Jobs, Internships and Co-ops
5 Step Guide: Successful Strategies for Finding a ChE Entry Level Position or Internship
(Compiled advice from BYU ChE faculty and alumni)
- Identify companies you would like to apply to
- Find contacts to help you apply at these companies
- Prepare & Optimize Resume
- Talk to your Academic Advisor
- Apply for Entry Level Position or Internships
- Follow-Up & Interviews Preparation
1. Identify Companies
- What subfield of Chemical Engineering are you interested in?
- Check out the resources at the AIChE site. (National undergraduate student membership is free.)
- Check out the companies scheduled to attend the career fair.
- Another resources is the Engineering Career Services.
2. Find Contacts
- Brainstorm if someone you know, or someone your relatives or friends know, works there. Talk to family and friends to try and find someone you know at one of the companies you are interested in. A contact/advocate helps out immensely.
- Go to career fairs and events and meet recruiters.
- Consider joining BYU Chemical Engineering Alumni LinkedIn Group and asking there
- Search BYU Alumni Directory. (log in using your BYU netid and password, under advanced search you can specify major and company).
- Search for jobs on AIChE CareerEngineer
- Talk with your Academic Advisor for more contacts.
3. Resume Optimization
- Prepare a resume that is professional and adequately sells you to the company.
- Check out BYU ChE online guides
- See ChEn 191 class notes
- Be aware of resume help from the college (around the time of the career fair) and from our local chapter of AIChE.
4. Talk to Your Academic Advisor
If you are having a difficult time finding out what to do next or need some extra advice, don't hesitate to reach out to your Academic Advisor, either by sending an email (email@example.com) or by scheduling an appointment.
5. Apply for Entry Level Position or Internships
- Sign up for HandShake.
- Check out this internship office for resources on internships.
- Apply directly to interested companies and follow up with your contacts/HR.
- Go to career fair with resume prepared.
6. Follow up & Interviews
- Follow-up consistently with contact and/or HR on your application. Be persistent and polite.
- Be sure to practice following-up and interviews before you do it.
Note: The earlier you start the better. Following these steps does not guarantee an internship, but helps you give yourself the best chance.
Internships and co-ops consist of working for a company, generally full-time and while not taking classes, before completing your degree. All students are highly encouraged to do internships or co-ops because they provide real engineering experience, which benefits your education and future employment prospects. If you are wondering how to get an internship or co-op, see Finding ChE Job or Internship tab on this page.
Academic credit(ChEn 199R) can be awarded for fulfilling an internship or a co-op, but must be arranged prior to the start of the internship or co-op. To do so, download and print this form, then follow its instructions. As described, if the company you plan to do an internship with does not have a "master agreement" with BYU, you are responsible to download it and have the company complete it and return it to the college internship office. ChEn 199R credit can count as an engineering elective and fulfills the innovation graduation requirement. You need to meet with Lavdie Huff to obtain department approval.
What is the difference between an internship and a co-op? Internships are usually done during the summer months and do not delay the date of graduation. Co-ops usually entail multiple work periods and may extend the time required to graduate. However, this delay should not be considered unfavorably for multiple reasons:
- Students are paid very well for their time (about 50% of starting engineer salary).
- Students who perform well in a co-op generally have an advantage in securing full-time employment upon graduation.
- Delaying graduation by one year is not significant when compared to a 40-year career.
Because co-op periods may displace normal Fall and Winter semesters at the university, careful planning is required to accommodate the interruption. Here is a list of possible co-op schedules.