The benefits of summer internships range from networking to housing stipends to potential jobs after graduation. For Colorado State University students, these internships may provide opportunities such as experience and connections that go beyond the average classroom setting.
CSU provides students with many different opportunities to get in touch with companies and establish relationships.
The Career Center, located in the basement of the Lory Student Center, is a resource provided to students searching for jobs or internships. The center hosts workshops to help students create professional resumes, provides an online portal for job searching and hosts career fairs. The next all-campus career fair is Sept. 22-23 in the LSC Grand Ballroom.
For some students, benefits such as a housing stipend are provided with internships. Blake Warner, a junior studying construction management, spent last summer interning as a general contractor with Haselden Construction in Limon.
“I actually met with them at a career fair at CSU and that’s how I got the job,” Warner said. “They’re great opportunities for all students. It’s kind of like a meet-and-greet, then depending on the company, they’ll call you back for a separate interview and application process.”
Warner leased an apartment to live in during the summer and the construction company covered his living expenses.
“I got really lucky because they provided a housing stipend,” Warner said. “They would either pay for it themselves by putting me in a hotel all summer, which I didn’t want to do, or they give me, like, $1,000 a month to find a place.”
In order to graduate, the construction management major requires students to complete 500 hours of work experience and a 12-week internship. Students may also take a semester off to intern with a company, satisfying both requirements. Warner logged his 500 hours of work experience last summer with Haselden Construction and he plans to satisfy the 12-week internship requirement next summer.
“Not only because it’s required, it’s just great experience,” Warner said. “Especially within the construction industry, I think it’s most beneficial to learn hands-on.”
Senior mechanical engineering student Matt Kasuda interned at Lockheed Martin this summer. He worked on the mechanical test engineering team within the Assembly, Test and Launch Operations (ATLO) group. Kasuda said he hopes that the experience from this internship will make it easier to find work after college.
“It gives great experience for an engineer as getting a job out of school can be competitive,” Kasuda said.
Throughout his internship, Kasuda learned about what his future career could be like through experience with test information sheets and the 3-D modeling of test procedures.
“A test procedure is a very detailed document describing each step of a test,” Kasuda said. “It also keeps track of the engineers in charge and who checked off on the results.”
Kasuda said this internship allowed him to learn how to operate within a large company and interface with people about technical information.
Junior mechanical engineering student Jack MacDonald spent the past two summers interning at water bottle company Polar Bottle, which is an official sponsor of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Teams.
“Robert Heiberger, the guy who invented Polar Bottle — he was actually friends with my uncle,” MacDonald said. “So I got in contact with him during my freshman year of college and ended up getting an internship there last summer, and then came back for this summer, too.”
The daily commute to Polar Bottle in North Boulder is too far for MacDonald to manage during the school year, so he only interned in the summer.
“I’m not sure I’ll end up getting a full-time job at Polar Bottle,” MacDonald said. “But they say an internship is one of the most important parts, so I’m hoping they’re right.”
This article was published in The Collegian September 2, 2015.