Los Angeles: How do I find an internship in mechanical engineering?
August 15, 2007 4:15 PM   Subscribe

How do I find a paid internship or part-time job in mechanical engineering that will work around my school schedule (in Los Angeles)?

I am working towards my BS in mechanical engineering (my second degree) at a university in Los Angeles. I currently have an internship in the engineering field and have been there almost a year, but am not feeling the love (my boss treats me like crap and the projects I've been getting lately seem more like 'busy work'). Though work now makes me frustrated and anxious, it pays pretty well and I can't leave without finding another source of income. I have a degree in English and an MBA (in finance) already and I'm still pretty young (27). I suppose I should have no trouble finding a job, but I want to find something to do with mechanical engineering in the Los Angeles area that can work around my school schedule. I look in online job boards, Craigslist, Simplyhired, Monstertrak, etc. and can find very few (if any) listings. I went to the career center at my school and spoke with the most idiotic of career counselors I've ever met (it's a wonder he he even got his job); the information he gave me was lousy (he suggested I joined the Navy--yes you read that right and I'll let you read that again--the freaking NAVY). And meanwhile, I figure that the way to find a job (particularly an internship) is to know somebody. I know nobody. Also, in the long term, I would like to get a masters degree in financial engineering (computational finance), so would be interested if I could get in the door doing that, also. And as mentioned, I've got bills to pay, so it can't be an unpaid internship or volunteer experience. To summarize: paid internships in mechanical engineering, financial engineering, or something related. Any ideas out of the mainstream? Any steps for finding internships or part-time jobs? People you might know personally who need a fella' like me? Some little-known web resource? Should I just stick it out at my current job until I graduate (year and a half!)?
posted by rybreadmed to Work & Money (4 answers total)
Talk to your professors. They'll have connections.
posted by k8t at 4:21 PM on August 15, 2007

My company has internships. Go and search on 'internship'.
posted by Argyle at 4:35 PM on August 15, 2007

I would target specific companies rather than a broad search - I've seen a lot of places that have internship sections and programs on their websites. But they aren't necessarily listing the internships on the job boards. Also check in with the relevant professional organizations for your disciplines (ASME, etc) to network or find people/companies/internships.

You do know people. You know classmates, former classmates, and former coworkers. And they know people.
posted by ml98tu at 8:06 PM on August 15, 2007

Defense/aerospace company. . .quite a bit of it in that area. If that's where you are already, maybe try a different department if it's a larger company. I'm not sure what type of company you're looking for (mechanical engineers can do quite a wide range of jobs).

I'm a mechanical engineer at a large company and in my experience, knowing people DOES NOT help actually get the job. It might help in determining where the company lists its job opportunities and it certainly helps once you're in the company, but everyone applying from outside has to go through the same process. Try looking at the "career" pages of companies you know in the area. Also, some bigger companies will pay for your school when you are an intern who already has a degree, so definitely ask about that.

Good luck, there are lots of cool jobs for mech engineers!
posted by jengineer at 10:50 PM on August 15, 2007

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