A diverse team of architecture and engineering interns meet in a modern office.

8 Tips to Land an Engineering or Architecture Internship

8 Tips to Land an Engineering or Architecture Internship

A Student’s Guide to Prepare for the Internship Application and Interview Process.

January 31, 2023
Kristen Vavrek
A diverse team of architecture and engineering interns meet in a modern office.

Reaching the stage in your college journey when you’re ready to land an architecture or engineering internship is exciting and maybe a little bit nerve-wracking! To set yourself up for the best chance of success, check out the following tips to prepare for the internship application and interview process.

1. Make the Most of Career Fairs and Information Sessions

Career fairs and information sessions can be excellent starting points for making connections and learning more about companies first-hand. Before going to the session, review the list of attending employers published by the career center, organizer, or event sponsor and research the ones that seem like a good fit.

In particular, I recommend:

  • Checking for alignment of their values with your own.
  • Seeing if their culture matches your expectations.
  • Learning about the markets they serve and the solutions they provide.
  • Reviewing their projects to get a sense of the work you could be doing.
  • Seeing where they have physical offices.

When you come to the company’s booth or session knowing who they are, where they are, and what they do, it allows us, as the company representatives, to have a more in-depth conversation with you. Plus, it shows us that you’re prepared and interested.

2. Keep Your Resume Up to Date

This tip may seem obvious, but it’s crucial your resume reflects your degree program, areas of focus, and anticipated graduation date accurately. As a leading architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) firm, we typically look for candidates pursuing the following degree programs:

  • Accounting.
  • Architecture.
  • Civil Engineering.
  • Construction Management.
  • Data Science.
  • Electrical Engineering.
  • Engineering Technology.
  • Environmental Engineering.
  • Environmental Science.
  • Geospatial/GIS Technology.
  • Geotechnical Engineering.
  • Human Resources.
  • IT Services.
  • Marketing and Communications.
  • Mechanical Engineering.
  • Power Engineering.
  • Traffic Engineering.
  • Transportation Engineering.
  • Transportation Planning.
  • Water Resources Engineering.

3. Develop Your Personal Elevator Pitch

We meet many students and receive a lot of resumes and applications, but your personal elevator pitch can help you stand out from the crowd. Figure out what sets you apart from other potential candidates and use this information to communicate why you’re a good fit. Think about:

  • Who you are.
  • What you’re looking for in an internship.
  • What you can bring to the table that is a good match for the employer.

Also, take time to think about your career path. We aim to find an intern who can excel in a summer internship but then return or transition to full-time employment. We understand you probably won’t know what you want your career path to look like from initial hire to retirement, but having a starting point helps us know that you want to grow your career with us.

4. If You Have Relevant Work Experience, Highlight It; If Not, Emphasize Your College Experience

Relevant work or other internship experience isn’t a requirement to land an internship at Gannett Fleming. However, hiring managers usually prefer to see some level of experience showing you have technical knowledge and skills in areas like leadership. Tailor your resume and elevator pitch to highlight your involvement in professional associations, industry organizations, or community service, especially if you hold leadership roles. You can also highlight capstone projects and classes applicable to the internship.

5. Create a LinkedIn Profile

I find most students wait to create a LinkedIn profile until they’re about to graduate, but creating one before you start your internship journey is ideal. Having a LinkedIn profile allows you to connect with and follow recruiters, thought leaders, and companies in your field or discipline and gives you another tool to market yourself within the social media landscape. You can lend your voice to relevant conversations, share your own posts, and join groups to stay current on the latest trends and topics.

Another platform to consider joining is Handshake. It allows candidates to create a profile and then helps them match with jobs and employers. Interns can also leave reviews about their experiences (hint: Gannett Fleming is on Handshake!).

6. Dress for Success

Whether attending a career fair or interview in person or virtually, remember that first impressions are important! We have seen dress codes evolve in the COVID-19 era, so I usually recommend students opt for business casual over more formal business professional attire and choose clothing in which they feel comfortable and confident.

7. Ask Questions

I love when candidates ask me questions! Remember: interviews are a two-way street; we get the chance to ask you questions to see if you’re a match for our culture and the role, and you get the opportunity to see if our company and the internship fit your expectations and goals. Ultimately, we want to bring on interns who will be happy working here and can see themselves coming on as full-time employees who stay for the long term.

8. Follow-Up with Your Contact

After the career fair or interview, follow up via email with the company representative(s) you met (you can also use your new LinkedIn profile and ask them to connect!). It’s a good idea to thank them for their time and also express your interest in the company and internship opportunities. Additionally, you can attach your resume and ask if there’s anyone else at the company you can speak to for more information. If you don’t hear back immediately, try following up again in two weeks.

Become an Intern at Gannett Fleming

At Gannett Fleming, we’re committed to providing a meaningful internship experience that sets you up for a rewarding, successful career. Learn more about what differentiates our internship program!

Categories: Architecture
Kristen Vavrek, Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist

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