June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.1549.1 - 12.1549.7
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 .
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. https://peer.asee.org/2398
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