Career Development: Internships

What is an internship?

Internships are opportunities for you to put the knowledge you have gained into practice and for you to experience the real world of industry, non-profits, and government. The internship host organizations are committed to providing opportunities for undergraduate students so that you can gain experience in your field, increase your problem–solving capabilities and learn about potential careers. Equally important are the written and oral communication skills that you will develop to present your work.

We also offer what we call "externships," which are just like internships but take place during the winter break and last only a couple of weeks.

Internship/externship time periods

  • Summer months (2- to 3-month internship)
  • January wintersession (~2-week externship)

What should I expect?

Internships and externships are possible for students studying engineering sciences, applied mathematics, biomedical engineering, computer science, and others who are interested in these disciplines. You can engage in internships and externships during the winter or summer of your sophomore, junior, or senior year.

Internships/externships provide opportunities to work for high-tech companies domestically and internationally; the experience can help you with networking and provide you with the chance to try out a prospective field of employment.

If you are selected for an internship/externship, you will work under the direction of a manager/adviser who will be responsible for:

  • establishing activities and projects you will work on,
  • assigning the team within which you will work, and
  • providing direction for tasks, offering training where needed, and evaluating your work.

Compensation for each internship is determined by the company.

Read about other students' experiences

Kevin Mazige photo1
Meet Kevin Mazige '13

Two weeks at Hemedex “showed me that even if I am put in an environment where I don’t know how things work right away… I feel as though I have the skills to be able to learn it,” Mazige says.

“It instilled confidence in me.”


Meet Heidi Lim '14

Lim traveled to Germany as a Ruhr Fellow and worked at a water management company.

“I would encourage anybody and everybody to apply,” she says. “It was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had.”

Funding options

The Harvard Office of Career Services can help you find funding for overseas experiences or domestic public service (more information here).

Finding and securing an internship

Internships and externships are an excellent way to stand out to both graduate programs and prospective employers and to reflect work experience on your résumé. The program allows you to gain experience, apply your classroom learning to the real world, and make connections with employers.

The Office of Career Services provides various resources that can aid you in your search:

SEAS internships and jobs at OCS
Opportunities targeted for SEAS students

Crimson Careers
Full listings of all OCS internships and jobs (log in required)

Resume and cover letter guide (PDF)
Tips for creating or revising your résumé

Career workshops and events
Calendar listing of special lectures, workshops, and company visits

Apply early! All offers for summer internships must be made by May 1. Note that companies are required to simultaneously notify Harvard when making an offer.

Internship/externships partners

A selection of companies, organizations, and government agencies that have recently hired SEAS undergraduate students for internships and externships. You should not feel restricted to this list.

Aerospace Industries Association
Alicia Foundation
Argonne National Laboratory
Endeavour Partners
GZA GeoEnvironmental Technologies, Inc.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Lenovo Group
Mahindra Group
McGraw-Hill Construction
McKinsey & Company
Mohave Sun Power
Mount Sinai Hospital
National Institutes of Health
Samyang Corporation
Suncor Energy
Templeman Automation
Thetis Environmental Science Company
U.S. Dept. of Transportation
U.S. Offshore Wind Collaborative
The White House
World Resources Institute
Yingli Green Energy Americas