Houston has a ton of nicknames. From “The Energy Capital of the World,” to “Space City,” to even nicknames for Houston subdivisions like the “Medical Center,” Houston is a unique and bustling city. Although its (three-hour-drive away) neighbor Austin may get more coverage and fame, Houston is still one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. From UT to Baylor, every major Texas university has a stake in this city, and that’s for a reason. Houston offers low living costs with a diverse community, spreading even beyond the city limits.
Let’s talk about some companies located in Houston and how you could find an internship with them.
If you don’t know the iconic phrase “Houston, we have a problem,” then where have you been? The “Space City” NASA headquarters, otherwise known as Johnson Space Center, has been the centerpiece for the city for more than 60 years. From serving as Mission Control for every space flight since Gemini V, to leading next generation moon explorations with Artemis, Johnson Space Center is a hub of technological innovations and space exploration revolutions.
Although it may seem like interning at a company that works with the likes of SpaceX and other government contractors is impossible, there’s actually tons of opportunities to work at NASA. The main internship opportunity is Pathways, a semester long opportunity that offers a direct pipeline to NASA employment. The Pathways program can get very competitive, but don’t worry, there are still tons of opportunities. Between challenges, fellowships, and high school internships, there’s a variety of ways to start your career in space research.
Located in the “Medical Center,” an inner-city district close to downtown, Memorial Hermann is just one of the many, many hospitals to reside in Houston. However, its impact is immeasurable. From treating patients in local neighborhood clinics to flying in urgent cases across North America to get treatment, Memorial Hermann is a company that you can truly feel proud working for.
With its dedication to the city and its people, Memorial Hermann offers a ton of opportunities to get involved, even if you haven’t necessarily graduated yet. The main opportunity for undergraduate students is their summer internship program, which serves as an introduction to the healthcare system. There are other opportunities to intern with them through clinical rotations and residencies, but of course, you would need to be pursuing a medical degree for that.
Houston is known as one of the nation's leading producers in gas and energy resources, and NRG Energy is no exception. I mean, if a company has multiple stadiums in the city with its namesake, you know it has to be important.
NRG Energy serves the U.S. by bringing power to various homes and businesses. However, with its start in Houston, it aims to help students across the area with its scholarships and internships. NRG Energy’s main student campaigns work with HBCUs such as Prairie View A&M University to create collaborative courses and scholarships for students to tackle real world issues with industry professionals.
If you’ve ever worked at a restaurant, you know Sysco. The food product distributor works with many large companies to bring food and cooking tools to their locations. From schools to hospitals to airplanes, you can be sure working with Sysco will bring a diverse network of people and connections. With its nationwide locations, Sysco has internship opportunities open in various industries. However, with its headquarters being in Houston, it’ll allow you to connect with higher management and build valuable networks in a Fortune 500 company.
Although Shell is the largest company on this list because of its worldwide reach, the fact that one out of its only three technology centers in the entire world resides in Houston is a testament to the city’s importance. Being a Shell intern specifically in Houston gives you the unique opportunity to work at the technology center to research and innovate new internationally recognized technologies. With the center's location being the only one in North America, it’ll also give you amazing opportunities to network with students and researchers across the country.
However, if you are looking for internship programs that aren’t specifically research related, Shell still has multiple internship programs and scholarships in a variety of fields to help get your foot in the door.
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