Discussion Thread

  • 1.  Relocating for an Internship

    Posted 02-05-2019 09:58 AM
    I am Aayush, a 3rd Year Civil Engineering student from India. I’m interested in interning in the United States. I would like advice from others that have pursued an internship outside of their country? How did you apply for the internship? What type of government paperwork will I have to consider?  Has this experience enhanced your career?

    Thank you!

    Aayush Bansal S.M.ASCE
    J.K. Lakshmi Path University
    9191 8989733778

  • 2.  RE: Relocating for an Internship

    Posted 02-11-2019 08:34 PM


    Hopefully someone with more personal experience can help you, but I had a Chemical Engineer friend/roomate from Mexico in college go through this process, as well as a former intern at a previous job so I do have a little insight.

    How to apply:
    Same as you would if you lived here.  You'll want to check websites of companies your interested in for job postings. Also consider a profile on a job hunting website (monster, zip recruiter, etc.).  Having a flushed out LinkedIn profile with a professional photo is a powerful resource.  It'll help you to network, talk to recruiters, provide references, etc.  It should serve as a more comprehensive resume for employers to check, make sure to include a  link to it in any online submissions.  You'll need to be up front throughout the process of not currently having a visa to work in the US, as it will impact the process.  So start as early as possible!  Many companies try to fill these positions 4-8 months before the student is able to start working.  You'll want to have as much lead time as possible.

    Government Paperwork:
    There will be a lot of forms you have to deal with that a US citizen wouldn't.  These aren't to stop you, just things like taxes etc. that will affect you differently.  Furthermore the company hiring you will be responsible for most of them and until they're approved you cannot legally work.  This process meant my roommate couldn't start working until almost a month later than planned (not good for a summer internship), and had a two week delay with the intern I'd mentioned.  So, any paperwork you get, you will need to finish it as accurately and quickly as possible to prevent any issues.  This was all many years ago, so it's likely the process now has only intensified, unfortunately.  I've had to say goodbye to several great co-workers whose visas were revoked by the government.  Do your best to not get discouraged, but it may be a long frustrating process, don't give up!

    Enhanced Career:
    Definitely!!  My old roommate did end up working for his father's company back in Mexico, but he manages their Panama branch.  It was a tremendous experience for him to meet new people, work on his English, broaden his mind, and take on more responsibility.  Even if it is just a short term experience, you will learn a lot more than you likely would staying there (or anywhere).  This is true of anyone working in another country, not just coming to America.  A broader world view always makes for a better engineer, arguably a better person.  Staying in one place won't expose you to the new/different ideas in other places.  Some things you may be able to improve with the knowledge you bring or a hybrid of ideas from home and abroad.

    Good luck with the job hunt!!

    James Smith P.E., M.ASCE
    Design Engineer
    Grand Rapids MI

  • 3.  RE: Relocating for an Internship

    Posted 02-13-2019 04:39 PM

    Hi Aayush,

    Its great that you are starting early, a summer internship would definitely add value to your profile and provide you with technical skills. I completed my undergraduate internship in Taiwan and graduated from Carnegie Mellon in USA with a Masters in Environmental Engineering. I would definitely encourage you to be connecting on LinkedIn with professionals and recruiters, looking online as many companies would post their summer internships around this time. Since you are doing your undergraduate degree from India, I would also recommend looking at large employers (Jacobs/AECOM, etc.) who hire graduates each year and also have an office in India; that would definitely increase your chances. Your intern program would be through the J1 intern visa. All the best and hope this answered your questions.

    Sumon Chatterjee PE,MASCE