I’ve already talked a few times about my internship this year, because it was definitely the most exciting thing I did this summer! But believe it or not, it’s already time to start looking for an internship for Summer 2016. Searching for an internship can be a lot of work, and it starts early in the school year. Especially as a freshman, it’s challenging to start talking to recruiters and filling out applications even though you’ve only been at school for a month. However, getting an internship offer as a freshman is absolutely doable! I have found that internships are a lot less about how much technical knowledge you have and much more about your attitude and passion.
Last year, I focused in on a couple companies that I wanted to work for (Aera Energy, Chevron, and Schlumberger) and talked to those recruiters over and over again at networking events and dinners during the week of career fair. Viterbi has many amazing resources to help expand your network. Hundreds of companies hold info sessions to talk about their company and its programs. In the week leading up to career fair, there is a career conference where industry reps hold workshops like resume reviews (you can always get your resume reviewed at the career center). During the week of the career fair there is the Viterbi Industry Networking Event with nearly a hundred companies in attendance for you to talk to and hand out resumes. Then there is the career fair itself with hundreds of companies in attendance. There are also dinners and events hosted by professional societies such as SWE. I was able to talk to Chevron and Aera recruiters at all these events. Although the recruiting teams were probably sick of talking to me by the end of the career fair, they definitely knew who I was and why I wanted to work for their company. Aera ended up giving me an internship offer without even interviewing me (that’s how much I talked to them), and Chevron interviewed me but I didn’t get to hear back because of the Aera offer.
Aera had an amazing internship program that I learned so much from. However, I decided not to go back because: 1) They are only located in Bakersfield and Ventura, CA, and as a Coloradan I’m not sure I want to end up in SoCal; and 2) Even though it was amazing program, I want to check out other companies in order to experience multiple company cultures so that I know what best fits me before I graduate. Therefore, this year I’m trying hard to get an offer from Chevron. I’ve heard really good things about their program and they have multiple locations around the country where interns can work, including good old Bakersfield, but also Houston, New Orleans, and Moon Town (Pennsylvania). Since I interviewed with Chevron last year, I know some of the recruiting team, but I’ve still been talking to them at all the events. I’m interviewing with them in a couple days, and hopefully I’ll find out soon after that whether I’ve made it in for next summer!
Past next year, I’m hoping to intern at a couple different companies so that I can have several different experiences to compare when I finally pick a company to hire on full-time with. I’m leaning towards working with the bigger companies such as Chevron, Shell or Exxon-Mobil, because they offer the opportunity to travel and work with the most exciting technology and projects in the industry.Meet Sophie