Becoming an Akamai Mentor

2018 Akamai Alumn Ian Denzer with his mentor Windell Jones from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope.

This page provides information about expectations for those interested in becoming a mentor in the Akamai Internship Program.

Akamai provides a student stipend, pays for housing costs, and covers airfare from their home island to the internship site and back. The host organization provides a mentor and a “productive project” – that is, a project that will be educational for the student and make a valuable contribution to the host organization. Becoming an Akamai mentor is simple, but does require significant commitment. Most Akamai mentors continue to be mentors year after year because of their positive experiences and the impacts they have on interns.

To become an Akamai mentor, please:

  1. Review the expectations of Akamai mentors below. 
  2. Develop an idea for a summer project in January, before internship selection has begun. 
  3. Contact Akamai via email at, expressing interest in becoming an Akamai mentor and requesting our project form.
    • You will need to develop at least a brief description of potential projects, any information about required qualifications (e.g. skills, courses completed, etc.), and your summer schedule, including any co-mentors who will help or fill in if you are absent for part of the program.
    • Projects spanning approximately 7 weeks for students from the following majors are good fits for the program: electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electronics, physics, astronomy, networking, and information technology. Interns are from 2-year colleges and 4-year universities, at all levels. Looking through past projects can help stimulate ideas.
  1. Schedule a visit with Akamai staff in early February to refine details of your project before placement of interns occurs in late February and early March.
    • Interns are only placed when there is a specific mentor who has a project, or solid choice of projects, and has confirmed that he/she has a plan for directly mentoring the intern during the program period (i.e. if mentor will be gone for more than a few days, a co-mentor is identified)
  1. Commit to being an Akamai mentor for the summer by the middle of February before the summer in which you plan to mentor.

Expectations of an Akamai Mentor

Akamai mentors are held to a high level of expectations to help make the Akamai internship as productive, educational, and enjoyable as possible for everyone involved.  These expectations are summarized below.

    • Akamai mentors are expected to be present to mentor their interns the entire length of the program, or at least be able to identify co-mentors during periods of absence and communicate these dates to Akamai staff and the interns by the middle of February preceding the summer of intended mentorship.
    • Akamai mentors are expected to prepare and develop a project plan for the summer internship that includes contingencies and room for adjustment according to the intern's skill levels and interests.
    • Akamai mentors are expected to attend the concluding symposium in which the interns present their final project in a 10-minute technical presentation at the end of the summer.  Dates will vary based on location, but will be communicated in advance and will take place in August near the end of the program.
    • Akamai mentors are expected to allow their interns to attend weekly meetings (remotely presented by Akamai staff) for about 1-2 hours each week.  Every intern completes a technical communication course that runs throughout the program, is integrated into the overall experience, and includes weekly assignments (e.g. write an abstract on their project).
    • Akamai mentors are expected to help their interns in their technical writing and presentation skills by reviewing their work and helping them revise it.
    • Akamai mentors are not expected to attend the annual Mentor Workshop, but are strongly encouraged! See ISEE-Akamai Mentor Workshop for more information.

If you're interested in becoming an Akamai mentor, please email

Additional information about Akamai mentoring can be found at: