Paid FIRST alum summer internships

This is for FIRST alums in college and companies willing to host summer interns that have FIRST experience. This is hypothetical but could be very real in a week based on feedback.

If you are an engineer, would you be willing to have a summer FIRST alum as an intern if they are free with the stipulation that you would hire a FIRST alum next year as a summer intern? Better yet, are you willing and know a FIRST alum you would hire if they were completely paid for? If it is the later, please send me a message.

Likewise, are you a FIRST alum looking for a summer internship opportunity with an engineering firm?

Time is VERY short. I need responses within 48 hours.


One of our sponsors has been generous in providing paid internships to many of our students and alumni, myself included. By “completely paid for” do you mean the a third party would pay the student’s salary?

As a FIRST Alum currently studing Mechanical Engineering, I’m ALWAYS on the lookout for summer internships, near or far.

Yes, a third party is interesting is paying for the student. No expense to the company other than working with the student and agreeing to hire a FIRST alum next year as a summer intern. The objective is to jump start a formal FIRST program.

To add a little more detail, the goal is to start a formal FIRST program that makes it easy for companies to hire FIRST alums for college internships. This will compliment existing programs that a few large companies have already started. To kick start it, we have two agencies willing to pay for this year, committing between $500K and $1.5M. The student is free to the company. My concern is the short fuse, placing students this summer. This is why I’m reaching out to this community.

I need to fast track this, find students and companies immediately.

Where are you located? Do you have any industry contacts? I can give them details.

Your best bet is contacting a rep from colleges that give out FIRST scholarships - they’ll have students and companies they can put you in touch with.

I’ve gotten the green light for internships. These are paid positions where a 3rd party will pay for the intern this year with the request that the company hires a FIRST alum through a new FIRST summer internship program next year.

To pull this off, I really need matched sets: companies with a student that they know they’d like to hire (student must be a FIRST alum). Some of you have messaged me privately. I’ll reach out to you shortly.


I’m not looking for an internship - I’m in industry - but I’m interested in hearing more about this. Are you able to share the funding source behind this? Are you looking for internship matches for this summer or in the future? Are you trying to set up a long-term program or is this just for this year? And is this for engineering internships specifically or for any FIRST alum looking for an internship?

Yes, one of them. The Department of Energy. There is a second that I’m not at liberty to share. This is a pilot for a long term program. This year, to get it rolling, DOE is willing to pay for up to 50 interns for industry. If the second organization comes thru we can support 150. They are free, all we need is students matched with companies. The catch is that the industry partner is willing to hire a new student next year through the program. It’s targeted at FIRST alums in college. We are also looking for feedback on what students/industry is looking for.

I am a mentor for 3824 and work at Oak Ridge National Lab. We are big into printing. We worked with DOE 2 years ago to get printers into FIRST. Now we are trying to establish an internship program for graduates. I’m frankly puzzled why there hasn’t been more interest and could use help spreading the word. We are working with Don Bossi, ORAU (an organization that places about 10,000 students every year) and DOE. All I’m looking for is students matched with companies, we will take care of the rest. Any help would be greatly appreciated.



I don’t have any matched pairs of students/internship spots in mind already, but will ask around. Would a university or national lab spot work as well? I want to narrow which alumni/parents/sponsors I should check in with. Thanks for all your efforts with this. It sounds like it will be a wonderful opportunity for students.



Thanks for your reply. It sounds like a great opportunity, and I’d like to help it grow.

As for why you haven’t heard more interest yet, I have two ideas:

  1. This is not the best time of year to recruit for summer internships - most companies have already hired their summer interns for this summer, and those interns have already started, and most companies have not yet started recruiting for next summer.

  2. Large companies have an internal process that must be followed to recruit and hire anyone. They may also have concerns about not paying their interns directly. (That might change if they had detailed information from the DOE about this program.)

I will share this with my contacts at smaller companies who might be interested.

We are on the same page. My intention was to pilot this next summer. I typically hire 30 students every summer to work in our lab and make my selections in March. But when I can pay others nationally for free… That’s enticing.

Thanks for the help.


Summer internship program is active. See link below. This is a pilot for what we (FIRST team 3824) hope to be a standard program to all FIRST alumni looking for summer internship opportunities.


I was one of those who applied for (and was accepted to) the SpaceX internship program last year. It’s a super cool program and directly recruits FRC alums (right out of high school too!). I didn’t see anything about it on CD this year, but it could make a return in future years.

Also, if you’re looking to work in a field related to FRC stuff (EE, ME, CS, some startup related stuff, math, physics, etc.) your experience on an FRC team will definitely help you get a position. This summer, I’m working at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) on Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS), a project looking for small phonon and charge signals in Ge and Si crystals at 60 mK in order to look for WIMP dark matter. FRC experience definitely made me a more attractive student for my advisor, and has helped me a ton on the project so far.

There’s lots of cool positions out there, and while potential employers and professors may not be looking for FRC and FIRST kids per se, the skills you learn in FRC will serve you very well when looking for and performing well at a job.

For those in the New Hampshire Area, be sure to apply for the FIRST internship with BAE systems in Nashua. I’m currently an intern and I love it! Feel free to PM me with any questions.