Lockheed Martin Internship or Pennsylvania Governor's School of Sciences (PGSS)?

title. I am a rising senior. Lockheed martin internship is in person and paid. Is PGSS more prestigious? I want to go into astrophysics or aero engineering for college. Which is better?

I don’t know the answer for sure. But the prestige of Gov School programs seems to largely be driven by how competitive/selective they are amongst HSers. And rightly so because they are solid free summer programs.

But actual hands-on internships (if in a relevant activity… so not like cleaning out coffee machines) are rare, and so less ‘hyped’ amongst top HS kids. So prestige is not as well publicized but the actual experience is potentially more practical and meaningful. The stipend is nice but more because it likely means its meant to be proper work.

You can’t go wrong with either. But for college apps my heart tells me Lockheed is more exceptional/unique, though conservatively Gov School is more easily recognized as a premium program. Maybe check with your HS counselor or other admissions experts.

1 Like

Is only one program in-person ?

The Pennsylvania School for the Sciences puts you in contact with about 50 other Pennsylvania students in your grade who share your interests. If an in-person program, I would suggest this over the LM internship–although I know nothing about this experience.

Your primary concern as a rising high school senior should be on college admissions rather than exposure to a possible future employer many years away.

You will learn a lot from the other students about colleges & other programs.

But, if you prefer a paid, in-person experience, then LM is the only option.

1 Like

PGSS has always been a good program, but last I saw it was “almost certain” to be remote. I think this negates many of the benefits of the program. In person, real-world experience would likely be my choice.

1 Like

@RichInPitt wrote: “In person, real-world experience would likely be my choice.”

But only if all participants have been vaccinated.

A remote program can be highly rewarding. Should still be able to build relationships with other participants & instructors.

1 Like

My daughter had an extremely valuable in-person internship last year, with appropriate distancing, masking, etc. Vaccines didn’t exist.

She’ll start working full time with them in June.

Many, many business have been working effectively without vaccines.

If you think you can build the same relationships online as in-person, I’ll just say I disagree.

all participants have been vaccinated.

would pretty much rule out everything at this point.

1 Like

Yes. I have heard that PGSS is very prestigious with acceptances: 8+ to Penn, some to Cornell, JHU, and CMU for the virtual program last summer. And keep in mind that this is only ED! So… it does seem promising in this case and validating that I was accepted in the first place.

Internship is real stuff. I’ll be a software engineer working on real projects. there was a 2% acceptance rate but I’m not sure how to show it was competitive on college apps? I will definitely reach out to my counselor although it’s hard virtually.

Thanks so much!! And just a random q- would it be worth doing 5 weeks of in-person Lockheed (instead of 9) and all 5 weeks of PGSS (online)? Or just stick to Lockheed?

Yes. Only Lockheed is in-person at KOP. PGSS is virtual. If PGSS was in-person, I would go there 100%. LM internship was 2% acceptance rate this year and I can work whenever I want after this summer. I will be a software engineer and work on real projects.

Why is college admissions more worth my time than future employment? Genuine question, I am not sure. Thank you so so much! If I were to do 5 weeks for both, instead of 9 weeks at Lockheed, do you think that would be worth it?

I would agree fully. Just that PGSS might be better for colleges? Not sure. Lockheed is the only one in person though. Do you think I can say I was accepted to PGSS under awards section?

Yes if you can split the summer between Lockheed and Gov School that would be an awesome summer. The point of Lockheed is not to secure a future employment with them. But it’s a super strong demonstration of experience that in many ways distinguishes one for college admissions purposes. Good luck!

@GrantFixer Thank you so so much!!

College admissions is more important than future employment because you are 16 or 17 year old high school student, not a 20 or 21 year old college student.