The purpose of the traineeship (internship) is to get working experience in a company or institute at an academic level: working in an organisation outside the University of Twente which has specific purposes: carrying out research or delivering products or services to clients.
After the internship the student should be able to contribute to the research and/or development in a company or organisation:
- To apply academic knowledge and skills in a professional setting.
- To attune yourself and your work to the situation in the organisation and the wishes of your supervisor within the context f an existing task description.
- Defining own design/research goals in this situation, judge which parts of the problem need further analysis.
- Planning the work to be carried out according to the available time.
- Analysing the economic aspects of the work and the impact of it on society.
- To apply and expand scientific and technical competencies in a professional setting.
- Expanding and applying your knowledge about the topic(s) of the internship
- Carrying out analyses on an abstract level, proposing experiments and designs and/or constructive activities and carrying them out in a methodologically correct way.
- Interact and communicate in a professional organization and practice business etiquette.
- Taking part in discussions about the work with colleagues in the organisation.
- Finding assistance from colleagues in the organisation for specific details of the work.
- Reporting about the work in oral and written form.
During the internship (traineeship, external training) you apply the knowledge, you acquired during your course programme, working at a company or institute. The purpose is to work under circumstances resembling as much as possible the situation after your graduation in our first job. This means that during the internship you will be considered in the organisation as a junior colleague by the other employees. You will have to carry out a certain task that has been written down in a task description before you started your internship. The internship has a study load of 20 EC and will take at least 14 weeks of work. From the start of your internship the following topics are on the agenda:
Discussions with your supervisor
Discuss your task description with your supervisor. Probably this description has been kept very global without too many details. You have to negotiate with your supervisor what you can contribute within the available time of your internship. After your first meeting you should have regular meetings with your supervisor to discuss your progress and to find out if you are still on the right track to reach the aims that you have.
Literature search and orientation
Your course programme should give you a sound basis to carry out your task in the organisation. However, almost certainly there will specific topics that you don’t know about and that you will have to study before you can start your work. It may be necessary to read literature and to consult more experienced colleagues about details and techniques.
To be sure that you will be able to reach your goals you should plan ahead. Check your planning during your work. Adapt it if unexpected things happen. This way you can keep track of your progress, which you can use during you discussions with your supervisor.
Carrying out your work
Now it is time to show that you can use the knowledge and competences you brought with you from the university. So you should identify the problems to be solved, analyse them, formulate solutions, implement these solutions and evaluate them.
Economy and Society
Of course your task has been defined by the company, but it may be expected from you that you think about the role your activities play in the organisation: why did they give you this task? How do they fit the activities of the company? Also, the activities of the organisation will have a certain impact on the society to which it delivers its products or services. You contribute to these products or services so your work has its impact on society that you might contemplate. It is expected from you that you spend some attention about this in your internship report.
The first purpose of your report is to inform the company about your work. Also the report should contain documentation about your products that can be used by your successors. However the report should also inform your UT supervisor and other people from the UT about your work. They will be less well informed about the company and your work, so your report should give enough background information to make your work understood by them. Discuss with both your supervisors their expectations about the report. A general setup is given at https://www.utwente.nl/ewi/Internship/information_for_students/report/.
At the end of your internship, your supervisor at the organisation will assess you by filling in the assessment form that you should give him and that you can download from https://www.utwente.nl/ewi/Internship/forms/forms_in_english/Internship%20Supervisor%20Evaluation%20Form.pdf. After your return you should deliver the filled in form to your UT-supervisor together with your report. Your UT-supervisor will act as the examiner and give you your final mark by filling in the UT-supervisor assessment form.
The following persons and organizations play a role during your internship:
- The host organization, which is the company or institution where you will carry out the internship. The host organization assigns a staff member who will supervise your work.
- The Educational Supervisor is a lecturer of your master’s programme. He/she will monitor the scientific level of your internship. The Educational Supervisor should give approval to the internship before you make your final appointments with the host organization. After the Internship, he/she will carry out the final assessment and decide about the mark.
- The internship office, which consists of the internship coordinator and the mediator. They will supervise the student from the beginning of the searching process finding a position until the end of the Internship, when the last documents should be archived.
Many students find an internship position at a company, but also an institution or university is possible. An internship can be done everywhere in the world; in Enschede but also in New Zealand or somewhere in between. “The sky is the limit”, unless you manage to find a position with NASA or ESA as an astronaut. The only place on earth definitely out of scope is the UT itself. In all cases, the host institute should provide an assignment that must be approved by the educational supervisor. Approval will only be given if the assignment has sufficient academic level.
How to find a position
One might distinguish three ways to find a host institute:
- The database of the internship office: the office maintains databases containing companies and experience reports. These reports are written by students and describe their experiences during the internship.
- A lecturer in a chair (research group): during research, lecturers often cooperate with companies and institutions that might also be willing to provide an internship position.
- On your own: it is possible and allowed to find an internship position on your own. Many companies offer Internship positions on their websites. Finding a position in this way may not be easy but it may lead to a surprising and rewarding internship.
In all cases the internship must be approved by a lecturer before you make your final appointments with the host institute.
Twice a year, information sessions are held about the internship, in September and April. You can find them in the timetables of the master’s programmes.
Make an appointment with the internship mediator (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you start to think about an internship. During this meeting, the procedure will be discussed and a planning will be made for the preparation, the internship itself and the completion after return. See your mediator at least six months before you plan to go. After this meeting, the Blackboard site with training positions will be opened for you.