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I'm an Electrical Engineer (pursuing my M.Sc.) from Germany and currently seeking an internship in the USA. Preferably at one of the big names in Silicon Valley. My master's degree is in Electrical Engineering with an emphasis on Computer Engineering. Therefore well suited for most hardware related but also software related internships.

I've already applied to some companies but haven't heard back yet (2 months), except Google, which sent me a rejection recently.

As it has been quite awhile, I'm thinking that the other companies also rejected me.

In general, I would describe my resume as being above average. Unfortunately, I can only compare myself to students from my university or Germany. Most CVs are quite empty as the degree is quite time-consuming in the Bachelors and Masters. However, I have multiple years experience as a research assistant, quite a lot of extracurricular activity related to my degree, one of the top universities in Europe considering my degree and part of the top 5% in my degree.


I'm wondering - what's your experience? Is too much of a hustle for the companies considering the visa? Am I simply not outstanding enough? How can I do better?

Or am I completely wrong to apply in the USA? I'm especially looking for this kind of experience.

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I assume we're talking about a 2-3 month internship? If so, that would be a huge amount of paperwork to go through for a rather short duration position. Since you are applying to top tier firms that get plenty of high quality local applicants, there is likely little incentive for the companies to go through that effort. Plus, from a legal standpoint, it can be tough to argue that the company can't find a local candidate for an internship rather than a specialized permanent position.

It may be very different if you apply for a permanent position which would involve the same amount of paperwork for the company but would result in a permanent employee rather than a short-term intern.

  • It's part of my curriculum and they want me to stay for at least 5 months. I made this clear in my cover letter (when I was able to submit one), but also I offered a commitment for up to a year to the companies. – neural Mar 19 at 8:54
  • @neural - Who is "they" in "they want me to stay"? Your university? Or the potential employer? A 5 month internship would be very unusual in the US. That sounds more like a work study. But that generally requires more coordination between the employer and the university in addition to the visa paperwork. – Justin Cave Mar 19 at 12:05
  • Yes, my university. Indeed, but it's hard to find further information about the framework of an internship. Most of the positions are framed for US students. Thanks a lot for your input. – neural Mar 21 at 7:50
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It might indeed be the visa and relocation hassle they don't see worth the trouble.

Is it the companies or the country you want to experience?

If it's the company, major european cities are full of offices from google and the likes.

If it's the US, you should consider living there, maybe getting a junior position in a smaller company.

Once in the country you can apply with a US residency address, meaning you're local.

You'll most likely still need a visa for the new company but it might make it easier, especially considering you already have work experience in the US.

You also might have to get experience in general before you have a chance that your work visa gets through or a company sees you as valuable enough.

Canada is also a great alternative with less complications to work there.

Canada is very american in some aspects and pretty european in others, quite the good mix actually.

  • Probably it's a mixture of the companies and the work culture which I'm looking for. I'm well aware of the international offices, my problem is, that the hardware guys are mostly located in the US or China. – neural Mar 19 at 8:55

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