor in the ECE department at Mississippi State University since July 2001 and holds the TVA Endowed Professorship in Power Systems Engineering. Prior to that she spent six years on the faculty of Michigan Tech. Her research interests are in computer applications in power system operations including artificial intelligence techniques. She is a NSF CAREER award recipient. She has been active in ASEE and is currently the Women in Engineering Division Chair. She is also active in the IEEE Power Engineering Society and is serving as Secretary for 2004-2007. Dr. Schulz is a member of Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi.

visit author page

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Using Graduate Internships to Enhance Graduate Students Education and Research


Many universities focus their industrial outreach activities for students at the undergraduate level. Universities have required optional cooperative education programs or promoted industrial internships during the summer months for undergraduates to allow them to gain real-world experience. While these positions are helpful for the students, they often have little impact on faculty or departments. An area that few companies consider relates to internships or cooperative opportunities for engineering graduate students. This program has advantages for all involved. The companies are working with MS or PhD candidates who already have an engineering degree and have an advanced maturity compared to undergraduates. For the students, their maturity allows them to get involved in real-world problems and make a broader impact in a short period. Also, in many cases the industrial activities can be extended into a thesis or dissertation topic. For the faculty member, it provides exposure to the current issues within industry, provides examples for the classroom and sometimes provides funding for research projects. This paper will highlight several recent examples of how graduate internships have enhanced the company, students and faculty in the collaboration. It will discuss dos and don’ts for developing the graduate internships. Impressions by several graduate students will also be included.

How we are exposed to the industry

Normally college students learn about companies through career fairs. Career fairs allow students to meet with a company’s representatives. These representatives explain to the students what the company does and some the job positions available. These types of events provide an opportunity for students to make a good first impression with the company. Through the conversations, a student can also get a good understanding of the company and decide whether or not to seek employment opportunities with that particular company. The employment opportunities can consist of internships, cooperative (Co-op) education rotations, and full-time employment. Internships and co-ops are the best way for a student to get a broad exposure to industry while still in school [1].

Another opportunity where student can gain exposure to companies is when faculty members bring industrial representatives to class for presentations. This provides an informal outlet for the students to learn about parts of industry. The students can ask questions about the company as they would at a career fair type of event. This also provides an non-intimidating atmosphere for students to ask questions about companies and careers.

The industrial environment is quite different from being in school. Through the exposure to industry, one can gain knowledge and become appreciative of the material being taught in the classroom. Sometimes students ask themselves whether or not they really need to know the material they are currently studying. It is rewarding to actually see how applications being taught in class are applied in the real world. This tends to help students think about problems in a

Baez-Rivera, Y., & Brown, L., & Schulz, N. (2007, June), Using Graduate Internships To Enhance Graduate Student Education And Research Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2398

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: © 2007 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