SpaceX and FIRST Internship
Update: The application process for 2013 has officially closed. Information about the application process in 2014 will be posted in the Fall. Winners for 2013 will be announced in June. Thank you for your interest.
SpaceX is proud to partner with FIRST to support the development of the next generation of amazing engineers and innovators. This company is dedicated to building the world's most advanced rockets and spacecraft. SpaceX is the world's fastest-growing provider of launch services. With nearly 50 launches on its manifest, representing more than $4 billion in contracts, SpaceX continues to push the boundaries of space technology through its Falcon launch vehicles and Dragon spacecraft.
In collaboration with leadership at FIRST, SpaceX will select between 10-15 high school seniors this year who will receive preliminary acceptance to the SpaceX internship program; please see FAQ’s below for details.
Get an early start to every engineer’s dream job by demonstrating your readiness and technical excellence through FIRST Robotics Competition and FIRST Tech Challenge, and earn the opportunity of a lifetime, working side by side with the world’s most audacious engineering enterprise at SpaceX.
Please submit a letter of interest including your name, contact information and all the information below to Hannah Foust (FRC Program Coordinator) for consideration. Applications are preferred to be submitted prior to Monday, April 15th at noon (ET), in order to schedule interviews as soon as possible. SpaceX will accept applications through Monday, May 6 at noon (ET).
Application materials can be emailed to Hannah Foust or faxed to 603-666-3907. If faxing your application materials, be sure to write "ATTN: Hannah Foust" on the cover letter.
SpaceX requests that you submit your application as a packaged PDF, including letters of reference and your official high school transcript.
Section I: Academic Achievements
Please provide a high school transcript, be sure that it lists any advanced classes and your corresponding GPA. An official copy of your transcript is preferred, but an unofficial copy will be accepted. In addition, include the scores from any standardized tests that you have taken (GRE, GMAT, SAT, ACT, etc.). Please include a list of colleges that you have applied for or been accepted to and your intended program of study. To be elibile for this internship, you must plan to major in engineering or other highly technical discipline.
Section II: Bullet List of Top Accomplishments/Projects
This section is one of the most important areas. Please provide at least 5-15 brief bullet explanations of your top accomplishments or projects, as you would on a resume. Remember, SpaceX looks for creative problem solvers. Anything you have built or created is worth mentioning, such as rebuilding car engines, robotics, launching model rockets, etc.
There are many ways to highlight your accomplishments but we recommend you follow this general format:
1. Start with an action word (designed, led, built, promoted, launched, created, etc.)
2. Provide a short summary of the project
3. List the challenges or unique aspects of the project
4. Summarize the results (awards, patents, ROI, promotions, etc.)
Section III: Essay question, “Please give examples about what makes you an extraordinary candidate for SpaceX.”
This essay question is designed to give you the opportunity to further showcase your top achievements. Take your top two or three accomplishments from Section II and provide a more detailed explanation of the results. Explain what were you trying to accomplish, your role on the project, how you made an impact, and the final outcome. Please limit your response to 750 words.
Section IV: Essay question, “Why should we select you?”
Please explain why you are interested in SpaceX and why you should be selected from your peers for this opportunity. Please limit your response to 750 words.
Section V: Letters of Reference
Please provide two to five letters of reference from anyone who can speak to your work and abilities. Keep in mind that references from technical mentors, teachers, or employers are better for this purpose than those from family or friends.
Section VI: Video Clip
Please include a video clip showcasing some of your work and passion for engineering. This video must be no longer than two minutes. Upload the video to YouTube and provide the link only with your application materials.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who is eligible to submit an application for this internship?
Anyone who is currently a high school senior and active participant in FIRST Robotics Competition or FIRST Tech Challenge is eligible. In addition, you must have plans to pursue a degree in engineering or other highly technical discipline from an accredited college. Due to hiring regulations, SpaceX can only hire Citizens or Permanent residents of the United States.
2. Once I submit my application, what are my next steps?
SpaceX employees will review all applications that are turned in by noon on Monday, May 6th. They will select a group of finalists, who will be interviewed by SpaceX staff. If you are selected for an interview, you will be contacted. Winners will be announced in early June, 2013.
3. When will the internship begin?
Most students will need to complete at least their sophomore year of collegiate curriculum before beginning their internship with SpaceX, this is to ensure the appropriate level of academic foundation is in place. Some exceptions to this may be granted on a case by case basis. SpaceX staff will stay in contact with all winners to ensure that their college curriculum and program of study will enable them to be successful in this internship.
4. Does getting an internship mean I will get a job at SpaceX?
Possibly, the SpaceX internship program is extremely competitive to get in to; we have one intern hired for every 500 applicants. Due to the extreme selectivity, there is a high rate of success (~80%) within the program. Those who perform well during their first internship are either invited to return again as interns or as full-time employees for those graduating.
5. What makes the SpaceX internship program a good choice for me?
At SpaceX we hire approximately 40% of our engineers each year out of college; more than half of those new graduates are hired through our internship program. The program hosts around 500 engineering students each year, and has representation from nearly every top engineering program in the country. Each intern is given significant one on one guidance and mentorship by one or several of our staff members during their time here. In addition, you will have the opportunity to contribute to real projects that are actually going to be launched. Simply put, you’ll be surrounded by exceptional talent and given opportunities to do real work that might just fly in space! To review the current internship opportunities, please review the SpaceX website that describes open positions.
6. Will I get paid by SpaceX?
Yes, you will be treated exactly like any other intern at SpaceX. Interns are paid a fair market wage that is competitive with other high technology companies in the Southern California area.