Experience helps you test out, or prototype, your interest areas and gives you insight for decision making about your career. It is also highly valued by employers when you apply for future positions, as it demonstrates self-initiative and skill development. Our career coaches can help you navigate seeking experiences to explore your interests and make meaning of those that have been most significant to you!

Student organizations offer a great environment to work in teams, expand on communication and leadership skills, and practice what you learn in the classroom. You can join organizations unique to engineering as well as social, service, and interest cross-campus organizations that help you gain experience and prepare for work environments.

An internship is a professional learning experience that offers meaningful, practical work related to your field of study or career interest. Internships help you prototype or try on different career experiences to determine what you like and what you do not. You may be surprised to find your initial career interests are not what you expected. Or, you may find a new career path that is more exciting than you thought!

Internships typically occur during one summer or semester, however companies may offer an opportunity to return for a second term.

By the numbers

  • 65% of all engineering student graduates complete an internship or co-op while at Auburn.
  • In recent years, starting salaries for students with co-op or internship experience were 8% higher than students with no professional experience.

When you are ready to search for your first (or next) internship, 

When you secure an internship offer,

  • Report your internship to the Engineering CDCR
  • Enroll in the Engineering Internship course, ENGR 3920, a 0-credit hour course that allows the Engineering CDCR to support you in your internship and allows the experience to appear on your academic transcript.

Cooperative education is a planned and supervised program that alternates semesters of full-time college classroom instruction with 3 semesters of full-time paid employment. Work assignments are closely related to your academic program and designed to prepare you for your professional career by combining your academic training with practical work experience.

Whether you are interested in graduate school or curious about a career in research, there are a variety of ways to get involved in research at Auburn. Undergraduate research can enhance your educational experience by enriching your understanding of classroom knowledge, deepening relationships with faculty mentors, and further developing critical thinking and communication skills.

Where to get started

There is not a singular path to identifying research opportunities. Some positions are individualized and associated with a particular professor while others are more programmatic with a specific start and end point. Take initiative and do your homework by looking at department websites and individual faculty areas of research; talking to peers, graduate TAs, and professors; and searching online postings.

  • Word of mouth
    Many faculty and / or graduate assistants announce opportunities for research assistant positions through verbal class announcements or by sending emails to a class, department, or college listserv. Keep your eyes and ears open so you can respond when an opportunity is presented.
  • Posted positions
    Some research positions can be found posted on the AU Student Employment website.
  • Self-Initiated Outreach
    Consider your interests and curiosities. Start by looking at faculty bio pages on department websites, noticing each professor's area of research focus. When you identify a research focus you are curious about, contact the professor by email to indicate your interest and ask about their research assistant needs.
  • Auburn Research Fellowship Program
    A research fellows program which provides a stipend and possible funds for travel or research materials as well as opportunities for interacting with undergraduate researchers in other departments and colleges. The program consists of year-long, two-semester, one-semester, or summer fellowship opportunities. To apply, identify a faculty mentor and develop a research proposal for submission in January.
  • Auburn University Undergraduate Research Office
  • National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF REU) | Research programs funded by the National Science Foundation at host institutions across the United States
  • Pathways to Science   |  An external directory of STEM research programs for undergraduates

Gain experience in another country where you can be exposed to your area of study in a new context and develop skills in intercultural competence and communication.

Teach yourself new skills through online and on-demand learning platforms. When you review job or internship postings you are curious about, take note of qualification requirements. Take initiative to learn or develop skills that will help you prepare for a work experience! Many learning platforms offer free courses while others are fee-based.

  • LinkedIn Learning |  If you work for the university as a student employee, you have free access to LinkedIn Learning, an online training resource. You can learn about topics in business, design, IT, data, operations and project management, marketing, and much more. You can also stack courses and complete LinkedIn badges and certificates that appear on your LinkedIn profile. 
    How to access: Create and login to your LinkedIn account. Click the image at the top right and login using your AU credentials.
  • Coursera
  • EdX
  • Udemy
  • SkillShare