A student speaking with an employer at the Spring 2018 Career Fair.

Internships

Hiring interns can be exceptionally beneficial for companies. Not only are you granting VCU students the opportunity to develop professionally, but the role of the intern can prove to be an extremely valuable asset to your company.

The benefits of hiring interns

  1. Build your future workforce: Offering internships allows you to develop relationships with students who may eventually become your employees. By implementing an internship program you will have an ongoing pipeline of future full-time employees.
  2. Increase productivity: Offering internships allows you to take advantage of short-term support. The extra help allows your employees be more productive, prevents them from becoming overburdened by side projects and frees them up to accomplish tasks where higher-level expertise is required. Additionally, VCU’s central location allows students to work part-time throughout the school year, if needed. Many students are interested in internships that carry on throughout the fall and spring semesters and can continue to serve as extra help to your full-time employees long after the summer months have ended.
  3. Support the community: As a business, you likely rely on the support of your community. Creating an internship program is an excellent way to give back and support VCU students. Hiring interns not only helps VCU students gain professional experience; it enhances the workforce as a whole.
  4. New and fresh perspectives: VCU students are smart and full of great ideas. The interns you hire, therefore, will bring novel perspectives and specialized strengths with them to the position.
  5. Find talent free-of-charge: You can post your internship opportunities to Handshake for free!

Employers who regularly hire VCU interns

Over the years, the College of Engineering Career Services has worked with many different companies as they have filled internship positions. The following employers regularly hire VCU students:

  • Dominion Energy
  • Altria
  • WestRock
  • AMC Technology
  • SUEZ Water Technologies
  • Hamilton Beach Brands
  • Government agencies

Internship information and frequently asked questions

The College of Engineering Career Services is here to support you as you work through the process of hiring interns. See below for more information on internships and a list of frequently asked questions.

Are internships required for VCU engineering students?

The College of Engineering requires that all students in the following majors complete an internship of at least 300 hours as a graduation requirement:

  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering with a concentration in Life Science
  • Mechanical Engineering

Why does VCU require an internship for chemical and mechanical engineering?

Internships are required by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology for these two disciplines. Internships also provide an opportunity for students to enhance their academic studies by experiencing engineering from a corporate perspective.

How do students complete 300 internship hours?

A student needs to complete 300 internship hours to fulfill their graduation requirement. Students often complete these hours in one of two ways:

  1. A full-time summer internship position (40 hours per week for 8 weeks)
  2. Parallel internship during which a student works approximately 20 hours per week while attending school, usually coinciding with either the fall or spring semester

What is expected of the company offering the internship experience?

VCU’s engineering students must have the opportunity to participate in a combination of the following work experiences:

  • Applying engineering and science principles
  • Problem solving
  • Team participation

Job descriptions for the internship are flexible and left to the discretion of the employer to maximize value to the company. The College of Engineering Career Services can assist you with developing a comprehensive internship job description, if needed.

What is an appropriate pay rate for an engineering intern?

Most internship opportunities offered are in the range between $12-$19/hour.