Internship or Graduate Faster?

thevideographer

Well-Known Member
So here's the situation: I'm a Junior at UND now and will be a Senior in December. I transferred after my sophomore year which set me back slightly and I have already extended my degree to a 5 year plan. This is the point where I am finally eligible for some good internships that could involve flight time and getting to work in the industry. My question is, is it worth it to take a summer and fall semester to do an internship (pushing my degree to 6 years), or should I just finish school as quickly as possible?

I won't be making this decision just based on internet advice but I'd like to hear your views on it.
 

drunkenbeagle

Gang Member
Graduate. Internships are great if you have to be in school anyway, but I wouldn't stay in school longer than necessary for one.
 

grkero

fer yer health
I won't be making this decision just based on internet advice
Oh then I'm not gonna waste my time! I kid I kid.

A lot of my friends in school had internships that were a lot of fun and seemed pretty cool, but they didn't materialize into anything after graduation. I would go for an internship if I had a really good feeling that if I impressed my supervisor as an intern, I could potentially have a job offer after grad. But the way flying jobs are, that might be hard to swing. In general I would say just graduate and get it over with.
 

thevideographer

Well-Known Member
Yeah I'm probably not going to pursue it. The internship (Beechcraft) sounded great in the meeting but I can't justify 6 months off for some possible hours and a little pay. Now if I get one at Virgin Galactic it's a different story.
 

spoolinup22

Well-Known Member
What they said.
Well at an institution that we are both familiar with, everyone used to always want to do the Delta internship because they could get an in with Express, but now that Express raised their mins to ATP it doesn't seem so hot anymore...

Apparently we used to have a UPS internship??
 

jskibo

Done
Well at an institution that we are both familiar with, everyone used to always want to do the Delta internship because they could get an in with Express, but now that Express raised their mins to ATP it doesn't seem so hot anymore...

Apparently we used to have a UPS internship??
When I was there (and it will quickly date me) there was United, UPS, Delta and TWA :)
 

spoolinup22

Well-Known Member
haha i was digging through some of the boxes of photos and what not that just made it to our new building and i found a picture of "TWA Day". It's so weird because for the past 5 years I've been here I've only heard of American Airlines day...but yeah pretty cool seeing a TWA MD80 here at MDH....although the UAL A320 makes for a fun landing to watch.
 

deadpixel

Well-Known Member
UPS use to offer a year long internship but they've discontinued it since I think last year :(

I missed the hawker beechcraft presentation, what exactly did they say was offered? I'm gonna try and swing one in the summer, but I don't wanna delay graduation too :\
 

Skåning

Well-Known Member
In my personal experience, I would say don't underestimate the power of networking and an internship is a great way to network. Now it mainly will help you get a job at the company at which you intern (which is the idea!). So if you choose an internship, do so at a company that you would like to work. If you are confident that you can get some serious connections without the internship, go ahead and graduate early.

I chose internship over an earlier graduation and don't regret it at all. Actually, I'm really happy about how things worked out and got hired with low times and no CFI ratings. That equated to saved time (years perhaps) and money (cost of ratings). Now those things may bring other experiences but I was focused on just getting to an airline job as soon as possible. Nowadays since all the regionals have ATP as their mins, consider an internship at a mainline company (if you want to go airline). That way, after a few years of keeping in touch with your former boss you can say, "hey I need a job".
 

Screaming_Emu

Joe Conventional
All I can say is don't ever say "well, I'll come back and finish it later."

You wont. And if you do, it'll be a long time down the road. I walked across the stage in cap and gown in 2006. Failed my calc class and said "I'll do it later." Finally finished it this summer, will graduate Dec 2012. Life gets in the way, you get out of the academic mindset, and finishing will be much much harder.

Not the same thing as taking a semester off to do an internship. But finish the degree as soon as you can.
 

jskibo

Done
Just to put my two cents in.....but keep in mind I dropped the flight degree for this....

I took the three semester co-op at McDonnell-Douglas when I was at SIU. I was on track to graduate withe Bachelors in two and a half years, but delayed it by a Semester so I could fulfill two semesters if the three required for the program. I got the offer when I was done and four months to shop it around before I had to accept.

It worked out, I took the job, advanced quickly with the help of some connections I made during the program and 15 years later left at mid 100k+ for a better offer at GE.

When I was a hiring manager with two equal candidates in front of me, the one who had some internships always got the job I was offering.

Don't dismiss the value of connections you can make with an internship or co-op.

That being said, again my experience wasn't in a flight job.
 

cmhumphr

Well-Known Member
Myself along with many JC'ers did internships in school that lead to jobs. Obviously everyone's mileage will vary, but not only are you getting college credit for it, but the experience is irreplaceable. I wouldn't trade anything for the 2 internships that I did, even if it did set me back slightly for graduating. Do it over the summer if you can, or just take one class while you do the internship. Who cares if you're not going to graduate on time. Life and success is a journey not a destination. Enjoy every little thing that may come your way. You just never know what kind of opportunity lies after the completion of your internship.
 

Cory Trevor

Well-Known Member
I'm in a pretty similar situation to you. I already know I'm on the 5 1/2 year plan. Starting next month I'm going to start applying to any and all internships that I can over the summer. Normally, I'd be working a slightly higher paying job back home but getting a paid internship in aviation would benefit me a ton later on, I hope anyway. I guess the 1500 ATP rule will hinder it a little, but it never hurts to get your name out there.
 

BCTAv8r

Well-Known Member
This is very interesting. In most fields, people would probably advise him to take the internship, as it does open up a lot of opportunities. But I guess this isn't applicable to aviation.
 

KOAK Flyer

Well-Known Member
Having done an internship at a major airline when I was in college, I can tell you that it was one of the most rewarding experiences that I ever had. The insight it provides, opportunities it affords, and connections that are made, both with your supervisors and with fellow interns, cannot be replaced. One of the best pieces of advice that a retired captain at the company I worked for gave me was to "enjoy the ride" and I could not agree more. You have, potentially, 40 years to fly airplanes but only one chance to go through college, and you definitely don't want to have regrets about what "I should have done."

The argument about the need to build hours is a valid one because let's face it, you typically will not be able to get hired by a company unless you meet their minimums. However, keep in mind that the industry we are in is a highly competitive one, with plenty of pilots that have the same ratings, same hours, flying the same type of airplane as you. What is going to set you apart from the rest? What is going to give you the edge over everyone else? This isn't to say that not taking an internship will close every door in this field. It may, though, open some that otherwise would have been shut.

As far as setting you back is concerned, it is definitely something to think about because, as it is a cyclical industry, the risk you take is that the airline that was hiring 6 months ago at the hours you had may no longer be hiring once you get done with the internship. For better or for worse, I have always been one to take my time in this field and, although I was set back a few months, I eventually graduated, finished my ratings, instructed to make 135 minimums, and am now freight doggin' it (and having a blast!). Ultimately, it boils down to your priorities and what you want out of this profession, something only you can answer.

Whatever decision you make, always remember to hold yourself to high standards and learn as much as you can at whatever stage of your career you are in. It is going to make you that much better of a pilot. Good luck and fly safe!
 
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