Choosing a summer job

Hi! I'm a freshman mechanical engineer (Cooper Union) and in the dilemma of how to get income over the summer. For my future's sake, I should reach for a summer engineering internship, right? But my GPA isn't above a 3.0 yet and I'm only a freshman with very little experience in anything. No internship seems right for me nor do I have the requirements for them, should I continue to strive for it or wait till next year when I'll have more education and just get a regular job in the summer? (which would be teaching in summer school)

Thanks!
posted by Jen, New York on March 23, 2013

Answer by Michelle Rosen

Internships are great. However, it can be extremely hard to find one as a freshman (I even offered to work for free, but no one wanted me!). However, that doesn't mean that there ISN'T one for you! If you really want an engineering internship this summer, just keep applying. There may be a position that's willing to teach you the skills you need. In my opinion, there's no reason that a freshman can't do work at an internship - it just might be a slightly steeper learning curve. So, my advice is probably to keep applying. Just, don't be too disappointed if it doesn't work out. A steady job (even one that's not an internship) looks great too (if you don't want to keep looking)! You mentioned teaching in summer school and that sounds great to me! It shows a few things that could be valuable down the road - commitment, people skills, and teaching skills. Overall, I guess my main advice here is to not stress over it too much. If it works out, great! If not, then it's certainly not the end of your career as an engineer! It's totally up to you!