Finding An Internship
Who: Students can seek an internship related to the wind energy field with any approved international company, either in the U.S. or abroad.
What: Finding an internship is an involved process. Before a student begins looking for an internship opportunity they should create or revise their current resume and compose a cover letter. TTU's Career Center provides resume building software, mock interviews, and resume reviews. They are a great resource for strengthening your professional skills.
When: Students must be in their junior/senior level wind classes to pursue an approved internship for class credit. It is highly recommended that a student begin looking for internships as soon as they start their junior level Wind Energy coursework. Most students choose to complete their internship over the summer.
Where: Students have a wide selection of companies with whom they can seek an internship. Some recommended sources to begin your search are AWEA, company HR websites, and internet searches. Your instructors are another great resource as well as the NWI group on LinkedIn. If you don't have a LinkedIn profile, please create one as there are more than 800 different Wind Energy jobs and internships posted on LinkedIn.
Why: In today's globalized wind energy job market students who gain work experience through an international internship are considered more marketable and competitive. Many students receive a job offer from the company they intern with and gain a valuable network of industry connections.
Internship Search Checklist:
- Create a resume and cover letter. Your cover letter and resume should be retooled for each company. A great place to start is by using the Optimal Resume software offered to you by the Career Center.
- Create a spreadsheet of potential companies offering internships that interest you. In the columns of the spreadsheet list the following: the company website, a contact in the Human Resources office, that contact's phone number, email address, and also his/her physical mailing address (for sending thank you notes). Lastly, create a column for notes and dates of communication.
- Try to contact ten companies a week. Introduce yourself, what you are studying, what your goals are after graduation, and explain that you would like to attain an internship within their company. Attach your updated resume and list in the email/letter/phone call your top five specialized skills and outline them. Utilize this website to update your resume and ascertain your top five skills. Let the company know you hope to hear from them by a certain date; usually 5-10 days is acceptable.
- Stay timely on any returned communication from previous inquiries. Emails need to be returned within 24 hours, phone calls should be returned as-soon-as-possible. Keep the dates of communication on your spreadsheet with notes concerning status updates. Very often the more timely and organized your notes are, the better your chances of getting an internship will become. Make sure to send a hand-written thank you note to your company contact after a formal interview.
- Once you have received an internship offer ask the company to draft an offer letter (most will do this by default). The offer letter should include the following: your start and end dates, an explanation of your expected job duties, your company supervisor, and the amount you will be paid.
- Submit your offer letter to the instructor for WE 4000, Jeremy Overby for approval. Jeremy Overby will work with you to complete the Internship Approval form. Once approved, Jeremy Overby will contact your academic advisor to give you a permit to register for WE 4000, which is the Wind Energy Internship class. This class will need to be taken during the same time as your internship.
- Once your permit to register for WE 4000 has been entered into the system, your advisor will contact you with instructions for registering for the course. WE 4000 is a true class so please be sure to work with student business services to insure your tuition for the class is paid. (200 hours of approved internship work = 3 credit hours of TTU coursework)