Internship Program

About Our Internship Program

Shoal’s Summer Internship Program offers a 12 week, paid internship for a team of undergraduate students from any university across Australia. We are looking for those who are interested in aerospace, engineering, software design, systems thinking or STEM, and studying second year (or above). The program is promoted across Australia, launching at Aerospace Futures conference each year.

We undertake a competitive selection process, challenging students to team up with a partner to pitch their ideas in a video and application.

Each year we theme the internship around ‘space’. Our 2019/20 Summer Internship challenge was:

With access to space becoming more affordable and many more satellites observing the planet, we now have an abundance of satellite imagery of the Earth, along with chemical, biological and physical systems data. We want you to consider how to use this imagery and/or data and what value it can add to humanity.

Our 2018/19 challenge was to answer the question:

“How much pizza will be consumed on Mars in the year 2100?”

Internship Interest Registration

Key Dates

Internship applications open each winter, with applicants shortlisted for interview in October and the winning applicants announced in November. Interns commence work in late November / early December.

The successful team works closely with a technical supervisor to research and develop a project. They will be mentored and supported to progress their project, while developing skills in engineering and experiencing the Shoal culture. The internship is based in our head office in Adelaide and continues towards the end of February.

Meet our Interns 2019/20

Albert Sztolc Jordan Kildare Oscar Walsh Rijul Ramkumar Ross Fraser
Albert Sztolc Jordan Kildare Oscar Walsh Rijul Ramkumar Ross Fraser

We introduced our 2019/20 Summer Interns to the Adelaide Space community at the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) event in November 2019, Australia’s Race for Space, where they were formally welcomed by Dr Megan Clark AC, Head of the Australian Space Agency. They worked with the Shoal team for 12 weeks on a space based earth observation project, launching their results at a Shoal space industry networking event.

Meet our Interns 2018/19

Meet Victoria and Tom.  They joined Shoal as Summer Interns in 2018/19 and are still working with us today. Victoria and Tom met at the University of Adelaide, where they are studying mechanical engineering. They were both tutoring first year students, when they came across our Summer Internship program. Last year’s internship applicants were asked to answer the question:

“How much pizza will be consumed on Mars in the year 2100?”

Victoria and Tom’s first thoughts were:

“Yummmm pizza,” …and their second thoughts were “hey, we can figure this out. Let’s enter this together.”

Having worked together on various university committees and tutoring, they already had a respect and understanding of one another’s skillsets. But trying to answer such a loosely constrained problem, with no definitive answer, was daunting at first. So, they broke it down to consider the individual factors and how they influence each other. They logically dissected the problem and justified the reasons why they chose certain elements that led to their answer.

Here’s what they did:

At Shoal, when it came to assessing applicants, we were impressed with the way Victoria and Tom approached the question, which ended up being quite complex. We had posed a question that had no correct answer, but rather enabled us to assess the applicants’ way of thinking against complex problems; one of the many qualities Shoal values in all employees. Tom and Victoria were already thinking like systems engineers and we liked that.

We also liked that fact that they were very different to one another but had successfully worked as a team together. Tom loves the outdoors; rock climbing, surfing, bike riding and touch footy, and tinkers in robotics. Victoria drives herself hard in other ways; tutoring, leadership roles in committees, and lecturing. Their respect and trust in one another impressed us.

Victoria and Tom worked with us for three months, from November to February, on an internal research project, whilst also contributing to projects we were working on across transport and defence. They have continued their employment with us, following their successful internship. You can read more about their experience here.

What are the eligibility criteria?

Applicants must be a team of two people. Each team member must be undertaking a STEM degree at an Australian university and have completed, or currently undertaking, their third year. You do not need to be eligible for a defence security clearance, however you do need to inform us of your Australian residency or visa status in your CV. Students are invited to apply from all around Australia but will have to be willing to make the move to Adelaide as the internship will be based in the Adelaide Office. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed in person, or via Skype.

What do you mean by ‘Paid internship’?

An approximate wage of $25 per hour plus superannuation will be paid to each member of the successful team to compensate them for their contribution to Shoal. Over the nominal time of the internship of 12 weeks, and 38 hours per week this would equate to a remuneration of around $11,400 per person. Noting, we will be flexible on start and finish times to ensure we find the right team, and hence this total remuneration is an approximation.

Are any additional expenses covered by the ‘paid internship’

No. Other than the above-mentioned wage, all other expenses (such as flights to attend the internship, accommodation, travel to and from work, incidentals etc if required) will be at the expense of the interns.

Can Shoal be flexible with respect to the start and end dates of the internship?

Yes. Shoal is seeking applicants for a 3 month internship however recognise that good candidates may have an exam or other extra-curricular activities that might impact their capacity to commence the internship within the stated time frame. As such, we are willing to be reasonably flexible with the start date of the internship. If you require this flexibility, please make a note in your executive summary when submitting your application.

What support will I receive during the internship?

During the internship you can expect to be partnered with two junior Systems Engineers, with overall guidance from a Senior Engineer who will provide advice on your internship project. Working as part of Shoal’s collaborative culture, you will also enjoy the opportunity to participate in company all-in meetings, Engineering Knowledge Sharing sessions, Sector Team Meetings and have access to other Engineering professionals and leads, including Shoal’s Chief Engineer.

In addition, you will undertake a comprehensive induction upon commencement, which will help you get up to speed with how things are done at Shoal, so you can focus on your project.

Shoal takes its internship seriously and commits to ensuring its interns are provided every opportunity to learn and enjoy the Shoal culture.

You have stated that you are seeking applications from teams of two (2)? What if I can’t find anyone to apply with me?

It is Shoal’s preference to take on a team of two (2) interns as we have found, through experience with our 2018 interns, that this provides a good opportunity for team mates to support each other through the internship program. If you can’t find anyone to apply with, consider ways in which to tap into other individuals facing a similar situation. One of Shoal’s values is ‘Creative’ – consider how you could be ‘creative’ with respect to partnering with other interested parties to apply for the internship.

May I edit my video application?

No. Videos must be no longer than 1 min in length. Rather than your editing prowess, we are seeking insight into your team dynamic, problem solving and thought processes.

I am having difficulty uploading my application. Who can I contact?

Email [email protected] or call Shoal on (02) 6239 4288 and advise that you’re having trouble uploading your application for the 2019/20 internship program. You will be directed to the most appropriate person.

Alternatively, instructions on creating a YouTube account, uploading a video and changing privacy settings can be found at the following links:

By submitting an internship application, you agree that Shoal may use, reproduce and communicate the idea(s) contained in your application for its internal business purposes, including assessment purposes.  If you are granted an internship, Shoal will own all intellectual property rights in any inventions, innovations or materials created in relation to the idea(s), unless otherwise agreed in writing.

Shoal reserves the right to use the content from your video for further promotion.