Whenever our career advisors meet with 1st Years, students often want to know if employers hire 1st Years as interns (and if not, how do other Engineers spend their summers). Let's review several summer programs designed specifically for 1st Years, along with additional ideas for how to spend your first summer as a UVA student.

Do employers hire 1st Year Engineers?


Some employers hire 1st Years as interns, but most prefer to hire 3rd Year students (and many hire 2nd Years as well) as they’ve completed more coursework, which is often relevant to the job.

If you’d like to explore internship opportunities for Summer 2020:

  • Visit the Jobs section in Handshake and select Filters > open the Employer Preferences drop-down menu > select the School Year box. Select other filters such as Internship to find potential opportunities.
  • For upcoming career fairs, view the list of employers and select Freshman under School Year to see a list of employers who expressed an interest in connecting with 1st Years.
  • Talk to family, friends, professors, and mentors you currently know (i.e., your network) about your interests and goals. Update them as your interests and goals evolve. They may be able to refer you to people in their networks whose companies hire interns. Learn more about networking, which is a common way 1st Years have reported finding an internship.

Internships & Opportunities for 1st Year Engineers


Learn about a variety of organizations that have created internships and opportunities for 1st Year students:

Facebook University for Engineers is a paid eight-week training program designed to provide mobile development experience to current 1st and 2nd Year students who are historically under-represented in computer science. Applications usually due mid-fall semester.

Google STEP is an internship for 1st and 2nd Year undergraduate students with a passion for Computer Science. Application usually due mid-fall semester.

The Amazon Future Engineer program offers a software development internship providing hands-on learning and building experiences for college freshmen and sophomores who are making an early commitment to computer science. Application due to open mid-fall semester.

Explore Microsoft is a 12-week summer internship program specifically designed for 1st and 2nd Year students and provides the opportunity to experience the main phases of the product development cycle: Design, Build and Quality. Application open mid-fall semester and positions may be filled on a rolling basis.

Learn about federal internships and opportunities through the Pathways Internship Program. Deadlines vary.

While not designed for 1st Year students alone, the Commonwealth STEM Industry Internship Program connects STEM students to paid summer opportunities with companies in Virginia. The program requires that students have completed at least 30 credits before the internship begins. Applications are open and ongoing.

Additional opportunities from previous years have included:

Accenture Student Empowerment Program
Capital One Summits
Deloitte's Pioneer Internship, plus additional opportunities.

More ways to gain experience as a 1st Year

Most students spend the summer between 1st and 2nd year working at a non-STEM related part-time job, taking summer courses, engaged in undergraduate research, or pursuing another endeavor (e.g., traveling, volunteering, independent projects). We cover various ways to gain experience on our website and encourage you to pursue the path that’s best for you. 

Visit us during Drop-In Advising hours if you'd like to chat with a career advisor about your summer plans!