Automotive design Internship

I am a INDD student at Auburn University and I am a automotive hobbiest. Ive done a lot with cars and want to persue a career as an automotive designer much like Derek Jenkins of VW design out in California. I am really interested in doing an internship for automotive manufactures and really just want to know what I need to do to get in. Any help or direction that any one can point me in would be more than helpfull and be really appretiated.

Thanks for your time

Brent R. Lang

transfer to DAAP - paid interns go to detroit every term…

can you fill me in on what DAAP is and where I can find info about it?

…that stands for the design school at the University of Cincinnati.

ok, I dont mind breaking the mold and related but it seems that I shouldnt have to change not only my location and school just for the opertunity to intern does it?

I think it’s just incredibly competetive and that’s your best chance of getting to intern at a car company for sure. Are you doing trans at Auburn? I’m at Pratt and they pretty much straight up tell us that if we are really serious about trans we need to go to Art Center, CCS, or another trans school… And we have a trans studio here that’s pretty intense although not based in traditional design.

our system sounds a bit dated because we really just have an INDD major… thats it. I could focus on automotive design in a Masters Program but compared to some of the research that I have done then it would seem that the only “choice” I had would be to go to this DAAP. I have contacted BMW DesignWorksUSA which submitted a request for industrial designer here at Auburn some 3 or 4 years ago and VW’s main site for public relations to see if I can get a name of someone to talk to. I wouldnt mind submitting a portfolio of some kind granted im still a freshman but this is definately what I want to do.
Sooo, any one have any numbers of departments that I could call to see if they offer internships?

You’re on the right track - connections are everything in our biz.
However, you are seriously underestimating how competitive this is, there are a number of threads to this effect and I suggest looking into the Transportation boards here.
When you graduate there may be a dozen jobs available - not all with big name mfr’s and you will be competing with a hundred other grads who spent 4 years sketching cars (40 hrs/week) and several internships in car design studios. Or in the case of DAAP 2 years working in design studios.
If you wish to stay at Auburn, you will need to be extrordinarily self-motivated. Otherwise, consider designing: snowmobiles, lawn tractors, jet skis, public transportation or any area largley neglected by the big name trans schools.

Its te truth. If you want t up your chances, leave Auburn ASAP. Go to UC, CCS, or Art Center, and even then, many of the best trans students don’t get into the industry simply because there are very few jobs in the field. Many go to tertiary industries, boats, RV’s, Commercial vehicles and equipment etc.

I’m not stomping on your dream, just to clarify. YOU CAN DO IT! but you need to get every advantage you can along the way! Work hard, be in the right place at the right time (you can control this by transferring…) and it can happen.

Gave a lot of thought to this over night. What I came up with is this…
Im going to try to get an internship reguardless, I have my summer design thats required here that 13 hours of course work and this will give me some things to develop a portfolio if you will so I can try to send off to potential interships. Ive got to much going here at Auburn to give it up and to leave right now would feel pre mature so what I am really considering is getting my BA from here then tranfsfering to DAAP for masters work in Transportation design and then intern through there. Ive talked with the head of our department and he said the automotive industry was interested in interning how ever they never followed through with plans.

2 suggestions: go visit the schools mentioned to check out the curriculum/competition first hand - know your enemy.
Plan your internships during the schoolyear when there’s less competition - delay graduation and skip the Masters.

good luck

I originally came into school thinking that I wanted to do transportation design when I got out, but it is an incredibly hard field to get into. The people I knew who had interviewed for jobs or worked in the auto industry both went their seperate ways.

Theres a lot of people vying for these jobs, you need more than just the skills necessary (theres dozens of people out there with portfolios that would blow away most car designers). What is really needed is a connection and you’re only going to find that through some of the schools mentioned, or someone at your own school who has their foot in the door. If that person doesn’t exist, you’re probably in trouble.

My only other suggestion would be to try to find an internship doing some other design related work just so if you do manage to get a connection in the auto industry you already have some back experience working in a design environment.