VIP Program: Frequently Asked Questions
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What is the purpose of the program?
The purpose of the Valley Industry Partnership for Cooperative Education (VIP Program) is to give engineering, construction management, industrial technology, and computer science students at Fresno State real-world work experience. By gaining 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, as well as the future intern being 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.
A major benefit 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 advantage 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 they are getting a reasonable salary commensurate with their abilities. Money earned from internships can be used to offset the cost of higher education.
What are the basic student qualifications?
Students must be a junior or senior majoring in computer engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, construction management, computer science, or industrial technology. To be considered, students must meet all program eligibility requirements, including having a minimum 2.5 GPA and must agree to participate in two, six-month, full-time internships with two different companies.
What Companies are Involved?
The following companies actively support and participate in the VIP Program:
How can I apply or get more information?
You may email the Interim Director, Walter Mizuno, at email@example.com to request additional information and the application form; or go to our online application page.
Applications are accepted in both Fall and Spring Semesters.
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.