Internships and co-ops are two stepping stones that can enrich students and lead to a bountiful career once they graduate from Mines. Despite the benefits, many students find that it is sometimes difficult to receive one of these positions. The Career Center provides many resources to help.
The Career Center sponsors numerous events throughout the year that offer opportunities for students who have not yet found an internship or co-op. The next event is The Virtual Career Fair (VCF), which will occur during the week of April 7, 2012. Companies such as the United Launch Alliance will look to hire a wide range of students, even freshmen with little to no experience. Other major companies and organizations like NASA, Arcelor Mittal, and Boeing will also place internship opportunities. In the past, many students with interest in the above companies have been hired from the VCF.
Following the VCF is the Spring Launch (SL). Lin Sherman, Assistant Director and Director of Recruitment for the CSM Career Center said, “[The Spring Launch] accelerates students into an exciting summer.” The SL allows students to sit down in a formal interview setting and experience a “small career fair.” The event will take place on April 25, 2012.
Another option offered to students is the co-op, which combines a school atmosphere with the experience offered at a summer internship. Because of the amount of experience required to work at a co-op, they are generally reserved for juniors. Each department has its own options for co-ops, which provide three academic credits towards a degree. Sherman said, “[A Co-op] gives students a break from the books and an opportunity in the industry.” Generally, a co-op takes place over the summer and fall semesters, or over the spring and summer semesters. If a co-op location is close to the Mines campus, it may be possible to take classes at the same time. David Chiavetta, a chemical engineer who participated in a co-op said, “[I] did not see it as being a disadvantage because the experience was invaluable.” Co-ops, in many cases, lead to full-time job offers upon graduation.
Sometimes students do not receive internships or co-ops that they desired. This is not the end of the job search as students have a final option known as “shadowing.” Shadowing offers students the chance to receive experience wherever they want to work without the benefits of a salary. If denied an opportunity for an internship or co-op, shadowing can offer invaluable insight into industry as well as possible connections for future internships or jobs.
To find these internships and co-ops, search on DiggerNet. Students can save searches at any time and create a job agent to stay informed when positions become available. For those just interested in what typical employment opportunities pay, the Career Center website offers salaries for both full-time jobs and internships. The website can even help with choosing a major. The most important lesson to learn when trying to receive an internship is, according to Sherman, “Be proactive.”