Shape the next generation of engineering talent

How to find the perfect engineering intern for your organisation

Engineering students are required to undertake an internship or work experience to complete their degree, but finding opportunities is increasingly difficult. We’ve created our internship hub to help.

Build a stronger future for the engineering profession by offering student engineers an internship or work experience opportunities in your organisation. Your participation helps to build the next generation’s practical engineering skills and create a more robust workforce that better meets your needs.

Here you’ll find everything you need to know about offering, hosting and running internship programs for students, including how to promote the benefits to your organisation, and a national work experience guide for employers.

Professor Elizabeth Croft, Dean of Engineering at Monash University


Why should my organisation be involved? 

What is an internship or work experience? 

Internships offer opportunities to mentor and collaborate with students in a workplace setting while they’re still studying. They’re a vital step in students’ transition from study to the workforce because they help develop and enhance their workplace skills.

Work experience should always be relevant and meaningful to the student’s discipline and area of study. Integrating students into your work environment and contributing to your organisation is valuable for both you and them.

Why students are interested in these opportunities

Benefits for students include helping them:

  • Prepare for entering the professional workplace
  • Grow their professional network
  • Strengthen their employment prospects
  • Develop their professional capabilities
  • Understand workplace expectations and culture
  • Apply university knowledge in a practical environment.
Internships offer many benefits to your organisation, including:
  • Positioning you as an employer of choice in a highly competitive graduate recruitment market
  • Getting access to fresh perspectives and ideas
  • Increasing your profile and establishing/building relationships with universities
  • Giving back to the profession by helping educate the workforce of the future
  • Developing and enhancing your staff’s mentoring and supervisory skills
  • Increasing your awareness of new research and technologies
  • The chance to assess students’ suitability for your workplace.
How do I offer internships and work experience?

Post on our Internships page on our Jobs Board.

 What to include in your internship job description:

  • Information about your organisation
  • The length of internship you’re offering
  • Any required or preferred knowledge and specific projects or jobs the intern may work on
  • Whether it’s a paid or unpaid position.


Paid or unpaid? Things to keep in mind:

  • Paid positions will likely attract the best candidates
  • A paid internship motivates students to treat the opportunity like their first professional job
  • Paid internships make students feel more valued at work.


How do I prepare for an internship or work experience? 

How to prepare

It’s vital everyone involved has a good understanding of the internship’s purpose—including your organisation, the student, and the university. Preparation before starting is vital.

  • Draw up a written agreement for your organisation and the student to sign. Areas to cover include:
    • Position description and duties
    • Where you’ll locate the student, and whether you require them to travel
    • Relevant staff contact details (e.g., their supervisor and HR)
    • The internship start and end date, including the hours you expect the intern to complete and if there’s a probation period
    • If it’s a paid position, remuneration details, including any overtime arrangements
    • How you’ll monitor the intern’s performance
    • Relevant organisation policies governing behaviour or dress codes
    • The procedure for agreement termination.
  • Decide what you’d like the internship to achieve for your organisation.
  • Set milestone check-ins throughout the internship to ensure you’re meeting your goals.
  • Determine which staff member will be the intern’s primary contact/person responsible.
  • Ensure the student has access to any required equipment (i.e., workspace, computer, access to programs and information).
  • Set which projects you want the intern to work on and communicate this information to your staff.
  • Make the student aware of relevant policies (e.g., behaviour, WH+S, dress codes, and parking options).
  • Research the Fair Work Act 2009 for questions relating to legal requirements.
  • Your interns university may require supervisors to be professional engineers. The Stage 2 Competency Standards outline the profession’s required knowledge and skill base, engineering application abilities, professional skills, values, and attitudes engineers must demonstrate to practise independently or unsupervised. They give you a good grounding in what learning areas students should cover during their work placement. You’ll find them in our resources section.
Tips for supervisors

If performing a supervisor role for an intern, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Induct the student just as you would for a new staff member.
  • Cover off staff introductions, policies, emergency procedures, and where they can find required resources.
  • Provide an internship role description along the same lines as a job description.
  • Give the student information about your organisation, and explain where they fit it in
  • Encourage a sense of project and task ownership
  • Remember, this might be the first time the student has been part of a professional workplace, and their confidence and employability (soft) skills may require some work.
  • Guiding and supporting them in these skills is as important as the actual work experience.
  • The intern might not have had opportunities for practical experience outside the office (e.g., site visits).
  • These are a valuable part of their learning experience.
  • Establish whether part-time internships are possible, as students often have exam periods and recommended hours of study.