Welcome to the Career Development Center!
The California Institute of Technology is one of the world's leading institutions of science, technology, engineering and math. Would you like a Caltech student, postdoc or alum to become a part of your organization? Be one of the hundreds of companies and research facilities that choose our Caltech Career Development Center (Career Services) to post their jobs and internships!
Post Jobs and Internships
If you are interested in reaching our students, postdocs, or alumni with an internship or job opportunity, please email us at email@example.com.
Employers recruiting at the Caltech Career Development Center must adhere to our Recruiting Guidelines and Policies, the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) guidelines, as well as the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Principles of Professional Conduct for Employment Professionals.
On Campus Recruiting For Employers: Pre-Select System
We are now working with organizations to ensure the right students connect with the right companies. The three most common problems when pre-screening Caltech students are:
- screening on GPA
- screening on major
- screening on experience
Screening Based on GPA
This can be very misleading. Some employers screen out Caltech students on arbitrary criteria such as "must have a 3.2 GPA." However, the difference between a 3.2 and a 3.0 or even 2.8 GPA at Caltech may have nothing to do with a student's ability or mastery of course material.
Caltech is ranked as the most difficult college curriculum in the United States by the Princeton Review. Our freshman class has the highest SAT scores in the country according to US News and World Report, with a math score range of 770 - 800 out of a possible 800. To complement this impressive ability, the Caltech curriculum is advanced and undergraduates master a range of quantitative and analytical skills as well as having to take advanced writing intensive courses.
Our graduate students have distinguished graduate records and take a set number of classes for grades based on the requirements of their graduate degree program. The skills presented by graduate students include research, mastery of complex equipment and experimental techniques and communication skills. Their GPA at Caltech is only one aspect of their "portfolio."
Companies that use GPA for screening purposes at Caltech are doing themselves a disservice, and we strongly encourage firms to look at additional factors when screening candidates.
Screening Based on Academic Option (Major)
Caltech's core requirements are broad and deep. Some of our majors (referred to as "options") are very multi-disciplined and may not fit the language a company uses to sort candidates at other schools. Students regularly work in research groups on projects outside of their declared option. Organizations that interview students from a variety of majors are often surprised at their level of competence outside the traditional categories. Also, some options have fewer students, and an organization that insists on narrow selection criteria will miss out on many qualified students and may not fill their schedule.
Screening Undergraduates Based on Experience
Caltech's rigorous curriculum makes it difficult for students to spend long hours on activities and part-time work as students from other schools often do. Undergraduate students are typically involved in advanced research and interact with graduate students, postdoctoral scholars and faculty, which adds to their scientific sophistication.
Caltech does not offer scholarships or stipends for many extra-curricular activities that other schools may offer, and co-ops are not part of our curriculum. We find that a student's strong work ethic and ability to focus, problem solve, and work in teams puts them ahead in the learning curve and makes them excellent employees.
Final Advice on Effective Screening of Candidates
One of the best marketing strategies a company can utilize is to interview a few extra students that do not exactly match pre-selected criteria. Positive word of mouth is the best way to keep students interested in your organization. Smart organizations interview broadly, treat students well and use the interview as a chance to educate students on how to present themselves to future employers. We appreciate it when employers realize that the interview is not only a time for selecting future employees for their organization, but also understanding that they are becoming partners in the educational process of career planning, as they help students succeed through feedback and encouragement.
We often hear that a company's patience and willingness to work with students in transition makes it a popular and sought-after organization on campus. If you would like to pre-select Caltech students, please contact us at (626) 395-6361. We can work with you to make your recruiting efforts a success.
We welcome companies, organizations, and universities to recruit Caltech students through the Career Development Center's on-campus recruiting program.
Build Your Name on Campus
- Conduct an Information Session
- Attend our annual career fairs that take place in January and October
- Post an OCR job and schedule on-campus interviews with students
- Our office has several private interview rooms available with full internet access and whiteboards
- Interviews may take place from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Please refer to our Employer Guidelines page for information about our office policies and recommendations.
Please note, we will only approve work-study positions offered by Caltech, JPL, or the Caltech Y. Other employers cannot post work-study jobs.
Hire a Summer Undergraduate Intern
Internships give employers a head start on recruiting top Caltech talent. In dynamic, quickly evolving industries, Caltech interns offer fresh perspectives straight from cutting edge laboratories. These students are primed to take the problem-solving skills they have honed at Caltech and put them to work for you.
Is your organization thinking about developing an internship? Does your organization have an internship position you want advertised to Caltech students? Connect with the Career Development Center to help you navigate the process of developing an internship, promoting your current opportunity, and gain access to top Caltech talent.
What is an Internship?
- Internships are typically one-time, structured work experiences related to a student's career coals
- Involve a student working in a professional setting under the supervision of a professional in the chosen field
- Typically last 10-14 weeks during the summer
- They are typically full-time
- Promote and enhance a student's career, academic, and personal development
Importance of Internships
Employers benefit from offering internships in the following ways:
- Recruit, work with, and screen potential employees
- Hire former interns who are trained and loyal to the organization, resulting in reduced training time
- Fulfill additional staffing needs for temporary positions or projects
- Find highly motivated, energetic, and enthusiastic staff members who can bring new ideas and fresh perspectives to old problems
- Heighten the organization's visibility on campus and enhance the organization's image in the community
Characteristics of Successful Internship Programs
- There is "buy-in" and support at all levels of the organization.
- The program or position is solidly built, with clear goals and well-designed processes for recruitment, orientation, supervision, evaluation, and improvement.
- Interns are given meaningful work experiences and are treated and trained as "real" employees.
- Mentoring is provided to guide students' development.
- Compensation and/or benefits are offered.
- The organization regularly offers internship opportunities and maintains a solid reputation with the university.
- The organization is always looking for ways to improve its internship offerings.
- Opportunities are provided for a variety of majors, putting the focus on a student's career goal rather than major.
Questions to ask when deciding to develop an internship:
- Is there sufficient staff time to supervise and mentor a student intern?
- Are there staff members who want to supervise an intern?
- Do potential intern supervisors have the necessary and appropriate professional expertise to "teach" an intern?
- Are there sufficient resources to have an intern, such as office space and equipment?
- What work and/or projects does the organization need to have done? What can a student learn from the work?
- Would the work you need done be appropriate for a student to do?
- How long of a commitment is appropriate? Is one summer enough?
- What qualifications, such as relevant skills, would be appropriate for the work?
- What time of year is best for listing internship opportunities, selecting an intern, and bringing an intern into your organization (taking into account students' and the university's schedules)?
Identify a Project
Hiring an intern can be a good solution for organizations that have a project to be completed, but not enough staff time to complete it. For example, an intern can redesign an organization's website. The project should be something of value to the organization, but not of such high importance that it would be best handled by a permanent staff member. Interns want to do meaningful work, and employers can use an intern's energy to complete a project that has been put off for too long.
Define the Project
What specifically should the intern accomplish? Elements of the project should be specific and measurable in order to monitor progress.
Identify a Supervisor
Internships are about learning, and a student intern needs guidance from a motivated supervisor. The supervisor should have appropriate knowledge and skills to "teach" the intern, such as knowing how to offer constructive feedback. A supervisor also needs to be available to the intern. Identify a staff member who could work effectively with an intern and with the given project.
Identify Required Skills and Create a Position Description
Identifying the skills needed to complete the project and developing a detailed internship description helps an employer attract appropriate candidates for the internship. A strong position description also helps the CDC assess the best ways to promote the opportunity to students.
Develop Learning Objectives for the Project
To make the internship successful for both the employer and the intern, a specific and measurable learning plan should be developed at the beginning of the internship. Establish specific, measurable objectives for the intern's work: the task to be completed, how it will be accomplished, and how it will be evaluated. Clear communication at the beginning of the internship can help avoid problems down the road.
Orient the Intern to the Organization and the Position
Before the intern's first day, be sure to have their workspace established. The intern should have access to any resources needed to complete their assignments (e.g. phone, computer, etc.). Also, ensure all necessary paperwork is prepared. On the first day, the supervisor should orient the intern to the organization.
- Outline daily operations of the office: phone usage policies, break and lunch requirements, tardiness, etc.
- Introduce the intern to all staff members in the organization.
- Discuss the role, expectations, and specific work standards or procedures.
- Confirm the duration of the internship, salary, attendance standards, etc.
Evaluate the Intern
Regular evaluation is important in the learning process. Providing the intern with feedback allows for adjustments in behaviors and work performance. It also provides an opportunity to assess how well the intern is meeting the objectives established at the beginning of the internship. The evaluation process can be formal or informal, depending on the culture of the organization. In addition to evaluating the intern, it can be useful to allow the intern to evaluate his or her own experience. This can help the supervisor evaluate and make any adjustments to the project and future internship assignments.
Writing a strong position description for your internship opportunity helps you attract the right candidate for the position and helps promote the name and reputation of your organization.
A strong internship position description significantly helps students. Students need to know that the opportunity is appropriate for their background and interests. It also helps students with resume development, cover letter writing, and interview preparation.
A strong internship position description also helps the Career Development Center promote your opportunity to appropriate student populations.
Elements to include in an internship position description:
- Position title (be descriptive, don't just use "intern")
- Name of the organization/company
- Company and/or department information (function, mission, etc)
- Location (city, state)
- Work responsibilities and activities
- Qualifications/requirements (required skills, knowledge areas, class level, coursework, etc)
- Approximate duration (number of weeks and expected start/end dates)
- Compensation (note: Caltech does not offer academic credit; All internships must be paid positions.)
- Application deadline or indication that position is open until filled
- Contact person
How do I post a summer internship?
Please contact the Career Development Center via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can my company offer an unpaid internship? Can a student receive academic credit for an unpaid internship?
No, Caltech does not have a formal program for providing academic credit for internships. In order for a position to be posted on Handshake, the internship must be a paid position. For additional information regarding internships and compensation, refer to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Position Statement on Internships.
When is the best time to post my internship?
Many organizations recruit during the fall and winter terms for summer hires to ensure a strong applicant pool. Starting early allows more students to apply and gives organizations a chance to fully screen applicants.
For consistency, try to maintain a predictable recruiting schedule. For example, knowing that your organization will recruit summer interns during the winter term allows the CDC to prepare students in advance and build awareness of the opportunity year round.
How should I market my internship opportunity?
The first step in marketing your internship opportunity is to create a compelling internship position description that allows students to see the benefit of working for your organization and the skills they will gain.
The best way to meet prospective intern candidates is by participating in events, such as career fairs, information sessions, networking events and hosting on-campus interviews.
I would like to extend a return offer or full-time offer to a current intern. Does Career Services have guidelines surrounding this?
According to the Principles for Professional Conduct established by NACE, "Employers are expected to provide students with a reasonable amount of time to make decisions about accepting an employment offer. [Employers] are also expected to provide students with a reasonable process for making such decisions. In addition, it is improper for employers to impose undue pressure on students regarding acceptance of job offers, including pressure on the student to revoke their acceptance of a job offer from another employer."
The Career Development Center encourages employers to allow students to fully participate in on-campus recruiting (OCR) opportunities before making a decision. For that reason, we request that students are given until one day past the end of that term's recruiting cycle to make a decision or two weeks, whichever is later, to respond to job offers.