Each year, SpaceX hires over 700 interns who get a taste of what its like on the cutting edge of space travel.
According to the internship listing, only the most driven candidates need apply.
It reads: “If you’re undaunted by the impossible, actively seeking out insanely challenging projects under tight schedules, and want to work with a remarkable organization pushing the envelope of human exploration, then you will want to be part of the SpaceX legacy.”
Interns are hired in a number of different departments — avionics, dynamics, launch operations, manufacturing, propulsion, structures, and enterprise information systems — in SpaceXs headquarters on Rocket Road in Hawthorne, California.
The company also hires a smaller number of interns at its rocket launch facility in McGregor, Texas and at its launch facilities in Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg Air Force Base, as well as at its offices in Houston and Washington, D.C.
We spoke to three former SpaceX interns who told us what the experience is really like.
So if you’re up for the challenge, SpaceX Internships Program visit https://www.spacexinternships.com/apply-now/.
You may be wondering what the SpaceX internship job list entails. This blog will guide you through everything that is needed to know about this opportunity and how to apply for a position.
The SpaceX internship program offers internships in:
Interns are given assignments that provide them with real-world experience working at an innovative company pushing boundaries in technology and space exploration.
Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited institution before applying for any of these positions. The deadline is March 31st so act fast!
SpaceX internship acceptance rate
If you’re interested in becoming a rocket scientist, SpaceX may be the place for you.
Unfortunately, there is no way to apply since it’s only open to those who have been invited. But don’t give up hope! There are other ways to get your foot in the door at one of the world’s most innovative companies.
How did you get an internship at SpaceX?
It’s finally the end of your summer and you are trying to figure out what company you should work for. But how do you know if it will be a good fit? Trust me, I’ve been there, so here is some advice on how to find an internship with any company!
-Research: Find companies that interest you by looking at their website or social media profiles. Think about what kind of job would suit your personality best before applying. For example, if you want to work in marketing, research which companies specialize in this field and apply for internships.
If possible try to get as many interviews as possible before making a decision! -Check Out The Company Culture: When interviewing make sure that the company has a culture
JOIN US IN MAKING HUMANITY MULTIPLANETARY
SpaceX is currently seeking top talent to join our Intern Program. Our year-round program offers an unparalleled opportunity to play a direct role in transforming space exploration and helping us realize the next evolution of humanity as a multi-planetary species. Opportunities are available across all engineering functions and business operations at SpaceX.
Interns and associate engineers are integral to the success of the company and tackle some of the hardest challenges on the planet. Join us, and find your place in the SpaceX legacy.
What is the difference between an Intern and Associate Engineer?
Internships are open to both technical and non-technical candidates currently enrolled at a four-year accredited university. For business operations and software roles, internship candidates may also be within 6 months of graduation from university by start of employment or currently enrolled in a graduate program. Engineering and software interns play significant roles in the design, development, testing and manufacturing of spaceflight hardware. Similarly, business operations interns are critical to achieving SpaceXâs core business goals.
Associate engineer positions are open to engineering graduates who have completed a bachelorâs degree or graduate degree from an accredited four-year university or college within the past 6 months by start of employment or who are currently enrolled in a graduate program. As an associate engineer, you will be responsible for both autonomously and collaboratively working on actual space hardware development projects.
In both internship and associate engineer positions, you will obtain invaluable hands-on experience that you canât learn in a classroom. The most successful candidates for SpaceXâs Intern Program have a history of significant contributions to hands-on extracurricular projects in addition to a strong academic record. This is not an ordinary âinternshipâ â you will be given as much responsibility as our full-time engineers and will be an integral part of the team. You can hear from former SpaceX interns about the Intern Program experience in our Internship Overview Video.
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Getting the job
The usual intern hiring process includes two in-depth phone interviews. One former intern, who worked in guidance control at the rocket facility in McGregor before accepting a second internship at HQ, had to get through three phone interviews. During these interviews, he was asked highly technical and brain teaser-style questions.
“They want to see how you reason your way to an answer,” the intern, who wished to remain anonymous, told Business Insider. “For example, if you were in a boat in the middle of a lake, and you had a bunch of rocks in the boat, if you threw them in the water, would the water level rise or fall?”
(The answer, in case youre curious, is that the water level would fall because rocks are more dense than water.)
Blake Robbins, another former intern who worked at SpaceXs headquarters in Hawthorne, said he was given a few hypothetical situations to reason his way through.
“One of the questions they asked me was, If Elon said to you something like, I need hundreds of this one part by the end of the week, but the supplier says they need three months to make it, what would you say?” Robbins said.
Grueling hours and burnout
Interns might not have the title or salary of a full-time SpaceX employee, but they often work like one.
One intern joked, “The best thing about working at SpaceX is the flexibility. You can work whatever 80 hours a week you want.”
Some interns might stay late or even put in some time over the weekend. A former intern who recently got a full-time offer from SpaceX says he expects his responsibilities wont change much with the promotion.
“SpaceX does have a culture of working hard with a focus on efficiency,” he said.
Another former intern added: “The work-life balance is a little off. People who work there are more driven to work than they are driven to go home. They get burned out really quickly.”
Overall, though, work hours depend on each interns level of motivation.
“It depends on the time that you’re there, and it depends on what department you’re in. I happened to be in [the department working on] Dragon during the worst time to be there. We were behind schedule,” former intern Jonathan Sanders told us. “It can be stressful, and you do have your nose to the ground, but it’s also really great.”
“It was really surreal.”
SpaceX interns are compensated generously, but some said that the work experience was a much better motivator than the paycheck.
“Most people didn’t really care if they got paid or not — theyll say things like, I’ll wipe the floors if you want me to,” Sanders joked.
“Not many people get to work on hardware that goes into space. You definitely feel like youre doing something that could change the world,” another said.
All of the interns we spoke to said that witnessing rocket launches from the HQs mission control was a major highlight of their time at SpaceX.
“There’s this feeling like, Holy crap, we all built that together, and now it’s in space,” Robbins told us.
“People are jumping up and down, going crazy, and we cant believe we did it. It was really surreal.”
Interns get a few other enviable benefits while working at SpaceX.
In addition to relocation costs, SpaceX provides interns with housing and even pays for their first month of rent, which costs about $915.
In 2013, interns at SpaceX headquarters shared two-bedroom apartments at the Oakwood in Marina del Rey. Shuttles would run every 30 minutes between the apartment complex and the office.
“I would get into the office around 8:30 and stay until 7:30 or 8,” a former intern said. “Some of my roommates stayed even longer. The shuttle made it easy to do that.”
The winning SpaceX team with their Aerospace Games trophy. Courtesy of SpaceX Intern Current SpaceX interns are housed in furnished apartments at Fountain Park in Playa Vista. The complex has multiple swimming pools and laundry machines in-unit.
Like many other tech companies, SpaceX also has an awesome cafeteria serving heathy meals at a discount. Coffee, tea, and frozen yogurt were free, and lunch was a perfectly affordable $5.
“Most meals consisted of a meat, starch and vegetables, and there was also a large salad bar and drinks, sides, and desserts available,” an intern told us. “I remember the dishes often had a fun rocket-themed title.”
Los Angeles is a hub for the aerospace industry — Boeing, Northrup Grumman, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin all have facilities in the area.
Each year, all of the companies come together for a day of friendly competition with the “Aerospace Summer Games,” held at Dockweiler Beach. Activities typically include everything from volleyball and dodgeball to tug-of-war and ultimate frisbee.
Meeting Elon Musk
All of the interns got to interact with Musk in some capacity. Many said they had followed his career closely before applying to work at SpaceX.
Musk works in a cubicle at the companys Hawthorne headquarters.
“He runs a tight ship. Its hard to say no to his requests,” a former intern said. “My understanding was that he would work at Tesla in the morning, then come over to SpaceX in the afternoon and stay there until midnight or so.”
SpaceX hosts a series of Q&A sessions for interns, where they can ask executives, including Musk, any questions they have about the company or space travel in general. Interns said that Musk made himself very accessible to anyone who wanted to speak with him.
“Even standing in the same room with him, you’re struck by how smart he seems. It’s like, Wow, I have no idea what you just said, but it sounds amazing,” Robbins told us. “He could sell you on the mission. You could really feel like it would happen.”
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