What is an Internship?
An internship provides students hands-on experience in a workplace environment relevant to their current academic studies and future career interests.
Internships are immersive placements in industry that may be provided directly by an organisation or arranged by the university and provided through a for-credit Internship course.
Students work full-time or part-time, and are assessed for academic credit (6-24 units).
Internships may count toward the work experience requirement (ENGN3100/COMP4800) for professional accreditation. For advice on this matter, please contact CECS Student Employability firstname.lastname@example.org.
ANU has intern partnership arrangements with national and multinational organisations, companies, government agencies, non-profit and other workplaces that will provide students a first-hand look at what a career in a particular area might be like.
Not for-credit internships are undertaken by students outside of their degree program. Employers recruit students directly for Internship roles and programs throughout the year. Opportunities are generally open for students in their penultimate (second last year) of study. Most internships in Australia are offered over the Summer (Nov-Feb) study break. Internship timeframes in other countries will generally follow the academic calendar of universities in that particular country. Not-for-credit internships are commonly advertised on the CECS Student Opportunities webpage, ANU CareerHub, GradConnection, GradAustralia and through company websites and LinkedIn.
The difference between work experience and an internship
Work experience is a mandatory requirement for Engineering and Software Engineering students as part of your degree but does not count for any credit. Work experience is organised by YOU!
For-credit internship, courses ENGN3200/ENGN6200 and COMP3820/COMP8830 are offered by CECS through an application process and are optional, assessed and count for 6-24 units of credit.
Work experience will usually involve minor projects and support roles under high supervision in industry. Internships usually involve larger meaningful projects under broad supervision in industry.
Managing your For-credit Internship
Your Internship timeline
Preparing early is very important. Use the following timeline to prepare appropriately and ensure your best chance of success.
First and second year at ANU
Step 1: Start looking at advertised internship positions to get an idea of the skills and experience that our government and industry partners are looking for in their interns. Review the academic requirements for the CECS internship courses - Engineering Internship (ENGN3200/ENGN6200) and Computing Internship (COMP3820/COMP8830). Further information about the Computing Internship can be found here.
The required technical skills and experience are determined by the specific employer hosting the internship.
Other desirable attributes for any work environment may also be required, including:
- Aptitude and interest in the field, i.e. co-curricular and extra-curricular activities that relate directly to the internship field.
- Ability to work as a member of a team
- Interpersonal and communication skills
- Flexibility/adaptability and organisational skills
- Analytical/research skills
Step 2: Start developing these skills and obtaining some relevant experience. By increasing your professional competencies, you are building a highly competitive application.
Step 3: If you wish to undertake a for-credit internship map your degree requirements to ensure you have enough space to do an internship. Typically internships are 6-24 units (ENGN3200/COMP3820). It is your responsibility to make sure you have space in your degree for an internship, before you submit any applications.
CECS Student Services or the course convenors can help you work out how much available space you have. Please contact them directly for advice.
Third year onwards at ANU
Internship positions are advertised by the CECS Student Services, Employability and Experience team via the CECS website. Make sure you are checking your email and looking at the website regularly so you know what’s on offer.
Once you have found an internship that you’re interested in, check the specific requirements to make sure you are eligible to apply. You will need to make sure you meet:
- Academic requirements (GPA and required completed units).
- Skills and experience requirements.
- 6-24 units of space in your degree.
Step 5: Apply for internship positions.
If you’re confident you meet the internship requirements, you should submit an expression of interest (EOI), following the advice on the CECS website for that opportunity. An EOI typically includes:
- your CV
- your transcript
- a cover letter explaining why you’d be a good candidate for the position.
Usually, an interview process will follow the EOI. If you are a competitive candidate, you will be contacted for an interview. CECS will run an interview skills session with the ANU Careers Centre, to help candidates prepare for their interview.
Step 6: If you are successful and receive an internship offer, you will need to do some administration.
You will need to accept your offer and sign the agreement between you, CECS, and the host employer, with the terms and conditions of your placement. CECS Student Services will then enrol you in the appropriate internship course.
Step 7: Do your internship and any relevant assessment.
Once you have accepted the offer, specific details about the internship will be provided to you by the host employer and the course convenor. More information is also available at Programs and Courses: ENGN3200/ENGN6200 and COMP3820/COMP8830).
Step 8: Give feedback about your experience to CECS Student Services.
Once you have completed your internship, CECS Student Services will request feedback about your experience. This helps us to improve the internship process for future students.
There are many resources and support services available to help you develop resumes and cover letters, and practice for interviews.
Resources at ANU
Developing resumes and cover letters
Preparing for your Interview
Review resources at ANU’s interviews webpage to prepare you for your interview.
Book in and practice your interview skills at ANU’s Career Hub. This is a specially designed space, which allows you to practice your interview skills using the latest interview simulation software.
The following resources and services are offered by organisations affiliated with ANU.
Engineers Australia Career Development Course
This course teaches you how to:
- set achievable career goals
- create a winning resume
- techniques for job seeking
- interview skills
- networking skills
Science Magazine Careers Resources
Science Magazine offers resources to help you develop job seeking and research skills. More information is available here.
Learn more about the Computing Internship program here. More Information »
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