Securing an internship at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) as an undergraduate student involves a series of steps and requirements. To begin with, students must be enrolled in a college undergraduate or graduate program, with a minimum GPA of 3.00. They also need to pass a background check, drug screen, and employment verification.
The application process includes writing an internship resume and cover letter, which are required by most companies, including JPL. It is also beneficial to ask for a letter of recommendation and make a list of companies where one would like to intern. Volunteering to intern and preparing for an interview are also crucial steps in the process.
Internships at JPL vary in job specifications, with some requiring students to shadow existing staff while others may involve overseeing tasks or projects. Interns are given more responsibility nowadays, distinguishing them from work experience placements.
For JPL specifically, desirable characteristics include aptitude in STEM fields, enthusiasm, motivation, focus, and commitment to complete a project. The internships are paid and require U.S. citizenship or legal permanent resident status.
The JPL Summer Internship Program offers 10-week, full-time opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. Students are partnered with JPL scientists or engineers who serve as their mentors.
Applicants should demonstrate problem-solving, teamwork, and leadership skills. Software and other technical skills are considered a bonus. JPL values potential interns who show enthusiasm and a willingness to learn, overcome obstacles, and work as part of a team.
The estimated average pay for a Summer Intern at JPL in the United States is $19.70 per hour, which is 24% above the national average.
Finally, it’s important to note that the application deadline for the summer internship program is usually around March, and applicants can expect to hear back by April if they are going to receive an offer for the summer.