VIP Program: Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the purpose of the program?

What are the benefits of participating in a VIP internship?

What are the basic student qualifications?

What companies are involved?

How can I apply or get more information?

Is there a deadline for application?

What is the purpose of the program?

The purpose of the Valley Industry Partnership for Cooperative Education (VIP Program) is to give engineering and computer science students at Fresno State, real-world work experience. By gaining the experience, upon graduation the student is more marketable and also understands working in a professional environment.

What are the benefits of the VIP Program?

The benefits of doing a VIP internship are many. One of the main benefits is that students are supported from both the university and member companies. At the university, students admitted into the Program receive special classes to prepare them to adjust to the professional workplace. Additionally, many of the university requirements and paperwork are handled by the VIP staff or you will be made aware of them so that the proper procedures are followed, eliminating many of the pitfalls associated with unstructured internships. The member companies have pledged to support the student and the Program. Support to the students is by way of company mentors and supervisors who have been specially trained to assist students working in a professional environment for the first time.

Obviously, one of the major benefits is the wealth of experience gained in the workplace that will help the student appreciate their classes more fully upon returning to the university. By having this experience, students are more marketable and have an edge over other students when it comes time for career planning. Students complete two different internships at two different companies exposing them to different styles of corporate management and engineering work. By having this experience, students can decide for themselves, what items appeal to them about the work environment, and things to look for when looking for their first permanent job.

All internships in the VIP Program are paid. Salaries are pre-negotiated and are competitive offerings. This assures the intern that she/he is getting a reasonable salary commensurate with her/his abilities. Money earned from internships can be used to offset the cost of higher education.

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What are the basic student qualifications?

Students who are interested in the program should have a minimum GPA of 2.5 in the Lyles College of Engineering at Fresno State.   Students  must have completed approximately 60 semester units in their major at the end of the semester of admittance. Students must maintain good academic standing in their respective major and must agree to two, six-month internships in the VIP program.

Currently, the majors being accepted are in the following areas: Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.

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What Companies are Involved?

The following companies actively support and participate in the VIP Program:

  • Allied Electric
  • Alpha Research and Technology
  • E&J Gallo
  • Grundfos Pumps Corporation
  • International Paper
  • Industrial Automation Group
  • JBT Food Tech
  • Kraft Foods
  • Serpa Packaging Solutions
  • Thiele Technologies
  • POM Wonderful

How can I apply or get more information?

You may call the Director, Nell Papavasiliou at 559-278-3965; email her to request additional information and the application form; or go to our online application page.

Is there a deadline for application?

Applications are accepted in both  Fall and Spring Semesters.

Spring 2013 Application Deadline is March 1, 2013. 

The preliminary selection process occurs after the application filing date with finalists being invited for personal interviews with company representatives. Once admitted into the program, the student is guaranteed two internships in the appropriate professional area.

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