Do you need extra curriculars to get an internship?

<p>I'm an EE. There are EE organizations like IEEE but the people in it are the nerdy type that I don't see myself having anything in common with...should I just join stuff like that anyways to help get a internship ?</p>

<p>Or can I just rely on grades?</p>

<p>Neither. In an economy as bad as this, internships are few and far between. The managers hiring are not looking for a resume "filler" such as implied in that professional organization, and they are not just looking for a good GPA. Companies are looking for an individual that has already sought outside of the classroom experience, whether it be in an on-campus engineering student position, or a club/organization that has related hands-on projects. Try and find something in EE that you can get involved with that will actually give you relevant EE experience.</p>

<p>Get this "anti-nerd" sentiment out of your head ASAP. You realize you are in engineerng, right? Starting now and continuing on into your career, some of your classmates and coworkers will be nerdy, period. You need to learn to get along with them and work together with them if you want to be a good engineer. This isn't high school anymore and the football team isn going to pick on you if you fraternize with nerds a couple times.</p>

<p>Wouldn't EE be the common interest?</p>

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Neither. In an economy as bad as this, internships are few and far between.

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<p>That's really not the case at all schools. GT is seeing historically normal numbers of internships (more positions than students). </p>

<p>Professional organizations like IEEE are usually valuable because they have speakers come to present at meetings, and you can network with them afterwords. They also organize resume books, but IMO, those are pretty useless. </p>

<p>The real advantage to EC's is that they give you something to discuss during an interview. When an interviewer asks you questions like "tell me about a time when you had to work in a team", and "tell me about a time you had to lead a team", you want a wide range of experiences to answer those sorts of questions. If you mention the same project team or high school team over and over, it hurts your case. You don't need to have relevant work experience to pull from, but you want a mix of class experiences, EC experience (especially elected and leadership positions), and personal experience.</p>

<p>Yeah, and VT is still seeing good intern placement as well. I know in MSE at least we had more opportunities than students.</p>

<p>You should get involved in SOME extra curriculars. Even intramural sports is a good one. If you've got a lot going on (some really interesting hobbies or something) then you might not need it, but you really want to have something to talk about in the interview that isn't just research and schoolwork.</p>

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the football team isn going to pick on you if you fraternize with nerds a couple times.

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Realize that you are a nerd.</p>

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<p>While speakers are valuable for learning and networking, as I said before, professional organizations are mainly resume fillers when mentioned as an EC. Companies, for the most part, are unimpressed that you're in the professional organization for your major and you go listen to speakers. Relating back to this thread, joining IEEE is not going to help the OP in the way he intends it to.</p>

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Companies, for the most part, are unimpressed that you're in the professional organization for your major and you go listen to speakers.

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</p>

<p>On several occasions, I've given interviews to students that come up to me after presentations at professional organizations. Generally, I'd fill my interview slots from resumes from the school / submitted by students on the school's system, but leave a spot or two open. The students that show interest after the presentations get the interviews, even if their GPA would have otherwise disqualified them.</p>

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<p>And I'm not denying that. I've received past interviews with companies that way, I've even gotten an interview with a company at a career fair solely because I was a member in a less popular, relevant, distinguished professional organization. I'm not debating the relevancy of professional organizations, I'm simply telling OP that if he wants to be involved in an "extracurricular activity" to impress a company, simply joining his major's professional organization is not going to cut it. This much is common knowledge to most engineering majors I know.</p>

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Yeah, and VT is still seeing good intern placement as well. I know in MSE at least we had more opportunities than students.</p>

<p>You should get involved in SOME extra curriculars. Even intramural sports is a good one. If you've got a lot going on (some really interesting hobbies or something) then you might not need it, but you really want to have something to talk about in the interview that isn't just research and schoolwork.

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</p>

<p>QFT^^</p>

<p>I had basically no experiences related to the internship I am going to be working at in two weeks, but a lot of EC's. I had a 5-minute conversation about my triathlon career up to that point because I put that in my EC's, and it stuck out to the lab director.</p>

<p>DS got an internship in EE this summer. I believe it was purely on his interview and academics.</p>

<p>gstein and banjo are both right. Having a professional organization on your resume won't mean much, but you can make contacts through the organization that are very helpful. You may also have opportunities such as trips to plants or stuff like that that are beneficial.</p>

<p>Internships are mostly given based on your grades, school/program, and interest in the job description. These are the main factors. However if there are many candidates with the same background they may differentiate you in the interview by asking about your engineering projects that you've worked on and the skills you learned from those. It's always good to be involved in at least one student engineering group if you haven't worked on any for classes (or if your grades aren't that good).</p>

<p>If you're applying to big places that take a ton of interns then yeah, they probably don't have time to look too much further than grades. All three of my internships were at smaller places though, and they very much did care about what I'd done outside of class. Even one of the larger places I applied to and ended up not working for questioned me extensively about leadership positions, hobbies, etc. </p>

<p>The only place that didn't seem to care was the NTSB, but I think the pay they offered reflected the effort required to get the internship...</p>

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If you're applying to big places that take a ton of interns then yeah, they probably don't have time to look too much further than grades.

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</p>

<p>I hired for a big place that took tons of interns. We cared about a lot more than grades.</p>

<p>Grades matter: a 2.5 GPA student won't get in the interview room with me. But once you're in there, grades don't really matter anymore. It's about what I think you can do. You have to be able to convince me that you can work in teams, take direction, think critically, and resolve problems. For a full-time student, I want to see experience in a relevant work setting. For interns, I'll take any example that shows me your abilities - non-career related work, other internships, class projects, extracurricular activities, sports, etc. </p>

<p>To maximize your value, you need to be able to show examples from multiple places - working in a team on a class project is fine, but having an additional example where you helped organize a school-wide charity event is a much richer example. Having richer experiences is what earns people jobs.</p>

<p>@BanjoHitter- What GPA suffices to get an interview? I'm a ChemE Sophomore with a 3.2-3.3 GPA at UTexas just trying to get a feel on the likely hood of getting an internship Summer '11</p>