How to Prepare
- Visit the Internship and Career Center, located on the 2nd floor of South Hall. They host resume and interview workshops to help prepare, as well as offer one-on-one help.
- Build a resume! This is mandatory. The Internship and Career Center hosts workshops, as do many academic clubs on campus. There are also many resources online. Get feedback on your resume before using it for job applications.
- Obtain a current transcript. Most online applications will require an unofficial transcript. You can get this from MyUCDavis by clicking on Academics->Student Records->Academics.
- Think about your interests. Keep in mind that internships are short term and are opportunities to explore new areas. Be flexible!
- Think about locations. Be willing to relocate! Internships can be an opportunity to travel. The Study Abroad Center offers international internships, which often have less competition.
- Build relationships with professors. Applications may ask for 1-2 recommendation letters and specify that these come from professors within science and engineering fields. Recommendation letters are always better coming from people who know you well. It is never too early or too late to cultivate these relationships! The best way to begin is by attending office hours, especially during the first two weeks of the quarter when there are fewer students in attendance.
- Build a LinkedIn profile. Use LinkedIn for networking with companies, alumni, and professional coworkers, not socializing.
- Network. There are many ways of gathering information about job opportunities. The Society of Women Engineers holds an annual “Night with Industry,” which is open to all students. Professors may know who is hiring in your field. Ask other students how they got their job/internship.
- It’s never too early to start the internship search process, but most companies look for students who have completed their core engineering courses (ie. ENG 103, 104).
Finding Job Openings
Handshake: Handshake is where UC Davis students and alumni connect with employers. Over 100 internships and jobs, both on and off campus, are posted every day. Whether you’re looking for an internship or your next career, Handshake can help. Put a reminder on your calendar to check Handshake every week and sign up to get Handshake alerts.
- Career fairs. Look sharp, bring copies of your resume, and ask for email addresses so you can follow up. Different companies attend different career fairs, so attend all of them.
- Sign up for the Engineering and Physical Sciences opportunities list serv from the Internship and Career Center.
- Find companies and organizations in your field of interest. Many companies do not recruit directly through Handshake and have jobs posted on their website. Additional information on what Civil and Environmental Engineering students can do is posted on the Internship and Career Center.
- Consider government jobs. CalJobs and USAjobs list state and federal job openings.
- Craigslist can have good job postings, particularly around tech centers such as the SF Bay Area.
- Join the Cal Aggie Student Alumni Association. This program provides many additional networking events with UC Davis alumni such as the “Take an Aggie to Work” program.
- If you get a representative’s email address, email them soon after the event. Do not expect them to remember you weeks later if you haven’t contacted them.
- If you receive an email or call from a potential employer, respond to it!
Still No Luck?
- Talk to an adviser in the Internship and Career Center. They can help you figure out what aspect(s) of your search need to be enhanced.
- Be prepared to apply to a vast array of internships. Think about applying to at least 30 opportunities.
- Be persistent. Many students find internships because they are persistent. Following-up with companies is very important.
- Try an Informational Interview. This can help with networking and give you a sense of how you can make yourself more desirable to an employer.
- Don’t give up! Companies can look for interns late in the school year, sometimes as late as summer session. Also, it’s possible to be an intern after you have graduated!
- Get involved. Getting involved in a student club or competition team will add experience to your resume at the same time as giving you access to company contacts.