Working on Campus Edit
The most hassle free way of earning money whilst you’re at MIT is by working for MIT. This is the only type of employment available to you without needing a new visa. Most commonly people do a paid UROP. You can work up to 20 hrs/week during the semester, and up to 40 hrs/week otherwise (i.e. during IAP).
Careers Fairs Edit
These are huge events very different from in Cambridge. For the Fall career fair in September most of campus will go in formal attire and take resumes with them. If you play it right you may be able to get interviews for summer internships by talking to various companies and giving them your resume. There will be on-campus interviews and online tests during this period. DO pay attention to your MIT careerbridge account and learn to use it (very easy).
Getting Internships in the US Edit
Make sure your CV/resume is only 1 page as this is the standard in the US. The style of writing and presentation is rather different than a CV from the UK so it’s best to look at some examples online.
Internship pay, particularly in the software industry, is much higher than in the UK.
Course 16ers will have a hard time getting an internship in the US since the aerospace and defence industry is very picky about recruiting foreign students (i.e. they don’t).
Course 6ers will feel themselves really ‘desired’. Attending code tests and brain teaser interviews will be good for you in the long run. But keep yourself calmed with the results. Sometimes the popularity can be a bubble.
The EECS jobs mailing list advertises a lot of available internships, as well as UROPS and full time jobs mainly aimed at those in course 6.
Internship Visas Edit
For a summer internship you’ll need a J1 intern visa. Your J1 exchange visa will not cover the summer. It varies as to whether or not companies will be willing to sponsor a visa for international applicants - generally though the bigger companies will be more willing to. Also, if you want an internship in the US it’s best not to leave it to the last minute as getting a visa takes time.
The US visa department has a list of approved visa sponsors which includes some larger corporations (e.g. Microsoft can issue J-1 visas). However, a lot of companies will go through a third party sponsor (e.g. Apple). These companies vary in their helpfulness. Some of them will go through a company called Cultural Vistas who have rejected CME’s in the past (and also accepted some) citing that they should spend a semester at home first. As far as we can tell, this is not a US visa requirement. Another third party sponsor, Global Current/AIESEC, are much more helpful though you may not have much choice in who your employer goes through. Global Current will charge approximately $2400 for a visa, but the service is excellent and it took about 28 hours from sending the forms to receiving my DS-2019 in the mail.
Getting Internships in other places Edit
There are many companies interested in students from MIT and MIT-Cambridge students. Thus do not only look at US employment market. There will be decent choices in London/England or in other places, where a working visa is easier to get. That said, don’t abandon your Cambridge Career Service account. Third year is the time when most internship positions are targeted at you. Thus, don’t miss your market. Sometimes working for the right industry is far more important than ‘staying in US’. The only complication is that you would have to arrange Skype interviews or even fly out to do your interviews.