Request for advice to undergraduate Industrial Engineers (Human Factors Stream)

2 Apr 2010 - 12:58am
4 years ago
2 replies
890 reads
Zareen
2009

HI all,

I am currently in my 3rd year in Industrial Engineering at University of Toronto and am going through the job hunt to look for a full year internship in the area of Interface design,  information architecture and usbiliherty analysis.

However Im finding it extremely frustrating that there are no (might be an exaggeration) internships out there for undergraduates. They all seem to require masters degree or experience.

I would really appreciate if someone can give me any guidance about what companies "actually do"give opportunities to undergraduates in this field

I was also curious if US companies would consider gicing an internship to international students in Canada with work permits?? I have consulted the career centre at my university who told me they "might". The rest of their answer was so vague and against the field itself :P

Your guidance will be much appreciated!!!

 

Comments

2 Apr 2010 - 8:00am
Dave Malouf
2005

If you have the right to work in the US the US corps don't care where you are coming from.

As for companies that offer internships, there are a ton. My students are getting internships all over the US in UX related fields.
What I have discovered is that interships are really a matter of your school's relationship. Yes, there are publicly available internships, but students almost 100% of the time find out about them through their school's career services. We have a career services person who is dedicated to Industrial and Interaction Design at least part time (maybe 5 of some 80 programs in design and fine arts in our school). And he is supported by field reps around the US and world scoping out opportunities for our students (internships and jobs for graduates). I can't even begin to imagine how hard it would be for students to learn about all these rather niche opportunities if it wasn't for these resources.

The other way students get internships is through their professor's contacts. This is probably the most direct and reliable method. 

As for general searching, internships are a cost to organizations who's benefits are not easily tangiblized. Ergo the expense of listings beyond corporate career sites is not worth it. So my suggestion to you is to go company by company selecting the organizations you want to work with and searching their job sites.

I don't see a lot of internships here on the IxDA job board, but I do see quite a few on Coroflot.com so you might also want to look there.

Sorry I couldn't be more hopeful/helpful, but it is hard to find internships without having a great set of resources working for you.

Oh! another specific cultural reality. Many internships are exclusively available to a specific school or set of schools. Usually schools close to that org, or where the hiring managers (at some point in the orgs history) are alumni. This is about 25-30% of internships I have come across.

Ergo, choose your schools wisely.

-- dave

2 Apr 2010 - 8:20am
pnuschke
2007

Hi Zareen,
I think that many companies do in fact use internships, especially consultancies. My company always has interns (usually from local universities like Drexel), but I know that many others have internships as well. 
One problem with research/usability test-based internships is that skills required to be good at research (writing, synthesizing data/findings) are often only reliably present in people who have master's degrees. Design internships are often more successful for us because the designers can start out doing production work and then take on increasingly more responsibility. That model is harder to implement with research.
Of course, coming from Industrial Engineering, you will have to work hard on your portfolio if you want to win a design internship over a student coming from a design program. 
Paul

On Fri, Apr 2, 2010 at 3:26 AM, Zareen <zareen.babar@utoronto.ca> wrote:

HI all,

I am currently in my 3rd year in Industrial Engineering at University of Toronto and am going through the job hunt to look for a full year internship in the area of Interface design,  information architecture and usbiliherty analysis.

However Im finding it extremely frustrating that there are no (might be an exaggeration) internships out there for undergraduates. They all seem to require masters degree or experience.

I would really appreciate if someone can give me any guidance about what companies "actually do"give opportunities to undergraduates in this field

I was also curious if US companies would consider gicing an internship to international students in Canada with work permits?? I have consulted the career centre at my university who told me they "might". The rest of their answer was so vague and against the field itself :P

Your guidance will be much appreciated!!!

 

(((P
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