Written by Joe Fisk
Internships are a way to acquire a summer job and gain experience in your field, however they are often overlooked, or not researched by students. On Jan. 24 and 28, instructors from science, technology, engineering and math departments promoted internships from local and national levels to Front Range Community College students. Over 20 internships span from various fields of STEM, including software development, aerospace engineering, data science, health, etc…
Max Miller, of FRCC’s science and technology department recognized the goal of the event was to connect students to STEM internships and encourage them to think about their futures beyond school.
“We’re trying to get students to be aware and connected to internships in different STEM fields,” said Miller. “Mostly local internships, but also some nation-wide ones to get students thinking about their career beyond school. There are a lot of studies that have shown students that pursue internships are more likely to graduate and to pursue graduate work or careers in STEM if they did intern work as a college student.”
STEM instructors handed out flyers with details of internships to students at tables outside of the Student Organization Center, where they were asked questions and received information for various internships. Many were drawn to those in engineering, health, nursing and biology.
“We had a lot of people stop by asking about astronomy, physics and aerospace engineering on Thursday,” said Miller. “It seemed like… today still a lot of engineering and on both days a lot of health, nursing and biology, which fits with what most people are majoring in typically.”
FRCC student and prospective applicant, Noah Duncan collected information on multiple internships from the tables. He hoped to gain experience and a summer job through these internships.
“I’m looking for a new job, and this happened to fit the bill because they’re all paid internships,” said Duncan. “I kind of want to test out some science fields and internships are a good way to do that, to know what I’m doing before going and getting the full degree for it.”
Gaining experience in the field can be important to students deciding on a major. Duncan, who considered changing his major collected flyers from two different fields,
“There’s one for neuroscience that I picked up,” said Duncan. “I’m also considering changing to computer science, so I found a hardware internship, as well.”
Not only are internships a way to obtain experience and a job, but they also encourage students to stay in STEM fields and earn a degree.
“It increases student retention in STEM fields to go on and get a bachelor’s degree, or masters, or doctorate,” said Miller. “It also helps students get practical experience in the field. So when they graduate, they have laboratory or field experience that can make them more employable.”
Students who are looking for internships but did not attend the event or are not in the STEM fields should ask instructors in their field about internship opportunities.
“Talk to your instructors in your field,” said Miller. “They may be able to connect with internships or have advice. If you’re looking for something specifically in STEM, stop by the math department or the science department and talk with some of us about it.”
Students in general science fields can find additional internships at the National Science Foundation and for students in health fiends at the National Institute of Health.