Summers full of internships

Learn how important internships are to earning a degree

Graphic by: Dylan Bowden | Production Manager

Summer is usually a time in which students can relax and not worry about school work, however, this isn’t the case when you are in an internship.

Ferris requires most majors to complete at least one internship relating to their field during their time here in order to graduate. This allows students to feel prepared when entering the workforce and gain an understanding of how their degree will play a factor in their profession. Because of the internship requirement, students typically use their summer vacations to join a company, enroll in a class and report on how their internships are going.

Product design engineering technology senior Matthew Eden spent 12 weeks interning at General Motors in the summer of 2021.

“All I can say is the department I worked in was advanced vehicle design,” Eden said. “It’s basically the future of vehicles that are three, four years out. Within that group, I did latches, which are pretty much door handles and things like that.”

Eden can’t talk about everything he was able to work on, due to company policy, but he was able to get a glimpse of what the future of the automotive industry is going to be, especially with electric cars coming into play.

The most interesting thing Eden learned while at GM was their organized communication as a team.

“We were online always having meetings, everybody’s right there to communicate,” Eden said. “Especially being a first-year intern, I had a lot of questions. So having somebody right there, not having to worry about if they were in a meeting or not, because you know right on the screen if they’re busy or not, was nice.”

Eden said he knew communication was huge when it came to working in teams, and he was able to see that it really can go a long way, especially in a well-known company like GM.

Internships relating to student’s majors are great opportunities to learn how degrees can be put into effect in the workforce. Especially if a student knows what field they would like to specialize in and with what company. Gaining the opportunity to have an internship with them makes the process more enticing.

Product design engineering technology junior David McGuigan is looking forward to the start of his internship this summer.

At the moment, McGuigan has only had one interview with Ford, but he sounded hopeful when stating that it was exactly what he was looking for when he started looking for internships.

McGuigan said even if he does not end up getting the internship, it was still good practice, and he’s glad he’s going through this process.

Being able to reach out and have the opportunity to interview with large companies can also prepare students because they learn what companies look for in candidates in terms of qualities, knowledge of technical programs and willingness to learn.

Insurance junior David Seaver was able to obtain an internship at KorthaseFlinn Insurance after participating in a golf outing with a company representative. He said when looking for internships, you have to put yourself in a position to get the position.

“You have to reach out,” Seaver said. “Have a cover letter and resume ready at all times. Tell them you go to Ferris and are looking for real work experience. They’ll send your resume to who can hire you.”

Reaching out, having interviews and displaying a desire to learn from these companies, even if just for an interview, can be very valuable in the process of obtaining the right internship. Having real experience within a student’s major can help better their odds of being chosen for a job, all because they spent a summer earning their qualifications.

Students can find internships through Indeed, LinkedIn and even the internship fair hosted semesterly by the university.