Thanks to the generosity of the Bergami Family and the UNH Division of Student Affairs, eight UNH undergraduate students received a stipend to cover expenses related to their unpaid internship experience. The eight recipients will be reflecting on their internship experience over the course of the summer. This entry is from Franzel Pena, Computer Engineering Major, who is interning with Anchor Science LLC.
When searching for internships, one has to start planning and reviewing companies that fit their interests a semester before the period that they wish to perform the internship. This will allow them to create a top-list of companies, follow their news about intern positions, and apply early. Generally, most students are ready for an internship at the end of their sophomore year, regardless of field of study, but decide to take an intern position during or after their junior year, as they did not feel ready earlier—this was the situation of some my colleagues and me. I advise first and second year students to obtain work experience, since having the knowledge and hands-on experience early on their career will make concepts easier to grasp and understand. Additionally, this will introduce new ideas to their career such as focusing in more areas of study or concentrating in specific aspects of their major.
There are many resources provided by UNH that will help students during the internship search process. From my experience, very often some professors talk about their startup ideas or business with their class. These are excellent opportunities to land what I believe to be internships in a completely new level. I had the opportunity to be an intern for a start-up business. Experience wise, they allow one to explore and apply their knowledge as well as provide the most, as one will be in charge of materializing an idea or concept—There is no map to follow or directions to take, one has to design the map and make the directions. In my opinion, internships at startups companies are the perfect settings for students in any discipline that allows creativity and do not requires one to follow a set of steps to follow.
Having experience or working in a professional environment will make one stand out from the crowd. Even if internships are not a requirement from one’s field of study, one should strive to have the experience of working as an intern for a business. Not only the academic knowledge, but also the life lessons and skills that one learns during their internship process are priceless. In addition, Internships will provide the right connections and help one build their professional network. The academic process is a short period in our lives and internships are one way to get the most out of it.