Discover a world of engineering work

How to find, apply for and make the most of your engineering internship opportunity.

We know it’s increasingly difficult to find high-quality internships or work experience before you complete your degree. Here you'll find valuable resources, answers to commonly asked questions, advice, and exclusive content that will help you to build a successful future in the engineering profession. 

Benefits of internships 

What is an internship?

Internships let you experience what it’s like to practice your profession in a monitored work environment while you’re still studying. They’re a vital step in your transition from study to the workforce and help develop and enhance your workplace skills.

Work experience should always be relevant and meaningful to your discipline and area of study. Integrating with and contributing to an organisation is valuable for both you and the employer.

Why do employers offer these opportunities

Offering internships delivers many benefits for an organisation, including:

  • An opportunity to position itself as an employer of choice in a highly competitive graduate recruitment market
  • Access to fresh perspectives and ideas
  • Increasing its profile and establishing or building relationships with universities
  • Giving back to the profession by helping educate future workforces
  • Developing and enhancing its staff mentoring and supervisory skills
  • Increasing awareness of new research and technologies
  • An opportunity to assess student suitability for its workplace.
  • An opportunity to position itself as an employer of choice in a highly competitive graduate recruitment market 
How will I benefit from an internship?

Taking on an internship:

  • Prepares you for entering a professional workplace
  • Grows your professional network
  • Strengthens your employability prospects
  • Develops your professional capabilities
  • Helps you understand workplace expectations and culture
  • Shows you how to apply university teachings in a practical environment.
How do I apply for an internship?

Here’s 9 hot tips for application success:

  • Always answer all the selection criteria questions
  • Include a cover letter, even if the application doesn’t specifically ask for it
  • Ensure your resume/CV is up to date
  • Review your social media accounts to ensure they’re professional
  • Include any knowledge and/or skills you have that are specific to the role. 
  • Describe any projects or jobs you’ve worked on
  • Include information about yourself! Employers want to know how you’ll fit into their team Include other jobs you’ve had, even if they don’t relate to engineering
  • Investigate whether you can do a part-time internship to accommodate your exam periods and recommended study hours.

How to prepare for an internship

How to prepare

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

Before you begin an and internship:

  • Ask whether there’s a written agreement you can review and sign. 
  • Ensure you’re aware of:
    • Your position description and duties
    • Your location for work and whether you’re required to travel
    • Relevant staff contact details such as your supervisor and HR
    • Your internship start and end date, including the hours the company expects you to complete and whether there’s a probation period
    • If it’s a paid position and, if so, remuneration (including any overtime arrangements)
    • How the organisation will monitor your performance
    • Relevant organisational policies governing behaviour and dress codes
    • The procedure for termination of the agreement.
  • Decide what you want to achieve from the internship.
  • Get details of any milestone checkpoints throughout the internship to ensure you’re meeting goals—yours and the organisations.
  • Ask whether you’ll get access to any required equipment for example workspace, computer and programs information.
  • Ensure you’re aware of any relevant policies such behaviour and WH&S, dress codes, and parking options.
  • Research the Fair Work Act 2009 for questions relating to legal requirements.
  • Check whether your university requires your supervisor to be a professional engineer.

The Stage 2 Competency Standards outline the profession’s required knowledge and skill base, engineering application abilities, professional skills, values, and attitudes you must demonstrate to practise independently or unsupervised. They give you a good grounding in what learning areas you should cover during your work placement. 

Tips and tricks for a successful internship
  • When you start your internship: Meet with your supervisor to determine their expectations and whether you can be involved in setting goals.
  • Watch and ask questions. Connect with your co-workers to learn as much as you can.
  • Stay professional. Be professional and courteous at all times and make sure you understand and follow workplace procedures.
  • Be enthusiastic. If your workload is low, speak with your supervisor about getting involved in other tasks.
  • Get involved. Take advantage of as many opportunities for practical experience outside the office you can.