ECE recommends that students engage in activities outside the boundaries of the classroom that could enhance and enrich their academic journey with us. There are several ways through which students can incorporate classroom learning with real world experience. Typically most of our students seek out internships or co-op opportunities, while also engaging with a variety of diverse student groups.
The UMN Engineering Co-op Program provides students with industrial experience during the last two years of their academic careers. Students complete two or three full-time semester long industrial assignments alternating with regular academic semesters.
The program offers students an understanding of an engineer’s role in the technical world and helps them select an area within the relatively broad field of electrical engineering. The experience motivates students to plan and successfully complete their academic program. The co-op is a graded program and helps students improve their technical communication skills through technical journal assignments. Grades for the program are based on the student’s writing.
An internship is a short-term position that provides students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working with professionals in science and technology fields. It is an opportunity to develop and hone technical skills, while also learning about teamwork, professional ethics, accountability, and communication. Internships are arranged by students directly with corporations or institutions. This activity does not qualify as an opportunity for academic credit.
For information about internships, and career advice (résumé building, writing cover letters, and so on) please go to the CSE Career Center.
Student groups are an excellent way to socialize, meet peers with similar interests, and apply knowledge acquired in a classroom setting. ECE students are part of several such groups and most groups have a student body from a variety of different CSE majors. Engaging in projects that impact people in different parts of the world, experimenting and developing new technologies while improving existing ones, hosting and interacting with industry representatives for discussions on career prospects, and hosting recruitment events are a few of the several different activities that student groups engage in. Some of our prominent student organizations include IEEE Student Chapter, Innovative Engineers, Engineers without Borders, National Society of Black Engineers, Tesla Works, University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project, and Society of Women Engineers. An exhaustive listing of all student groups and student chapters of professional societies can be found on the Student Unions & Activities page.