Discussion Thread

Freshman Looking for an Internship

  • 1.  Freshman Looking for an Internship

    Posted 01-28-2019 06:17 PM
    I am a freshman from Stony Brook University looking for an internship for this summer of 2019. Are there any tips anyone can give on how I can get an internship?

    Pelin Kanay S.M.ASCE
    West Babylon NY

  • 2.  RE: Freshman Looking for an Internship

    Posted 01-29-2019 07:30 AM
    ​For those looking for a job/internship, I encourage you to consider the US Federal Government. All positions and many internships are posted on USAJOBS.gov.

    Michael Avery P.E., M.ASCE
    Associate Division Administrator
    San Juan PR

  • 3.  RE: Freshman Looking for an Internship

    Posted 01-30-2019 12:54 PM
    You can also go to governmentjobs.com

    Good luck!

    Lisa Martellaro-Palmer P.E., M.ASCE
    Transportation Engineer Assoc. II
    Van Nuys CA

  • 4.  RE: Freshman Looking for an Internship

    Posted 01-30-2019 05:54 PM

    Regarding Federal jobs:

    1. Usual "one page resume" rules don't apply. Because the government is supposed to be accountable and stuff, they want a complete, objective account of your qualifications, not an elevator pitch, so your resume can (and should) be more like a Curriculum Vitae than for most jobs. Follow all instructions exactly to avoid being disqualified.

    2. The hiring process tends to be a lot slower, so you may end up spending less time actually working. For example: you might apply over the winter, but due to the length of the application process, background checks, etc., you might not start until June while all of your friends are starting their internships in May and April after classes are over. Maybe it's gotten better, though; my agency seems to be able to hire more quickly than in the past. And they do seem to be pretty flexible with scheduling work over breaks or on days you don't have class during the school year, so there's that.

    Networking is probably a good idea. Get your face in front of people. Make them remember you. Make yourself a real person to them, not a piece of paper with words on it.

    John Ragan EIT, A.M.ASCE

  • 5.  RE: Freshman Looking for an Internship

    Posted 01-29-2019 10:58 AM
    I suggest getting involved with some of the engineering societies that have student chapter in your university. It makes it easier to find a job after graduation as well.

    Natasha Breslieva S.M.ASCE
    Project Coordinator
    Chicago IL

  • 6.  RE: Freshman Looking for an Internship

    Posted 01-30-2019 09:06 AM
    Hi Pelin - You are doing the right thing by trying to get early experience to find what discipline of civil engineering you enjoy the most. I'm sure you will be busy with classes, but I suggest trying to attend/participate networking, lecture, student and/or mentoring events that the ASCE Long Island Branch and ASCE Metropolitan Section Younger Member Forum host. www.ascemetsection.org
    I think that finding an internship as a freshman is a little harder than finding an internship as a sophomore or junior, but quite possible - especially in the Metropolitan area. Take advantage of all career fairs, alumni, etc. 
    Best of luck!

    Sam Singer P.E., M.ASCE
    Project Manager
    Langan Engineering
    New York NY

  • 7.  RE: Freshman Looking for an Internship
    Best Answer

    Posted 01-30-2019 04:21 PM
    Hello Pelin,

    Here are a few tips:

    1) Participate in Professional Organization Activities – Involvement with professional organizations (such as ASCE) at or near your university may lead to a future internship. These organizations host events regularly that offer opportunities to network with professionals. Events may include lectures over dinner, conferences, workshops, and outreach activities. Networking is a gradual process though. If you attend regularly, you will be able to grow an organic relationship with the folks that you meet. Also, the officers hosting the event often need volunteers. This is a good way to develop connections with professionals, that may lead to a mentor or work opportunity down the road.

    2) Attend Office Hours with your Professors – Beyond gaining a better understanding of course material at office hours, your own professor may offer an opportunity to gain internship experience. Are they working on a research project that could use a volunteer? As you discuss your career aspirations and develop a connection with your professor over time, this could lead to connections to their contacts in the civil engineering industry.

    3) Build your Resume and LinkedIn Profile – As a Freshman, it may be difficult to know what to put on your resume or LinkedIn profile - especially while you are seeking internship experience. Try brainstorming some of the class projects or assignments you have worked on. You will often find useful skills for professional environments, right within those homework sets. For example, did you work on a team to complete a class assignment? Also, are you a leader or committee member in a student organization? If you have ever assisted in the planning of a student event, the tasks performed may be thoughtfully captured in a resume. Having a sound resume and LinkedIn profile, even as a Freshman, can only help in your quest. That way, you'll already be prepared when an opportunity comes your way.

    Good luck with your search!

    Jameelah Ingram P.E., M.ASCE
    Washington, DC

  • 8.  RE: Freshman Looking for an Internship

    Posted 01-31-2019 10:53 AM
    Trying to land an internship your freshman year can be quite difficult to do. There are many more people in there Junior or even Senior year trying to do the same. I would recommend, like the other individuals have, is to join a professional society and actively participate. Take advantage of career fairs that your college hosts. Network.

    I would highly encourage you to make the effort and time commitment to reach out to a professor and see if there is any research projects that they are doing and if you could join them, a group, or do independently for that professor. Again, a little hard to do as a Freshman. But it is important to show initiative early on and go above just the basic curriculum that everyone else is doing in your class and grow you resume.

    Christopher Dzidek P.E., A.M.ASCE


  • 9.  RE: Freshman Looking for an Internship

    Posted 01-31-2019 11:55 AM
    Hi Pelin,

    If you can't find an internship this summer, I'd suggest summarizing some key qualifications listed in all the internship postings that you liked and start working on learning them in the summer if you don't already know. Coursera, Khan Academy, Datacamp, Udemy are all good online sources.

    Good luck!

    Tung Nguyen, MSc
    PhD Candidate
    Washington State University

  • 10.  RE: Freshman Looking for an Internship

    Posted 01-31-2019 12:35 PM
    If you're interested in Dallas, send your resume through our job page at Halff.com!

    Monica Rickey EIT, EI, A.M.ASCE
    Business Development Manager
    Garland TX

  • 11.  RE: Freshman Looking for an Internship

    Posted 02-01-2019 09:52 AM
    Something to always consider is to look for companies that have surveying capabilities.  Surveying tends to pick up during the summer months do to the long days and good weather; many of these companies need rod men during this time of increased activity.  Although surveying may not be what you want to do in the long term, it's a way to get your foot in the door at a civil firm for the next summer or winter breaks.  Also, surveying is just great experience to have that many engineers don't get outside of their required coursework.

    US Government jobs are also a great experience (I spent 3 summers with the US Army Corps of Engineers) but with all the shutdowns and cutbacks that are occurring, I wouldn't put all my eggs in that basket.  There definitely are summer based programs available each year at https://www.usajobs.gov/ some of which will require you to travel.  If you can afford to make the move for a few months, you likely won't regret it.  Even if you go to the middle of nowhere, you'll likely have a good story to tell at your next interview.

    Finally, if not civil firms come calling, go work at the local grocery store/bowling alley/etc.  When you finish your sophomore year it'll look nice on your resume that you have work experience, even if not in the engineering field.

    Chase Henrichs P.E., M.ASCE
    Crafton Tull
    Rogers AR

  • 12.  RE: Freshman Looking for an Internship

    Posted 03-17-2020 06:33 PM
    My advice is to gauge your passions.  Others will probably have differing, but valid guidance.  Do you want to get into design?  Are you thinking of going the construction route?  Would you prefer the technical path, or do have the communication and leadership skills (ability to develop them) and desire to get into project management.  I guess my advice is to see where you ideally would be in 5-10 years after graduation.  I know it's early since you aren't close to graduation, but begin to ask those questions now.  Everyone has natural strengths, and if can begin to harness those now, and find an area of civil engineering you are passionate about, you will love this profession.  I have chosen the construction and project management route, though I do design and PM work in the winter.  I came from the trades - my advice is to work for a heavy civil construction contractor (I ​know easier said than done) if you like the idea of public infrastructure projects being your bread and butter later in life. If you can, work on the onsite construction crew, not the office (you'll have plenty of time to get in the office).  Get dirty-get up early, go to bed early, and work construction for a summer or two.  It will build great character (moreso IMHO than four years of engineering school ALONE) A trendendous amount of what I know is due to the expertise of fellow tradesman, and tradesman I have worked alongside as my role as a field project repr

    Forrester Cook S.M.ASCE
    Anchorage AK