Summer/Fall 2012

Diversity/Careers Summer/Fall 2012 Issue

Women in IT
Grads with disabilities
Interns & co-ops
Grad programs in IT
Careers in ME
IT & CS job market
UNCF/Merck scholarships
Soc News: MinneWIC
Soc News: CWIC-SoCal

Diversity in action
Saluting our Schools
News & Views

Bayer CNA
Tennessee SPAWAR

Co-ops & internships

Companies pledge to increase co-ops and internships

"Our need for engineers is three times the current supply." – Paul Otellini, Intel

"We want each student to experience the passion of what it is like to work hard at work worth doing." – Steven Canale, General Electric

In August 2011, forty-five companies, including DuPont, GE and Intel, committed to double the number of U.S. internships they offer each year. The promise was part of President Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness initiative to graduate 10,000 more engineers a year.

Intel CEO Paul Otellini, who co-chairs the council, noted at the time, "Our need for engineers is three times the current supply."

Other companies were already increasing their intern pools. Katherine Del Giorno, a talent recruiter at Occidental Oil and Gas Corp, a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corp (Oxy, Houston, TX), says, "We have been expanding our intern program by about 50 percent on average each year since 2009."

Oxy has more than 40,000 employees and contractors worldwide, and is among the largest U.S. oil and gas exploration and production companies. Its OxyChem subsidiary is a major North American chemical manufacturer.

"Summer interns get hands-on experience and use resources not available in class, and they discover what working for an oil and gas or chemicals company is really like," she says. The company gets to evaluate the intern, too. Oxy sees its internships as a three-month interview process, adds Del Giorno. "We made repeat internship and fulltime offers to almost 90 percent of our 2011 summer interns. Internships and co-ops are not a necessity for fulltime employment, but they are preferred."

Despite government cutbacks, many agency intern and co-op programs remain strong. Terri E. Meighan, recruitment branch chief at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA, Washington, DC), notes that "DIA sponsors an estimated seventy students per year through various programs including work-study and summer internships, and we will continue to look for the students with the skill sets that meet our needs."

Internships & co-ops make students marketable
At Draper Laboratory (Cambridge, MA), a not-for-profit research and development laboratory, eighty to one hundred undergraduate student interns are typically hired each year from a variety of engineering disciplines.

"Draper views internships/co-op experiences as an important component in a student's overall education, and one that makes the student highly marketable," says Randy Walker, a senior human resources business partner at Draper.

Greg Egavian, a senior human resources generalist at Draper, adds, "Providing students with real-world, hands-on experiences in a technically diverse and challenging environment will help them to grow professionally and academically."

Intel expands its internships
"Research has shown that exposing students to hands-on technical job experience earlier in their academic careers will keep them excited about engineering and increase their likelihood to remain in the program," says Ernesto V. Felix, diversity education manager for Intel's global diversity, education and external relations department.

Intel (Santa Clara, CA) designs and builds technologies that serve as the foundation for computing devices worldwide. The company employs 100,000 globally, and hosts well over 1,000 interns annually.

Intel plans to pilot new engineering experiences targeted at undergrads this year. One program will involve technical skill development activities, team-based project work, competitions, professional skill development, networking and social activities.

Intel remains committed to hiring interns, regardless of current economic conditions, adds Felix, noting that over 60 percent of Intel interns get job offers.

Emily Garcia paves a career path at Intel
Emily Garcia believes that internships are a great way to learn about what kind of job you want when you grow up.

"I learned that I like to work in a diverse environment with managers who can serve as mentors for my career and academic goals, and that I like to lead projects and manage small teams of people from cross-department teams," she says.

Garcia grew up and attended high school in Lima, Peru. She got her BS in industrial and operations engineering from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI) in 2009, followed by an MS in industrial engineering and systems engineering from Georgia Tech (Atlanta, GA) in December 2011.

Garcia took full advantage of several engineering internships before hiring on full time at Intel's Chandler, AZ office in March 2012.

In 2008, Garcia interned at Intel's Folsom, CA office, redesigning a training webpage and developing training materials for website creation and maintenance.

As a program management intern at Qualcomm (San Diego, CA) in the summer of 2009, she redesigned the internal Wiki page for the operations team and created a structure that put customer engineering training documents online.

She returned to Intel in 2010, this time at its Chandler, AZ office. She managed a purchase order transaction database and performed data cleanup, analysis of tender dates, purchase order payment and more through the creation of several Excel macros, daily analyses and reports. She also helped design the new SAP event manager system.

Finally, in the summer of 2011, Garcia interned at Intel's Santa Clara, CA office in the microprocessor marketing and business planning demand analysis department.

"Internships help further your career goals by allowing you to have more opportunities, and later, fulltime job offers," notes Garcia. "Employers want to see a diversity of roles, industries and types of companies on your resume. Internships teach you how to apply your academic skills and work with a huge array of personalities, working styles and management levels."

Today, Garcia is a commodity specialist, also called a capital capacity manager. Her duties involve placing purchase orders for vendors and ensuring that tools and parts arrive at company facilities on time.

"I interact with vendors, accounts payable, customs and many other departments involved in the supply chain of each part or tool," says Garcia. "One day I hope to work with the user experience team at Intel Labs where I can be a part of the development of amazing products and ideas."

General Electric: focusing on the right experience
Internships and co-ops are critical today for both companies and students, says Steven Canale, GE corporate's human resources manager for global recruiting and staffing services.

"More important than getting an internship or co-op is getting one with a company that delivers on its promise to give students challenging assignments and meaningful work," he says.

GE (Fairfield, CT) is a global infrastructure, finance and media company that employs about 300,000 people in more than 100 countries. The company hires more than 2,000 undergraduate, masters and PhD interns and co-ops each year in the U.S. across engineering, operations, finance, IT, sales, and more.

Canale notes that the size of GE's early identification (EID) program for interns and co-ops has stayed fairly constant despite fluctuations in the economy.

On average, 70 percent of GE's fulltime, entry-level positions are filled by former GE interns and co-op students, notes Canale.

GE's focus remains on getting the internship or co-op experience right, he adds. "We want each student to feel our culture, understand our employee value proposition and experience the passion of what it is like to work hard at work worth doing."

Andrés García-Crespo finds his passion as an intern at GE
Andrés García-Crespo grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico and earned his BSME in 2004 at the University of Puerto Rico, (Mayagüez, PR). As a student, he did an eight-month internship at Eco Electrica, a power plant in Puerto Rico.

García-Crespo first interned at GE Energy in Greenville, SC in 2002. "I was in the gas turbine piping and accessories design engineering group, where we designed the systems that bring fuel and other fluids to an industrial gas turbine used in natural gas power plants," he says. "We developed a system that reduced nitrous oxide emissions of the power plant. For that effort I got two patents."

García-Crespo went on to two back-to-back co-ops at GE over eight months in 2003. He was thrilled to be part of a company known worldwide for its high-tech products.

"The work GE does is a mechanical engineer's paradise. Once I'd finished my eight-month co-op, I was really charged up and ready to finish college and come back to work at GE."

During his internships and co-ops, García-Crespo discovered how "real" technology worked. "In college thermodynamics, an engine is represented by a trapezoid shape on the whiteboard," he explains. "At GE, I saw what the engine looks like, and what the theory can do when applied to the real world, where a gas turbine engine is the size of a small building."

The GE internships helped García-Crespo define his interests, he notes. "I really like design engineering. My co-op showed me that R&D and creating new technology is my passion."

García-Crespo hired on full time at GE in 2005. He went on to earn his MSME at Georgia Tech (Atlanta, GA) in 2008. He currently works out of GE's Greenville, SC office, the design center for GE Energy. As senior design engineer for the advanced technology organization of GE Energy's thermal systems group, García-Crespo does R&D on new designs for gas turbine engine blades.

"Senior design engineers oversee every aspect of the design and development of these components, which are the most costly and exotic technologies in a jet or gas turbine," he explains.

Aerospace: interns are an investment in the future
Internships let employers and students determine their level of interest and potential culture fit with each other, says Charlotte Lazar-Morrison, general manager of HR at the Aerospace Corporation (Aerospace, El Segundo, CA).

"Today's students realize that internships provide a competitive advantage by complementing their academic experience and developing key networks," she says. "Some of our most accomplished employees started out as interns."

Aerospace provides independent technical and scientific research, development and advisory services to national security space programs. It also operates a federally funded R&D center for the U.S. Air Force. The company has close to 4,000 employees, two-thirds of them technical. In 2011, Aerospace employed approximately 150 summer interns in technical capacities.

The Aerospace Corp views interns as long-term investments in the company's future, says Lazar-Morrison. About half the students selected for Aerospace internships return every summer until they graduate, she notes.

Aerospace internship empowers Aleksandra Sasha Lukyanets
Aleksandra Sasha Lukyanets was born in the Ukraine. She moved to the U.S. at age nine and grew up in Southern California. She got her 2007 BS in aerospace engineering and her 2009 MSME at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA).

Immediately after she finished her bachelors, Lukyanets began her internship at Aerospace, working on improving an existing guidance and navigation simulation tool for the Delta IV launch vehicle and verifying its accuracy with Monte Carlo analysis. "I also had a chance to participate in the launch support for the Phoenix Mars mission," says Lukyanets.

"The internship program gave me something incredibly valuable in transitioning from the university environment to real-life experience," she explains. "I worked on independent projects, and saw many other aspects of life in the corporate world that simply cannot be replicated in a classroom. I learned that the majority of engineering training takes place in the working world, and that ultimately you never stop learning."

Lukyanets recently came back to Aerospace for a fulltime position after working for several years at Space Exploration Technologies (Hawthorne, CA). She's currently a member of technical staff in the fluid mechanics department, where her duties include thermal analysis and support for a number of launch vehicles.

As an intern, Lukyanets was mentored by experts in the engineering field. "Knowing that they all came from a background similar to mine showed me that I, too, can become an expert in something. Someday I would love to be considered an expert in a topic, the 'go-to' engineer. I can't think of a better place to pursue that goal than at Aerospace."

ITT Exelis: preparing students for success
Each year, ITT Exelis (McLean, VA) works to create the best possible learning experience for its interns, says Lisa Simeon, director of global talent management.

"The internship program includes meaningful task assignments, team building, scholarship opportunities, interaction with senior leaders, networking activities, professional development seminars and community service," she says. "At the end of each program, interns give technical presentations to the leadership team, customers and their peers."

ITT Exelis is a global aerospace, defense and information solutions company. It works in networked communications, sensing and surveillance, electronic warfare, navigation, air traffic solutions and information systems, cybersecurity, composite aerostructures, logistics and technical services. The company employs about 20,500 people; at the end of 2011, Exelis employed 4,676 degreed engineers.

ITT Exelis hires approximately fifty interns a year. They're majoring in engineering, technology and science disciplines, notes Simeon. "Our internship program hiring goal remains steady despite the fluctuating economy."

The company typically hires about 10 percent of its high-performing interns when they graduate, says Simeon. "Internships are really important for any college graduate looking to get a job upon graduation. Internship experience gives them a competitive edge over all other job applicants."

Ellen Berlinghof builds confidence as an intern at ITT Exelis
Ellen Berlinghof grew up outside Philadelphia, PA and earned her BSME at Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD) in 2010.

Berlinghof first discovered ITT Exelis at a college career fair. "I talked to an Exelis engineer and everything he told me about was mind-blowing, so I gave them my resume," she recalls. The following summer, Berlinghof interned with the company's mechanical group. She worked on projects involving small electronics packaging, design and process.

"I did a materials study for molding, and tested different materials to see how strong they were and to see if there was a better one we could use," she recalls. "I also designed a lot of tooling fixtures and learned how to use different machines, like the manual mill and the lathe, to create my designs."

Shortly after graduation, Berlinghof joined the company full time. She currently works for its information solutions business in Columbia, MD, as a junior electromechanical engineer in the advanced information systems group.

Berlinghof particularly enjoys the challenge that quick-turnaround project work demands. "It makes the work very dynamic. Some projects are completed in as little as three weeks, so every day you're doing something new. That's very exciting to me," she says.

Internships motivate and help build confidence, adds Berlinghof. "It's always scary when you start something new, because you feel like you don't know anything and everyone else knows everything. I learned to take in my surroundings, build my knowledge base and become more confident."

Bechtel: a place to start new adventures
"We take our internship program seriously, as it adds value to the company, the students and the future of engineering," says Elizabeth Battin, university relations program lead at Bechtel (Frederick, MD).

Bechtel is an engineering, project management and construction company that operates in six business units: civil infrastructure; communications and transmission; mining and metals; oil, gas and chemicals; power generation and government services. It has 53,000 employees in nearly fifty countries.

Bechtel typically hires interns to work in its engineering, construction, procurement, contracts and project controls functions at its offices and on its project sites around the world, notes Battin.

"In 2011, we had more than 300 interns working for us globally, consistent with previous years," she says. "We are investing in the students to show them the many opportunities available at Bechtel, and to determine if there is the right fit.

"When interns arrive at an office or field site, they meet with recent college hires so they can learn more from the next generation of Bechtel employees." At the end of their internships, interns give a presentation to senior leaders. "We believe interning at Bechtel opens up a world of opportunity and a place for students to start their next adventure," Battin says.

Jill Holian is surrounded by strong female mentors at Bechtel
Jill Holian says beginning her engineering career at Bechtel felt like coming home, because she was born and raised in Frederick County, MD, right near Bechtel's global operations headquarters.

Holian has a 2010 BS in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Maryland (College Park, MD). She spent two summers interning at Bechtel before hiring on full time right after graduation.

"Growing up in Frederick, I'd always known Bechtel; they're a company whose vision really aligned with my professional goals," explains Holian. "They do cutting-edge, first-of-their-kind types of projects, and at the time I was graduating, they were really emerging as a leader in the renewable energy market, which is a huge interest of mine. So I was really drawn to them."

During the summer of 2008 Holian worked on a new reactor for a nuclear power plant in Virginia with a small group of engineers on a licensing team. She experienced an "a-ha" moment when she represented Bechtel at that summer's U.S. Women in Nuclear conference in Charlotte, NC.

"I found myself surrounded by all these amazing women who had succeeded in this industry. I felt really empowered, and I could see myself here fifteen years down the road, giving a presentation and talking with the other young engineers. That really gave me a lot of confidence and affirmed that I was where I was supposed to be."

The following summer, Holian decided to try something new, and joined Bechtel's water treatment staff, a mechanical engineering group. Holian did technical bid evaluations, calculations and some design drawings.

"My internships really opened my eyes to the different projects and opportunities out there, and showed me that I can be successful and contribute to this field," says Holian, adding that they also helped narrow down what kind of engineering she wanted to do.

"I wanted to work for a company that not only did engineering design, but also built the things they designed. That was really important, because it's so rewarding to see a tangible product emerge from a design. During my second internship, the renewables project started opening up, and that's really where my passion is, so that's where I wanted to take my fulltime career."

Holian appreciates the large number of female co-workers and mentors at Bechtel. "Diversity across the board, gender, religion, age, is really celebrated here and I think it helps make us successful," she says. "I'm excited to come to work in the morning."

DuPont: proud of its student programs
Like many companies, DuPont uses its student employee programs to identify talent to fill future fulltime positions, says John Larock, university relations and college recruiting manager with the DuPont talent acquisition team at company headquarters in Wilmington, DE.

DuPont employs 70,000 people in close to ninety countries, and offers a wide range of products and services for markets including agriculture, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel.

Larock notes that DuPont typically hires 300 to 400 co-ops and interns a year in the U.S. to fill assignments in many areas of science and technology, and in corporate functions like marketing, finance and IT.

"Currently, DuPont is expanding student employment programs, increasing the number and broadening the scope. Despite the turns in the economy, DuPont is doing well because it has a diverse portfolio of businesses," he explains.

Larock notes that CEO Ellen Kullman has been an active member of President Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. "DuPont is one of a number of companies that have agreed to double the number of engineering student employees we hire in 2012 compared with 2011. We're actively working on new ways to allow our students to network with each other during, between and after assignments."

Keonte Wagner: co-ops at DuPont strengthen career goal
Keonte Wagner always knew she wanted a career in chemical engineering, and DuPont has proven to be the perfect fit.

Wagner attended the University of South Alabama (Mobile, AL), graduating in 2008 with a BS in chemical engineering. She completed three co-ops at DuPont in alternate semesters, starting in the fall of 2005.

"I spent the first term getting to know the company and its approach to safety and related issues, then I moved on to process work involving some managerial responsibilities," she says. In her third term, she joined a team working to bring a site up to compliance with DuPont's process safety standards.

"The co-op program improved my understanding of the chemical engineering industry in general," says Wagner. "I learned that while success in an academic setting certainly helps your overall understanding, you have to be able to operate in a far more hands-on way to solve specific real-life problems."

Wagner is currently participating in DuPont's field engineering program, which offers engineers two- to three- year assignments in several types of jobs at different sites throughout DuPont. In the spring of 2012, she was working out of DuPont's Front Royal, VA office as a project engineer.

American Electric Power: hands-on experience and team building
American Electric Power's co-op programs are managed by the business units that hire the students, not human resources, says Leslie Rittenhouse, HR manager of generation and commercial operations at American Electric Power (AEP, Columbus, OH).

"There are also special training events, field trips and other activities that familiarize students with all the business units within the company," she says. "There are organized team building and social events for the students to acclimate them to the area."

AEP is one of the largest electric utilities in the U.S. with approximately 18,900 employees. Currently, fifty co-op engineering students work in AEP's generation, transmission and nuclear business units.

"With our engineering co-op program, there is the expectation that the student will receive a fulltime offer of employment at graduation, provided we have an opening," notes Rittenhouse.

Summer intern positions are evaluated yearly by each business unit. "Some years, we have very few interns; in other years, it could be more," says Rittenhouse. "Opportunities could be in the accounting, regulatory or IT business units, or in a technician role at a power plant."

Jimmy Lopez: co-op leads to exciting opportunities at AEP
When Jimmy Lopez started researching co-op opportunities, he was intrigued with AEP's wide service territory, its advanced engineering and its involvement with generation, transmission and distribution.

Lopez completed a seven-month co-op in 2007 as a distribution engineer with Appalachian Power, an operating company of AEP. During his co-op, he had a variety of assignments, including managing customer complaints related to power quality, assisting with power outages during storm restoration, electromagnetic field surveying and capacitor placement and fusing.

"I also participated in training opportunities that covered everything from the basics of electricity to more advanced and specific training related to my assigned projects," explains Lopez. "This was the first time I was able to experience life as an engineer."

After completing his co-op, Lopez had a better understanding of the company culture, the importance of diversity and what it takes to be an engineer in the real world. "Most importantly, the co-op allowed me to decide that I wanted to specialize in power," he says.

Lopez graduated in June 2009 with a BSEE from the University of Puerto Rico, (Mayagüez, PR).

"Participating in AEP's co-op program helped me grow, because I was challenged to be independent, vocal with my opinions and confident when making decisions. All these qualities help your career as a professional, but they are also skills that can help with everyday problems and situations."

Now Lopez is a transmission protection and controls engineer at AEP's Gahanna, OH office, where he began working in July 2009. His duties include leading relay protection and control activities on electrical substation projects, and doing fault analysis, relay coordination studies and relay settings.

Kraft Foods: internships are a key route to entry-level jobs
"Our goal is to provide a world-class internship experience to every intern who comes to Kraft Foods," says Tim Mote, associate director of university relations. "We try to give the students a well-rounded experience."

Kraft Foods (Northfield, IL) is a global food and beverage company with 126,000 employees in 170 countries. The company generally hires 200 interns across the U.S. each year in R&D, manufacturing, information technology, supply chain and other areas.

"The internship program is the key feeder pool for our entry-level hires," says Mote. "On average, about half the students who perform well receive returning offers."

Christine Marcus-Johnson gets a tasty experience at Kraft Foods
Christine Marcus-Johnson wasn't entirely sure what a chemical engineer would do at a food company, but she quickly found out after interning at Kraft Foods.

"If someone had told me ten years ago that I'd end up in Chicago working at a food company, I would never have believed it," says Johnson, who grew up in St. Andrew, Jamaica.

Johnson originally intended to major in chemistry, but switched to chemical engineering before she started her first year at Howard University (Washington, DC). She graduated summa cum laude with a BS in chemical engineering in 2007.

As an intern in the cheese and dairy R&D group at Kraft Foods during the summer of 2005, she was responsible for reformulating the Canadian Velveeta product to improve quality and productivity. The following summer, she evaluated a patented dairy technology used in European processed cheese products.

"For both jobs, I did a lot of experimentation in the lab and pilot plant, where I would actually make different processed cheese test products," says Johnson. "Later, I would have samples evaluated by the team and/or a trained sensory panel. I did costing exercises to determine which formula was the best fit for business needs. The Canadian Velveeta formula I developed was launched the year after my internship."

Johnson's internships taught her about the roles an engineer plays in the corporate world. "I became especially skilled with solving complicated math equations using programs like Excel, which really helped me in classes like process design," she says. "The internship also included plant tours, which helped me visualize and apply what I was learning in the classroom."

As an engineer in Kraft Food's Chicago office, Johnson is the technical brand manager for Kraft Singles American cheese. "I recently launched a new great-tasting formula for Singles with less sodium," she says. "I'm also working on two major technology initiatives to increase Singles sales volume and boost productivity savings and I work with the manufacturing facilities to solve day-to-day production issues."

Johnson hopes to continue to grow professionally and broaden her knowledge in food technology outside the cheese and dairy category. "I also aspire to manage my own set of interns and employees one day," she adds.

Mayo Clinic: giving students a competitive edge
"Despite being a healthcare provider organization, we have a wide variety of internship opportunities, including some in engineering and IT," says Jessie Hovden of Mayo Clinic's recruitment strategies and human resources department.

Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN) is an integrated, not-for-profit group medical practice, with more than 58,000 employees. It offers up to 250 internships at its Minnesota, Florida and Arizona campuses.

Mayo Clinic reduced internships in 2009 due to the sluggish economy, admits Hovden. "But they are coming back not only in areas that traditionally had them but also in departments that previously did not. Internships are especially important now, since that may be the only form of professional experience a new grad has when competing against others in the workforce who may have years of experience."

Susheil Uthamaraj: strengthening knowledge base at Mayo Clinic
Susheil Uthamaraj got his BSME in 2006 from Anna University (Chennai, India) and his MS in biomedical engineering from University of Texas (Arlington, TX) in 2009.

Uthamaraj's internship with the Mayo Clinic started in January 2010 and ended in October when he was hired full time as an engineer at the division of engineering (DOE) in Rochester. As an intern, his duties included finite element modeling and computational fluid dynamics.

"I was accepted for this internship for my numerical and mechanical modeling skills," he explains. "I was mostly working on design and analysis of stents for one of the projects in DOE. With my background as a mechanical/biomedical engineer, I wanted to design and analyze medical devices used for patient care. In the DOE, we do exactly that!"

Uthamaraj's internship strengthened his numerical modeling skills and helped him understand the importance of healthcare research. "I learned the 'lab to bedside' concept, in which the R&D projects that happen in labs are taken to the patients."

As an engineer, Uthamaraj provides mechanical engineering solutions to patient care. "I work mainly on the mechanical design and analysis parts of the projects that get assigned," he says. "I also use numerical modeling and analysis techniques and high-performance computational power to arrive at engineering solutions."

National Grid: internships attract talented employees
National Grid (Brooklyn, NY), an electricity and gas company that connects consumers to energy sources through its networks, is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast region, with more than 3 million customers. The company employs more than 15,000 in the U.S., and will sponsor about thirty summer interns in 2012.

"During 2011, the intern program was suspended while we restructured our business," notes Maryjane Baer, director of inclusion and diversity. "For 2012, we have reinstated the program. Although the economy is still in a slump, we are committed to providing this opportunity to college students."

Prospects for fulltime employment after interning are good, adds Baer. "There will be a number of opportunities for internships in the areas of network strategy, engineering and accounting. Internships are critical to today's marketplace as they provide a preview of the corporate environment.

"It is imperative that we keep our pipeline active and healthy," notes Baer. "With an aging workforce both nationally and regionally, we must replenish our pool of qualified and skilled candidates."

Victor Vientos: energizing his career at National Grid
Victor Vientos has always been interested in the energy industry, so he turned to a company that distributes energy to customers: National Grid.

Vientos graduated from Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA) with a BSME in 2007. He interned with National Grid's city and state construction group where he managed projects relating to gas main replacement.

"I shadowed project engineers to learn basic practices in the natural gas industry," he explains. "Once I got more experience, I was involved with designing field sketches for new gas main installations and auditing emergency main replacements to meet regulatory requirements."

The internship experience gave Vientos a solid glimpse of the working world. "It gave me the opportunity to practice what I learned in school and problem-solve in the real world," he says. "It helped me develop my project management skills, refine my attention for detail, and gave me confidence in my problem-solving abilities."

After his internship, Vientos realized he wanted to work on the operations side. Today, he's a resource coordinator at National Grid, responsible for managing internal and external resources to install gas mains, fix gas leaks and improve safety records.


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Check website for current listings.

Company and business area Internship details
The Aerospace Corporation
(El Segundo, CA)
Technical analyses for critical national security space programs
Internships in computer science, aerospace, electrical, chemical, materials, systems, mechanical and metallurgical engineering. Most interns are grad students, but some undergrads and a few high school students are hired each year. Internships posted on website and with partner universities by mid-February, but applications are accepted year round. Most internships for summer are filled by April or May.
American Electric Power
(Columbus, OH)
Co-ops and internships in electrical, mechanical, nuclear and civil engineering. Students eligible as early as sophomore year. Students must be in college. New co-op students get offers during the fall recruiting season at colleges/universities where AEP recruits. Co-ops are usually asked to come back for the next available semester. Apply for summer intern positions in the spring.
Bechtel (Frederick, MD)
Civil infrastructure; power generation; communications and transmission; government services; mining and metals; oil, gas and chemicals
Internships run from May-August. Occasional co-op assignments and some winter internships. Opportunities for most engineering majors, especially civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, nuclear, chemical, industrial and environmental engineering. Eligible after nine months of undergraduate study; grad students welcome. Students must be enrolled full time in university the semester following an internship. Most internships are posted at the end of December, and remain open until mid-March or until filled.
Defense Intelligence Agency
(Washington, DC)
Government intelligence
Co-ops and internships offered for nuclear, structural, electrical, mechanical, computer and general engineers. Co-ops offered during undergraduate or post-graduate study. Internships are advertised in January for the coming summer.
Draper Laboratory
(Cambridge, MA)
Not-for-profit research and development
Co-ops and internships offered to IS and CS majors. Apply in the fall; students are eligible after first year of college. Opportunities for grad students.
DuPont (Wilmington, DE)
Products and services for markets including agriculture, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel
Co-ops and internships in electrical, computer science, mechanical, biomedical, aerospace and system engineering. Eligible after first undergraduate year. Apply any time.
GE (Fairfield, CT)
Infrastructure, finance and media
Co-ops and internships in electrical, mechanical, industrial, aeronautical, computer and software engineering. Students eligible after sophomore year and after junior year. Application window opens in September and closes in April.
General Mills (Minneapolis, MN)
Snack foods
Internships in mechanical, chemical, electrical, industrial, computer, software, packaging, biological systems and food process engineering. Most interns are rising juniors; exceptional rising sophomores considered. Apply between August and November; applications may be accepted later.
Intel (Folsom, CA)
Computing solutions
Undergraduate and graduate level internships and co-ops available year round for electrical, computer, mechanical, software and chemical engineers, and CS and IT majors. Apply year round, but most hiring is between October and March.
ITT Exelis (McLean, VA)
C4 ISR products and systems
Internships in aerospace, biology, chemistry, computer engineering, electrical engineering, IT, math and physics. Students are eligible for internships after sophomore year with a minimum 3.2 GPA. Apply February through May of each year.
Kraft Foods (Northfield, IL)
Food products
Internships and co-ops available for chemical, industrial, food science, packaging and mechanical engineering. Most internships are in the summer. Will consider students after sophomore year and before grad school. Apply September through January.
L-3 Communications East
(Camden, NJ)
C4 ISR systems, aircraft modernization and maintenance, government services
Co-ops and internships in software, electrical, mechanical, systems, computer science and manufacturing engineering. Eligible after sophomore year in most business units. Most internships posted in late winter and early spring and filled in late spring. Co-op and internship positions are available in some business units year round.
Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN)
Integrated healthcare
Co-ops and internships offered in mechanical, electrical, software, biomedical and industrial engineering. Apply for summer between junior and senior years. Summer internships are posted in January, February and March.
National Grid (Brooklyn, NY)
Energy distribution
Summer internships offered for mechanical, electrical and civil engineering majors. Apply for summer after sophomore year. Summer internship applications are open from January 30 to February 29. Additional internships are available year round based on business needs.
Occidental Oil and Gas Corp, subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corp (Houston, TX)
Oil and gas
Internships for students with 3.0+ GPA in their major and overall. Internships available in mechanical, chemical, petroleum, electrical, environmental engineering and more. Apply starting in August for the following summer. Most positions are filled by November.
Office of Naval Research
(Arlington, VA)
Naval defense R&D
DoD National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program (NDSEG, www.asee.org/ndseg) available in aeronautical and astronautical, chemical, civil, electrical, materials and mechanical engineering. Applicants must be citizens or nationals of the United States who intend to pursue a PhD. Fellowships are intended for students in or near the beginning of graduate programs.
T-Mobile (Bellevue, WA)
Wireless telecommunications
Twelve-week summer internship program for all engineering majors; electrical engineering and computer science preferred. Undergrads, recent grads and masters/MBA students are eligible. Applicants must have the right to work in the United States and be at least eighteen. Apply January through March.

Office of Naval Research Hess
DRS Technologies Intel
NSA Lockheed Martin
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Westinghouse
Sandia National Labs
DSS Fannie Mae
Union Pacific National Radio Astronomy Observatory
Johns Hopkins APL Philadelphia Gas Works
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission


Chesapeake Energy Telephonics Rockwell Collins U.S. Coast Guard Civilian CSX