- Las Positas College
Internship Opportunities in STEM
It is highly advised for students majoring in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) to obtain internships within the STEM field before graduating college. The ideal time to hold an internship is between 2nd and 3rd year, or 3rd and 4th year of college, so that at least half of the college coursework has been completed. Internships help students get on-the-job experience in different type of STEM careers, which allows students to make more informed career choices, figure out what they like and don't like in a particular career, and make their resume (for employment, graduate school, etc.) more competitive.
The following internships are designed for college students with minimal to no experience in the STEM workforce, and are great places to work and learn. Many of these internships are paid (this is common in STEM fields), and come with paid travel, room and board, and sometimes additional monthly stipends. Many, but not all, of these internships take place over the summer.
Note that all internships are competitive, so it is a good idea to apply to as many as possible to increase your chances of getting accepted. Application deadlines are often December - January, so it is best to start composing your applications early in the fall semester, as it is a time-consuming process.
National Science Foundation (NSF) Internships
These are research internships for all science disciplines funded on the national level. Each program gives participants a stipend, plus free room and board at universities and science research facilities all across the country. Each location has a separate application process, so students must send application materials directly to the individual institution.
Department of Energy (DOE) internships
This federally-funded internship program is located at national laboratories across the country, and is aimed specifically at community college students. This program includes a stipend and housing allowance.
National Park Service (NPS) internships
These internships are for students in college, recent college graduates, and early-year graduate students. Read each program's description to see what type of student they are looking for. Most of these internships are paid, and some include housing as well.
There are two different National Park Service STEM internships so be sure to check both:
Note: Don't get mislead by the name "Geoscientists"; the internship has various projects in STEM fields other than geoscience.
Internships in Industry
In STEM, the term "industry" refers to private companies who offer jobs to STEM majors. Internships in industry can be found at the "Career" section of the websites for individual companies. Some local companies also advertise on the LPC Internship Page (note that not all of the internships listed on this page are STEM-related.). Most STEM internships in industry are paid, and the pay varies by company. Companies advertise to a wide variety of college students, so a strong applicant will show how they stand out from other college students; students are advised to talk to their prospective employers in person, to attend career fairs, and to attend events put on by the companies themselves. Networking is key!
Additional Resources to find Internships
The following websites can help you search for additional (paid!) internships in STEM fields.
How to Write a Successful Internship Application
There are many resources on campus at LPC to help with the application process, especially through the Smart Shop Series, the tutorial center, and professors in your STEM classes. Don't hesitate to seek out help for writing a personal statement, composing a resume or CV (curriculum vitae), or learning how to approach instructors for recommendation letters.
Hints for recommendation letters: Choose instructors who know you well, like you, and are impressed with your classwork. Give your instructors 1-2 months notice before the application deadline, and send reminders if you haven't heard back from them and the deadline is approaching. Some additional helpful hints may be found here.)
For more information please contact: