Engineering Internship at Wurth Electronics Midcom: Q&A with Dean Huumala

At Wurth Electronics Midcom, we’re known for our hands-on internship program. While other companies hire interns to take care of the “grunt work,” we give our interns real responsibilities and real projects to work on.

If you’re an undergraduate student looking for a great opportunity in the electronics industry, consider our engineering internship at Wurth Electronics Midcom. We don’t mean to brag, but we’ve been told it’s the best in the business!

To give you a better idea of our engineering internship, we sat down with Dean Huumala, the Product Marketing and Development Manager at Wurth Electronics Midcom. He also happens to be the Hiring Manager for the engineering internship.

Read our interview with Dean to see if our engineering internship could be a good fit for you!

Psst! Are you interested in applying for an internship at Wurth Electronics Midcom? Please reach out to us at careers@we-online.com or (605) 886-4385!

Tell us about the engineering internship at Wurth Electronics Midcom.

Our internship program has one primary purpose: to fill the pipeline with good candidates for full-time hires. Any projects done by interns are an added side benefit.

Length of Program

The intent of the internship program is to keep our interns on board for at least two summers, although some have stayed on for three. This gives us a chance a chance to get to know the intern and, in return, gives the intern a chance to get to know Wurth Electronics Midcom.

Hiring Process

For our summer program, we typically start the hiring process in the fall. We attend fall and spring career fairs at several nearby schools, including South Dakota State University, the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and North Dakota State University.

That said, we do accept applications from all schools and have even hired students from the University of Nebraska and the University of Minnesota — Duluth. There have always been people who have reached out to us for one reason or another. In fact, about a quarter of our interns have contacted us first.

Age of Applicants

Our program targets sophomores in college, but we also hire freshmen. We occasionally hire juniors, but almost never seniors; it’s really too late by then, as the seniors are looking for full-time work. We usually fill upperclassmen positions with interns from the previous year.

So if you’re interested in our engineering internship, start looking as an underclassman!

Number of Interns

While we don’t hire a lot of positions every year, we do have quite a few design, development, and application engineers employed, and you never know when we need to quickly fill a position that opens up due to promotions, retirement, etc. We try to keep three or four interns in a static program at any given time, which allows us to backfill openings with good candidates who we already know.

In the engineering program, we have a “lead” intern — typically an upperclassman who worked with us the previous year — as well as two new sophomores each year. If we like both sophomore interns, we offer them both another year.

How does the intern application process work?

There are no internship “applications” per se; instead, candidates send in their resumes and cover letters, and we review them. If we like what we see, we ask for their references and transcripts. If all looks good, we invite them for an interview. (If they don’t provide references and transcripts, there is no interview.)

We aim to bring in anywhere from six to ten candidates for an interview, and we try to bring them all in within the same week so we can compare them.

Once they arrive, we have applicants take a personality profile test that we use for verification purposes. There is no right or wrong profile — it’s just another bit of information for us.

If possible, two of us interview the candidate to get to know them; right afterward, we sit down with our HR rep and discuss how we feel about the candidate’s fit for the company. We do a bit of a ranking system to narrow it down to two or three candidates.

At this point, I’ll check references — at least two per person. If everything looks good, we offer them the position. We usually have one or two candidates “in reserve” in case someone says no for some reason.

What is one thing you want people to know about the engineering internship?

A lot of students I’ve talked to have told me that they worked for such-and-such a company and it was so boring — same data, same testing, same sweeping of floors, etc. And these are big-name companies!

At Wurth Electronics Midcom, we have a completely different outlook on our engineering internship. We want to give our interns the very best intern experience they could possibly have.

We do this by telling our interns up-front what their work will be like. We’ll give you some grunt work, sure — but we’ll also give you important projects that will grow you. These are interesting projects that are geared toward your level, that challenge you, that give you responsibility.

Our lead interns get to work on one big project all year long. They can even use junior interns for a portion of the time, which gives them valuable management and supervision experience.

In our program, we give our interns a wide variety of experiences. We invite them to all our team meetings, trainings, and events. We really try to make them part of the team.

We typically hire our full-time hires out of our internship program, so if you’re serious about applying for our engineering internship, I encourage you do so as soon as possible in your college career. You should really be interviewing with us in your freshman or sophomore year.

If you want to stay in South Dakota and work for a great company, you’d better be on the ball!

What makes the internship at Wurth Electronics Midcom different?

We view our interns as an investment in both of our futures. We don’t try to pile our interns with junk work that nobody wants to do and seems meaningless.

Rather, we give them real and meaningful projects that challenge and teach them. We are investing in their future and our future.

What qualities do your most outstanding interns have in common?

A good attitude, a good work ethic, and an open mind. All of them are very bright.

The main things I’m looking for in hiring an intern are attitude and aptitude. If a student doesn’t have a 3.2 GPA, I usually don’t even look at them. I feel that’s a mark that anyone can achieve.

Who is best suited for an internship at Wurth Electronics Midcom?

Really any bright, energetic person with an inquisitive mind.

We are really looking for students who are already considering us as a long-term career option. We’re looking for the next generation of innovative engineers.

What have past interns said about the program?

Every year, we ask interns the same questions to look for both the good and the bad in our intern program. And every time, they have given very, very positive feedback.

Each one of our interns has said that it was an awesome experience. The work environment was great, they worked on very interesting projects, they learned a lot, and it was flat-out fun!

Are you interested in applying for one of our internships at Wurth Electronics Midcom?

Please contact us at careers@we-online.com or (605) 886-4385 for more information about our internship program.

Even if we don't have any available positions at the moment, we may still be able to find a fit for you. We love students who are passionate about our company, and we have been known to accept unsolicited applications!

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