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Old 06-26-08, 10:10 AM   #1
kebp12
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Engineering intern with bicycle company ???

I'm a junior in mechanical engineering and would love to find an intern next summer with a bicycle company. Does anybody know of any companies that offer summer intern positions? I have looked on numerous websites, but can not find any company that has a structured intern program. These are the companies on my list (no particular order):

Trek
Giant
Cannondale
Zipp
Moots
Ritchey
Specialized
Look
Lightspeed
Raleigh

Any large companies I'm missing? Ideally I'd like to work on carbon TT frames, but am more than willing to start in a different area. Any other advice?

I appreciate the help.
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Old 06-26-08, 11:24 AM   #2
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Many companies hire interns but don't list the openings on their websites. They just contact a local school directly when they need interns. This was the arrangement when I got my internship. I'm guessing that most bicycle companies are a bit small to budget for interns. However, it can't hurt to write a great cover letter and resume and start making phone calls. If you have any experience doing real CAD work, any engineering department might enjoy pawning off some drawings to you. If the have to train you though, you're looking at a long shot. Smaller engineering departments don't have the budget or manpower to devote to training.

If you want to work in carbon composites, you might look into local aerospace companies which are more likely to have robust internship programs. Every aerospace firm is making something out of carbon these days. It would help you land a spot working on carbon bike frames if you could demonstrate experience working with carbon composites.
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Old 06-26-08, 11:51 AM   #3
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IMHO, interns should work for free. Your payment is knowledge.
If you agree, I would just start calling.
Most companies tend to be willing to have interns especially if they are free.
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Old 06-26-08, 12:37 PM   #4
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Good luck they let u touch the good stuff. An intern, they would put u degreasing chains!

Unless of course, on your resume, u had a good sting with NASA Ames, or spent last summer with Bert Rutan at Scaled Composites.


Scaled Composites, NOW, that's a company I'd like to spend time with. Why set you sight so low with a bike company? SC was hiring a while back.

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Old 06-26-08, 12:51 PM   #5
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Write some letters and see what kind of response you get. I know Spesh in California is hiring engineers, so maybe they'll take a summer intern too.
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Old 06-26-08, 12:59 PM   #6
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Good luck they let u touch the good stuff. An intern, they would put u degreasing chains!
Which is why i suggest not getting paid. If they pay you, they need to give you billable work. What kind of billable work can you do if you don't have any experience? Chain degreasing!

Case in point, I'm a graphic designer. When I interned, for free, I got to work on real projects. If my designs were good enough to show the client, good for me. If not, no loss to anyone but I still gained experience.
At the place I work out now we've had several interns come through, all paid. They help make comps. No designing... at all! WTF!?
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Old 06-26-08, 02:05 PM   #7
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Unless of course, on your resume, u had a good sting with NASA Ames, or spent last summer with Bert Rutan at Scaled Composites.


Scaled Composites, NOW, that's a company I'd like to spend time with. Why set you sight so low with a bike company? SC was hiring a while back.
No kidding. I think Scaled is the brass ring for just about every aerospace engineer. Scaled is the kind of small company I mentioned though. They have big projects but they are a small company. They do not hire interns, or any engineer without considerable experience. They just can't afford to be a place where engineers cut their teeth.

Even if you work for free, you aren't free to the company. They have to provide you a workstation, and you will undoubtedly keep their staff engineers distracted with lots of questions. So you have to have something to bring to the table. If you have good grades and some experience with company X's software, you have a shot. The only thing to do is inventory your skills, write a resume, and then get on the phone. Unless the company is actively seeking interns, emails will be instantly deleted. Keep in mind that non-bike companies may be a more realistic place to start. Uber-huge companies can afford to train interns in order to groom and select top engineering talent.
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Old 06-26-08, 05:55 PM   #8
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"structured intern program" - Say what? Internships are for wussies that can't survive outside the public school world, join http://www.cyclecide.com/, or apprentice with a frame builder(http://sandsmachine.com/fbplist.htm). Is it to late to intern at Burning Man? Burning Man, it's not too late. The intern stuff is crap. Burning man just do it.

Assuming you disregard my advice. I suggest you attend interbike and ask there.

have you considered the obvious Shimano, and SRAM. Why don't you blow this taco stand and go to Asia. That's where the bikes are made. That's the future. Dahon Xooter.com and rowbike.com might also be interesting.

Who makes those NuVinci hubs?
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Old 06-26-08, 08:27 PM   #9
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Mechanical engineering internships pay. Schwinn and Saris are in Madison, WI and both pay. They usually contact the UW cycling team and give priority, though.
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Old 06-26-08, 08:59 PM   #10
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Burning man.... I've got no clue what you are talking about. Can you tell me more?

The bicycle industry is something that interests me more than other industries. I've done several co-ops in the automotive industry, but its two big an industry and I don't get much fulfillment from it. Its just an idea right now of what I think I may like to do. I can't really offer to work for free because I need a way to pay for school.
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Old 06-26-08, 09:02 PM   #11
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if you want to work for these companies,better move to china,most bikes are built there.
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Old 06-26-08, 09:09 PM   #12
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I hire intern/co-op students quite frequently, but I've never advertised these positions. The local universities send me a list of how many students in each field which I've expressed an interest in are up for hire each semester. Then i say i'll take one mech and one comp science, and they forward my info to the students.

This is for what we call co-op programs here in Canada. Not sure if its the same in the US.

We dont build bikes, but a lot of us ride bikes to work
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Old 06-27-08, 12:52 AM   #13
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No kidding. I think Scaled is the brass ring for just about every aerospace engineer. Scaled is the kind of small company I mentioned though. They have big projects but they are a small company. They do not hire interns, or any engineer without considerable experience. They just can't afford to be a place where engineers cut their teeth.
Don't cut yourself short. So if u don't have lots of experience they may start u with simple fabrication, assistant to the big guys.

Precisely because they are small, Composites is not gonna be able to pay and have the nice benefit package that Boeing, for example is able to provide. Then if u have ALOT of experience, you are most likely used to do things a certain way, the "correct way" as prescribed by your previous large employer. Composites doesn't have time for you to do it the "correct way" (lots of measuring/lots of testing/) they are on a compressed time scale compared to the big guys. What SC is looking for is, u know your basic stuff packed down, your impatience to work with big bureaucratic organizations, you are willing to do it "not quite perfect" and know what's reasonable risk. And not looking for a big salary package.
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Old 06-27-08, 01:56 PM   #14
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Mechanical engineering internships pay.
They certainly should. I've never heard of engineering interns working for free. Around here, a Mech E. intern typically makes $15-18/hr.
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Old 06-27-08, 02:02 PM   #15
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IMHO, interns should work for free. Your payment is knowledge.
Good luck with that thought.

The company I worked for not only paid the interns prevailing engineering wages, albeit for only 2-3 months, they provided them with housing (long stay hotel suites) and transportation to and from their physical work site.

Internship is an investment. You give the student an opportunity to experience the "real world" while at the same time getting perhaps a sneak-peek at a future employee.
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Old 06-27-08, 02:24 PM   #16
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I hire intern/co-op students quite frequently, but I've never advertised these positions. The local universities send me a list of how many students in each field which I've expressed an interest in are up for hire each semester. Then i say i'll take one mech and one comp science, and they forward my info to the students.

This is for what we call co-op programs here in Canada. Not sure if its the same in the US.
We dont build bikes, but a lot of us ride bikes to work
I've only heard the Fed Govt in the US do co-op programs. I did when I worked there and it was absolutely the best way to hire. That's chiefly because the US government has a ridiculous hiring process where jobs have to be announced and competed and many require prior Federal service. So how can you hire bright young newcomers if prior service is involved? !!!

What worked well is the co-op program in both undergraduate and grad levels. Students work while taking classes. Their get educational credit as well for their work experience. Then you have the option to covert them to full time employment when they graduate.

It's so easy and great. If they don't work out, you either tell their advisor it'[s not working or you don';t convery them to a full time position. Try getting rid of a regular Federal employee that isn'yt working.
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Old 06-27-08, 06:18 PM   #17
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Your sig shows you're from Indiana, so maybe that means you are at Purdue or ND or maybe IU, but where ever you are, go to your career services center. They will have the necessary contact information for you, and if they don't they can get it.

Most coops are going to be geographically influenced, so think close to home. Check out Trek, Waterford and (I think Klein) in WI, SRAM in Chicago, Lynskey and Litespeed in TN, and so on ...

As an ME, you'll likely find more options at a component company than an integrator/manufacturer.

Best wishes...
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Old 06-28-08, 12:57 PM   #18
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I'm at Purdue. The career center won't be able to help with a bicycle specific intern position. They are a great resource for most interns. The ME school also has several good advisors when looking for an intern/ full time career. I think the best way will be to contact the companies directly and hope to get in touch with somebody that knows if there are positions.

thanks for the help.
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