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Internships for summer?

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In re Jane's posting.  My firm has just hired an intern for this summer and
doesn't need another.  I would however encourage other list subscribers with
small offices to consider internships.  I've had at least one student around
pretty much continuously for four years.  I think it's a win/win.  The
student gains valuable real world experience.  You get inexpensive help
around the office.  If you're busy, you can use someone to run to the
printer, send that fax, make this copy and (in between) learn about how to
do engineering.  Sure the latter will take some of your time, but the former
will save some.

Consider your alternatives.

If you go with a non-technical clerical assistant you won't get  the benefit
of the intern's eagerness or the satisfaction of contributing to the growth
of a young professional.

If you hire a recent graduate or other person who has completed academic
training but not been out in the real world you know that even (especially?)
the phD will be essentially useless fresh out of school, and may want $50K
while your intern will happily work for just over minimum wage in order to
find out what engineers really do.

If you choose the experienced staff engineer (or Cal Poly grad)  you might
immediately up your personal productivity (the intern or average graduate
eager to learn may lower it), but most of us have ways we want to see things
done in our offices, and fighting to get old dogs  to learn new tricks is no

An intern can be your do it yourself project.  If you're lucky and do the
necessary work, then maybe one out of five or ten times you will end up with
someone who can come into your practice when they graduate, someone you know
you can get along with who understands the way you like things done and is
ready to produce the first day you have to start paying them a real staff
engineer's salary rather than a year later.  It happened for me.