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Chrysler’s Intern Immersion on May 29. The day gives interns an opportunity to learn about the company, network with other interns and participate in team-building activities.


INTERNSHIPS MUTUALLY BENEFIT STUDENTS AND ORGANIZATIONS


C


reating win-win situations for promising STEM ca- reerists and organizations that rely on those careers are some of the reasons for investing in summer


internships.


Jenny Tieu, education office program coordinator with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, said her organization supports internships because they pro- vide students with invaluable experience to train alongside world-renowned scientists and engineers, with the goal of motivating and inspiring students to complete their STEM degrees and pursue related careers.


“We are providing a great opportunity and view this as a win-win: students work alongside scientists and engineers, at the same time, the lab attracts students who are pas- sionate and talented about space exploration. We really are excited to inspire new generations to come into the STEM field,” Tieu said.


JPL is a federally funded research and development facil- ity managed by the California Institute of Technology for the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA). The tools JPL has developed for space exploration also have proved invaluable in providing new insights and discoveries in studies of Earth, its atmosphere, climate, oceans, geology and the biosphere.


24 HISPANIC ENGINEER & Information Technology | Fall 2014


JPL, which has had internship programs for more than 30 years, hires more than 600 students for 10-week paid internships during the summer and about 800 internships throughout the year.


Tieu said her organization’s internships provide research experience in the various areas and opportunities include designing, developing and testing robotic-related missions.


Benefits to the laboratory include the enthusiasm the students bring as well as their contributions to the lab’s research. Student interns are co-authors on 10 percent of all JPL peer-reviewed publications.


For many interns, there’s an added benefit—employment. Tieu said JPL hires about 12 percent of graduates who are eligible for employment and other NASA Centers hire an- other 7 percent of eligible interns.


For those interns fortunate enough to be hired by JPL follow- ing completion of their education, Tieu said they start with a base of experience, network of connections and familiarity with the JPL campus and culture. She said all these elements are the foundation of a successful career.


Intern satisfaction with the program is high with 99 percent reporting via surveys that they would recommend


www.hispanicengineer.com


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