By Janet A Smith
The College of Engineering has introduced a new Engineering Practice option for Master of Science (MS) and Master of Engineering (MEng) students in all concentrations. Students may now add the designation “with Engineering Practice” to their degree by completing an approved internship in their field of study. The designation is widely recognized by employers and research institutions.
The Engineering Practice option recognizes the power of combining rigorous academic coursework with supervised real-world research or industrial applications. Participating students enhance classroom learning with practical experiences that enable them to both develop and apply technical, project management and leadership skills.
Opening Doors to Future Careers
The new designation formalizes and gives recognition to graduate-level internships, which several engineering students have pursued in recent years. Some, like Abhinav Nair (MEng’14), who last summer helped develop a major new online educational curriculum for the educational publisher Pearson, have parlayed their internships into a full-time jobs. He was paired up with a senior developer at Pearson who was available round the clock to answer questions, and reported to a development manager who held one-on-one sessions with him to provide feedback and guidance. The position ultimately led to a full-time post for Nair when the developer left the company.
“Over the course of my experience at Pearson, I learned the importance of truly being accountable for work that I produced,” said Nair. “The product that I worked on caters to millions of students and thousands of educators all over the world and everything we did as a part of the team touched their lives in a positive way every day. I learned the importance of maintaining that standard. Handling work that was this important also instilled a great deal of confidence in me as an engineer.”
Nair believes that practical work experience is a vital adjunct to classroom learning. “There is no doubt about how inspiring classroom education at Boston University is,” he noted. “But for a truly eye-opening experience it is extremely important for a graduate student to step out of their comfort zone into the real world. It is a fantastic platform to apply one’s expertise and knowledge.
“The program has been a great stepping stone for me into industry. My internship helped me transition from being a student in a nest to spreading my wings as a professional engineer. I wouldn’t think twice before endorsing it to my peers.”
Real-World Mastery, Exciting Projects
College of Engineering graduate students have completed internships with many leading companies, including industry leaders such as Intel, GE, and iRobot.
MEng student Anish Shah (CE) discovered this during a 12-week internship with Intel in which he and his team captured the attention of world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking. The interns worked on creating a practical gateway device to improve the wheelchair experience and benefit health care monitoring for disabled individuals.
“My internship at Intel allowed me to apply everything I have learned in the classroom and involved working and interacting with multiple groups in the company,” said Shah. “Practical experience is very important if you are looking for a job after graduation. It gives you exposure to a professional work environment. It adds value to your resume/CV and serves as a platform to launch your career.”
All Master of Science or of Master of Engineering students can apply for the new Engineering Practice designation. They must first identify an internship opportunity and seek faculty approval for their project. Specific requirements are available online. For more information, contact the ENG Graduate Programs Office.