Mechatronics Internships!!

Hey guys! Welcome back to another blog where I will be going over some general tips for finding internships but I will also be providing some specific insights for mechatronics students.

A few words before I get into the finding internship stuff, as a required part of your degree you must complete 800 hours of practical work. This usually means you would need to spend two summers doing internships! So if you are not aware of that before now is a good time to keep internships on the back of your mind as you move onto second year. Another note is that finding a internship in second year can be very challenging, with numerous companies desiring only applicants that are in their penultimate year( third year for us) it means that a lot of the options available to second years are often very competitive so do not be discouraged if you can’t find one in your second year.

Start early, apply lots

Start early, apply lots. I think these four words pretty much summarizes 80% of the advice I would give around applying for internships, so if you are short on time that is the key idea but I will be going deeper into these two key ideas.

Starting early

This is a pretty obvious one, you want to start applying for internships as soon as possible. Most people procrastinate on writing their CV’s and cover letters while they are occupied with the lovely academic load from engineering so they don’t start applying for internships until August(like me 🙁), but in reality a lot of internship positions open in June and some even earlier then that! So if you have your CV ready to go you are set to apply for those early positions that are available. Additionally, some applications require a decent amount of time commitment with a lot of questions you have to answer and some even have assessments that you have to complete. So applying early and getting the application for some companies out of the way first will allow you to have more time to apply for companies that open later.

Apply lots

We all know people have different perspectives on different things and similarly companies also place varying emphasis on different characteristics they desire from their interns, so it would be quite difficult to apply to just a few companies and find the right match straight away. This leads to my second point applying lots, literally apply to anything that you think is even remotely related to what you do. The chance of you getting an internship may be slim, but the chance of you getting an internship while not applying is zero. I know it is definitely annoying answering “Why do you want to work for us” twenty times but it’s 100% worth the effort, the internship offer I received was from a place I thought I probably wouldn’t receive an offer from but I applied anyway on the mindset of “might as well”. When I was applying to internships earlier this year I also fell victim to application procrastination because I hated answering those questions so one advice I have for this is scheduling applications on your to do list, for instance if there were multiple openings I would put them onto my calendar so I can actually force myself to apply to them. Yes that’s how much I hated doing job applications.


So now you are probably thinking “oh god getting an internship seems so hard how am I going to do this” worry not the answer to your question is projects. Doing projects is a great way to develop your skills and set you apart from your peers who all have very similar CV’s. It shows that you like what you are doing outside of university and it shows that you are motivated, two qualities that employers just happen to care about. “Ok now that I know projects are important what should I work on?” Here are some ideas:

  • If you want to find a software related role then I would highly recommend joining WDCC projects, they will assign you to a team and you will be provided with a web development project that you will continue to work on with your group for majority of the year. It’s a great opportunity if you are interested in web development but keep in mind you are expected to have some knowledge of what you are doing so if you are interested in joining a project teaching your self some basics over the break would be very beneficial. They usually have a projects night very early in semester 1 so look out for that!
  • If you want to find an internship in data analysis then I recommend joining the Microsoft Accelerators Programme which consists of different phases. Primarily a learning phase where you can learn data analysis through the Microsoft learn modules and a project phase where you have to complete a data science and machine learning project. They also have a software route available so that’s also an option.
  • For mechanical and mechatronics roles getting involved in the warman project that I’ve previously mentioned will be very beneficial and you can also join the formula sae team if you are interested in that. Obviously personal projects are always very good for example one of my friends made an instrument cluster for his car!

As always I’ve just listed some things that you can do but by no means is this exhaustive there are always new opportunities so make sure to look out for those.

Before I finish just a few more pieces of advice:

  • A lot of engineering clubs do practice interviews definitely don’t miss out on these! You get to practice with people who interview candidates for their respective companies, its probably the closet thing to the real interview as you could get. On that note MECHA is the engineering club for mech and tron but don’t feel like you can’t go to practice interviews hosted by other clubs like IEEE. This is because for most entry level roles the interviewers generally don’t ask many or any technical questions so if you feel like you want more interview practice don’t skip out on those.
  • A lot of people have linkedin but honestly in my experience its not that important, it didn’t really help me land my internship. So make one if you want to but don’t FOMO if you don’t feel like making one.

Whew, ok that’s all from me for now I haven’t decided what I want to cover in the next blog but see you guys again soon!

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