Topic outline

    • The course Company Internship provides the department-level entry point to carry out internships in external company supervised by an professor at the Department of Applied Physics (PHYS).

      The course is set up between the student, the external advisor of the assignment and a supervising professor at PHYS. The student and, if applicable, their external advisor, contacts the course-responsible professor (currently, Prof. Mathias Groth, prior to the start of the assignment to discuss the scope, time line and any boundary conditions of the project. The setup of the assignment is particularly important in case the project requires non-disclosure of the material. The course-responsible professor will attempt to connect the project to a professor within PHYS who is potentially familiar with the subject of the project, and willing to serve as the supervising PHYS professor. The assignment will then be followed by the assigned professor for the duration of the project. If the internship cannot be allocated to a subject-suitable professor, the course-responsible professor will be supervising the internship administratively only.

    • The student and the company-based instructor are solely responsible for the setup, supervision and successful completion of the project. The short introduction of the project at the beginning of the course and the review at the 5-6 week midterm are set up to identify any potential issues with the project or its progression.
    • The responsibility of the external company is to provide the facilities, access to company-internal data and daily supervision of the student throughout the project duration.
    • The reporting and grading of the course project follows the one of special assignments at PHYS (PHYS-E0441). The submission of a written report of approximately 20 pages, but no more than 30 pages, to the course-responsible professor at the end of the course is required. The evaluation form of PHYS-E0441 is to be used to technically assess the project and the report (until Aug 1, 2023, grades 0-5, after Aug 1, 2023, pass/fail). If a technical assessment of the report cannot be provided, the report is automatically pass/fail (and graded 1 until Aug 1, 2023).

    • The following application procedure is suggested:
      • The student contacts the company at which the internship is performed, identifies the topic and methods to be used, clarifies anticipated results, and names the company-based instructor.
      • The student compiles the following information in two PowerPoint slides:
        • Title slide: name of the project, starting and end date of the project, name of the student, student number, name of the company, name of the company-based instructor, e-mail address of the company-based instructor.
        • First data slide: motivation of the project, including a conceptual picture of the to-be-accomplished tasks, methods.
        • The student contacts the course-responsible PHYS professor providing the above information.
        • Upon approval of the project, the student enrolls into PHYS-E0442 on Sisu.

    • Procedure of the 12-week course:
      • Prior to starting the course: the student discusses and arranges the internship with the company, and provides the project information, title slide and motivation slide to the course-responsible teacher (see above).
      • Week 5-6: the student provides a 4-5 slide PowerPoint presentation to the PHYS professor with the first results of the project and an updated time line of completing the project. The title and motivational slides may be copied over from the introduction.
      • Week 11: the student provides a 8-10 slide PowerPoint presentation to the PHYS professor with the final results and conclusions of the project, and the status of the report.
      • Week 12: the student provides a written report of up to 20 pages to the PHYS professor. If the student opts for cross-reading and correcting the report by the PHYS professor, the report must be submitted by the end of week 10.

    • The report will be assessed according to the following elements:

      • Definition of research scope and goals  
      • Command of the topic 
      • Methods 
      • Results and contribution
      • Presentation, language and structure 
      • Assignment process  
      • In addition to a report, a final presentation on the assignment/thesis work is required.

    • The required language to pass this course is English.

    • The student is expected to keep in communication with both the company-based instructor(s) and the PHYS professor. The course-responsible professor will prompt the student one month after the due-date of the report. If the student fails to produce the report within 16 weeks of the project start, it is at the course-responsible professor's discretion to cease prompting the student. It is the student's sole responsibility to resolve the evaluation with the course-responsible professor and the PHYS professor for the M.Sc. programme.

    Frequently asked questions:

    • What is the kind of supervision do the company-based instructors have to provide? 
    The company-based instructors help with the setup of the project and provide any technical assistance throughout the project. It is at the discretion of the company-based instructors to provide a technical assessment of the project and report at the end of the project.

    • Is remote assistance from the company's end sufficient with some days on-site assistance? 

    The setup and the successful completion of the project are entirely up to the student and the external company. Any issues arising from the arrangement of the project need to be brought forward at the 5-6 week midterm.

    • What kind of paper work does the external company have to do as a company or what items do they need to prepare to continue with the internship?

    The responsibility of the project lies with the student. The external company needs to agree with the student on the project and the supervision plan prior to the start of the project. The terms and conditions of the project are disclosed to the supervising professor at Aalto University prior to the start or during the first week of the project in a short presentation as the primary document. Significant deviation from the disclosed information is to be reported by the student to the supervising professor at Aalto University as soon as possible. The midterm presentation at the 5-6 week mark of the project serves as a checkpoint whether and how the project progresses.

    Continuation of the project after the 3-month project period under PHYS-E0442 Company Internships is at the discretion of the student and external company. The course PHYS-E0442 Company Internships can be taken only once.

    • Must the project be on research or it can be just learning what they do in the company and write a paper (similar to special assignment) about it?

    The report can be research, but also training provided by the external company. In either case a report of approximately 20 pages needs to be submitted to the supervising professor at Aalto University by the agreed end of the 12-week project following the structure of a special assignment in SCI/PHYS:, including the optional evaluation of the project and report: