You’re hired — Now what?
Who can apply?
Any registered course VI junior in good standing may apply to the VI-A Internship Program. Students must be committed to the completion of the work assignments and of the M.Eng. degree with an industry-based thesis. VI-A Student Handbook.
How do I apply?
Anyone interested in joining VI-A must file a formal application, resume, letter of recommendation (optional), grade report, and interview preference list. Check the current VI-A list of Key Events for specific due dates.
From whom should I obtain a letter of recommendation?
It is best to request a letter of recommendation from faculty or others who know you and your work well (e.g., UROP, project or summer job supervisor), instead of someone who only knows you superficially.
What is the selection process?
The VI-A office forwards student applications to VI-A companies, based on the information provided on students’ interview preference lists. VI-A companies preview the applications and select the students they wish to interview. Company representatives visit MIT, usually in late October or early November, to interview prospective interns over a two-day period. Based on the formal interviews and applications, companies then submit a ranked list of students selected for consideration. Ranked students, in turn, rank their preferences for VI-A companies. The VI-A office then makes placements by matching company lists with student lists.
Do I keep my regular academic advisor?
Yes, when a student joins the VI-A Program they keep the same academic advisor assigned to them when they joined course VI. Your faculty counselor continues to handle registration matters and should be consulted for education advice.
What is a VI-A faculty advisor?
The VI-A Program assigns one EECS faculty advisor to each company. (See Appendix C for a list of VI-A faculty advisors.) The faculty advisor works with both the VI-A intern and company representatives throughout the VI-A Internship. Additionally, the faculty advisor assists the student, and student’s faculty counselor, with issues relating to VI-A work assignments and generally visits their VI-A students at the VI-A company once each summer.
How am I graded?
Students are required to submit a mid-term and final report on each work assignment. You will receive an “Incomplete” if you do not return complete reports on time. Additionally, we require company mentors to complete an “Employer’s Evaluation Report” at the conclusion of each assignment. All of these reports enter into the granting of academic credit for VI-A work assignments. If you meet all the reporting requirements and have performed satisfactory work at your VI-A company you will receive a “P” grade in your VI-A registration (6.921, 6.922, or 6.951).
How can I fit everything into my class schedule?
Plan ahead using the S.B. and M.Eng. Requirements checklist.
How do students complete their M.Eng. thesis assignments?
VI-A students admitted to the M.Eng. program usually have consecutive summer and fall VI-A assignments after their senior year. To complete their M.Eng. thesis, other schedules can be accommodated with the agreement of their VI-A company.
The purpose behind making the last two work assignments consecutive is to provide the student sufficient time to do an in-depth piece of engineering work at the company which will be acceptable to the Department’s faculty as the basis for the M.Eng. thesis. For special circumstances, with the agreement of their VI-A company, VI-A students can request from the VI-A Program a different graduate intern schedule.
Is this a paid internship?
Yes. However, we believe salary should not be the main determinant in the selection of a particular company. VI-A student salaries are established by the individual companies and are not necessarily uniform among all VI-A companies. Salary information is available from the individual company only, not from the VI-A office.
Will my salary increase?
Yes. You will generally receive an increase in salary for each successive work assignment. By the time you complete your senior year you will have completed the academic work for your S.B. degree, and a company normally sets its salaries accordingly for such students.
Am I guaranteed admission into the M.Eng. program?
No. M.Eng. admission is determined by a minimum grade point average. For more information on admission, visit the EECS M.Eng. admission web page.
What do I need to know about my M.Eng. thesis?
To get the most out of the experience, VI-A graduate students present a thesis proposal to the VI-A company before they start the two consecutive terms of thesis assignment in the graduate year. That way, they can “hit the ground running.” For more information about the M.Eng. thesis, visit the EECS web site to view the official M.Eng. Thesis Guide.
Who supervises my thesis?
An EECS faculty member and your company mentor will co-advise your thesis. Your VI-A faculty advisor to the company can serve as the EECS thesis-advisor, but is not required to do so.
What is the VI-A Fellowship?
VI-A companies offer a VI-A Fellowship or Research Assistantship to VI-A graduate students in lieu of salary. The VI-A Fellowship gives VI-A graduate students essentially the same benefits that full-time on-campus research assistants receive: one-term full tuition, medical insurance and a stipend equal to that of an on-campus research assistantship. For most VI-A graduate students, the VI-A Fellowship has more value than receiving salary during an academic term.
Graduate VI-A students while on VI-A assignments who take regular MIT courses or who take MIT web-based or MIT distance courses and who register for MIT subjects other than their internships or thesis are also charged the special student per unit rate ($670/unit during the 2013-2014 academic year) up to the maximum term tuition charge of $21,605. That is, 35% tuition plus the $670/unit charge cannot exceed the full tuition ($21,605) for the term. A 12 unit course would then cost $8,040. The VI-A Fellowship will not pay for any subject units so VI-A students should plan their graduate program carefully so that courses are only taken when on campus when full tuition is already charged so that there are no additional charges for courses. VI-A Fellowship Memo. Costs for Declining VI-A Fellowship.
(Note: Draper and Lincoln VI-A students receive Research Assistantships during their graduate year instead of a VI-A Fellowship.)
Do I have to pay tuition while I am at the VI-A partner company?
Undergraduate VI-A students do not pay tuition while on VI-A work assignment. Graduate VI-A students generally have tuition obligations covered by the VI-A Fellowship or Research Assistantships.