This week began the grueling process of looking for a summer internship. I had avoided it all winter break, but I realized that I needed to get on it soon if I hoped to get any sort engineering related job this summer. I spent the fall semester studying abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland where I realized what I wanted to do with my career! I took a course in renewable energy principles and processes and discovered my passion for this field. My first hope was to land a summer internship abroad where there are numerous opportunities in the field of sustainable technology. However, this proved to be more difficult than I expected. Because I would need to be sponsored for a work visa, companies were reluctant to offer internships to international students. So I started my search stateside for an internship in renewable energy.

Lucky for me, Viterbi hosted two events this week that kickstarted my job search with some ready made interaction with engineering companies. The first event on Tuesday was the Viterbi Industry Networking Event (VINE). Students were put into pairs to meet with industry representatives to deliver their 30 second “elevator pitch.” Every three minutes, we rotated to a new table and talked to a new rep. I was nervous at first talking to the representatives, but as the process continued, I got used to it. Unfortunately, most of the companies wanted computer science majors. Luckily, I found one company that generated solar energy and helped consumers get energy rebates on excess solar energy they generated. I talked to the representative and got her contact information.

The next day was the Viterbi Career Fair. This was a much more promising event than VINE because there were many more companies and I was able to target the ones I wanted to talk to. I met with a number of reps from various companies. Some dealt with energy, others with waste managements or consulting. I tried to be pretty open to various job opportunities and I came out with a number of contacts to start my job search. I feel so lucky to have events like VINE and the career fair to help me land a summer internship. Now I just have to get applying!