Internships: The Experience You Need

Travis Kneen
A student presents what they learned from their internship or co-op.

Each semester, students from the STEM College go out into the community, the nation, and the world to get the experience they need in their areas of study. This summer, over 100 students from YSU STEM registered for various internships and co-ops.

An internship is an elective that is worth one to four credits. The time on-site is about half time. A co-op is a full-time position within a company and the student still is considered a full-time student. Both internships and co-ops are academically advanced and give the student the real world experience they will need in the future job market.

There are many benefits of participating in an internship or a co-op. A student can meet new people and use the experience as a networking tool. Internships and co-ops are also a good way to get used to the day-to-day experiences of working in a full-time position.

“[An Internship] has a substantial amount of academic meaning behind it,” Sherri Hrusoviski, Director of the STEM Professional Practice Office said. She also said that some companies are now requiring an internship or co-op on a potential employees resume.

During the first two weeks of August, the students have made presentations on what they did, the benefits, and what they learned at their internships. Many of the students shared the problems that they fixed, as well as pictures of them working in the field.

Travis Kneen, a senior Mechanical Engineering major, interned at the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute in downtown Youngstown. While he already has a degree in physics and astronomy, Travis was looking for something more hands-on. An internship with NAMII provided him with just that: Travis is now trained on seven different 3D printers.

With a great deal of success at NAMII already, Travis may have one of the 3D-printed parts he designed sent to the United Kingdom for mass production. Like many of the internship participants this summer, Travis was invited to stay on at NAMII throughout the semester.

Students can choose from a variety of different internships through the STEM Professional Practice Office’s website called PPOD. PPOD, or the Professional Practice Online Database, contains a variety of different places for students to apply for internships and co-ops that best meet their needs. Employers can also use PPOD to let students know they are looking, but they also use the STEM Professional Practice Office to hold open interviews for the positions.

A student in the field during their experience.

Felipe Rosa, a senior Civil Engineering student, had offers from a couple different places after he applied for internships. The Brazil native chose to intern with the Mahoning County Engineers office because it offered a broad experience and they had interesting projects for him to do. Last summer, Felipe interned with the Ohio Department of Transportation, where he did mainly paving and traffic light and bridge replacement. With the Mahoning County Engineers office, Felipe learned more about the presentation of the county to the public and surveying.

“Surveying is very important,” Felipe said. “A good survey is needed to get good data to make good plans.”

Like surveying the land to get good data, students must survey the companies to find the best fit for their future plans. Senior Mechanical Engineering student Edward McCarty, who has interned with Vulcraft, in New York, this summer, had some good advice for students looking for internships.

“…Be diligent when looking [for internships],” he said. “Not every company you give your resume to will call you back and setup an interview with you.” Edward continued to say, “You need to do your homework on each company before speaking with them. Their representatives are very pleased when you know about the company as you are talking with them.”

A students with his mentors.

John Ugrin, a senior Industrial and Systems Engineering major,who has interned with Diebold the last two summers has done just that. His hard work and diligence at Diebold has given him the experience he needs, and, this fall, John will get to put that experience to use at another internship at Disney World.

Almost all students who participate in internships will tell you that the job is hard work, but it is fun. Many of the students will also tell you that it is a great experience. But some go as far to say that the experience is just what they needed to complete their education.

“Just having the opportunity to work for companies like Diebold and now Disney is extremely fulfilling,” John said.

For more information on internships and co-ops, please visit the STEM Professional Practice website, here.