An engineer's career starts as soon as the engineering studies begin – not after graduation. You should keep career progression front of mind throughout your studies. This means looking for more demanding and challenging jobs each summer. Research strongly indicates that work experience gained as a student has significant meaning after graduation. Work experience gained as a student is the main defining factor in how and for what kind of role an engineer is employed, along with their the salary after graduation.
Internship makes an engineer. Attending lectures for four years is not enough – a professional engineer needs practical skills and training to support the theoretical knowledge. An engineering degree includes an internship worth 30 credits. Most students complete the internship as a summer job. The internship should be planned, guided and assessed. Work tasks during the internship should support the theoretical side of the education programme and be similar to engineers' actual work tasks in the field.
You should keep career progression in the front of your mind when considering internships. This means looking for more demanding and challenging jobs as your studies progress. Research carried out by the union strongly indicates that work experience gained as a student has great significance after graduation and has an impact on your salary.
An internship is often very similar to actual employment. This means that if the internship is actual employment, labour legislation must be applied to the internship contract even if the internship agreement states otherwise. In practice, the main difference is salary and the scope of some collective agreements.
Always request a written employment contract for a summer job or an internship! If there is anything that worries you about your contract, contact the union's customer service. Our experts will check the contract for you.