Take the skills you've learned in the classroom and apply them in real-world experience.

A summer abroad can be one of your most valuable experiences here at Calvin. After nine years of placing students in internships across Europe, engineering professor Ned Nielsen has noticed a significant number of students return to the United States with a desire to study the language of their host country. "That is unheard of for engineering majors," Nielsen says. "Their whole outlook on life changes." The cultural enrichment that comes from an overseas internship is essential for engineers, Nielsen believes. Now, as never before, "in engineering, you have to design for the whole world," he says. "I had an e-mail two weeks ago from a company with an opening for a mechanical engineer who spoke German and who had international experience. How many people fit those criteria?" Nielsen asks. "I knew three."

Along with a reference for future employers, in your specific field of engineering, you'll return with a new, first-hand knowledge of the world where you solve problems. Explore the range of placements in west Michigan and across the globe.

Requirements for internship credit

The internship must consist of engineering work at an appropriate level for a minimum of nine full-time consecutive weeks. Students must:

  • Provide a written report of their activities under the signature of their supervisor to the Internship Coordinator, Prof. Ned Nielsen, and
  • Make a formal presentation of the internship work done during the fall semester. This is typically done at the Internship Poster Session every October for returning sophomores and juniors. Seniors are asked to give oral presentations to first-year engineering students and students on an International Internship will give a department seminar. (Posters are to be created electronically using the Engineering Poster Policy and Guidelines.)

Here are just a few examples of past internships:

North America

  • Medtronic Physio-Control
    Redmond, WA
  • Decc Company
    Grand Rapids, MI
  • Johnson Controls
    Holland, MI
  • Halla Climate Control Canada
    Belleville, OT, Canada
  • SDI Consultants
    Oak Brook, IL
  • Pharmacia Corporation
    Kalamazoo, MI

International

  • Pfizer Global Research and Development
    Freiburg, Germany
  • Goldschmidt AG (Division of Degussa)
    Mannheim, Germany
  • Rockwell Automation
    Aarau, Switzerland
  • Pharmacia
    Arecibo, Puerto Rico
  • Sulzer Repco B.V.
    Netherlands

Courses

Get involved

Do you have the ability to place an intern with your company/employer? Please contact:

Professor Ned Nielsen
Engineering Internship Coordinator
nnielsen@calvin.edu
616-526-6440

Summers of research and experience

The engineering department hosts an annual internship exposition designed to acquaint the Calvin community and the general public with the internships and research activities engineering students. These students are encouraged to prepare posters that describe their experience as an intern or showcase their research discoveries. Topics vary from wastewater treatment in Wisconsin to Mercedes Benz shock absorbers in Nigeria or bagasse charcoal filters being developed here at Calvin. The posters are put on display in the lobby and wings of the Engineering Building where students meet with visitors and describe their work.

This year’s past poster fair was held on Wednesday, October 14 and was a great success. There was a large turnout with many underclassmen hoping to learn more about potential summer opportunities and how engineering applies in a real world context. The opportunity gives current students the opportunity to share their excitement and summer experience with the rest of the Calvin community.