Akamai Intern Project Guidelines

Akamai Interns

Akamai interns are college students from 2-year or 4-year institutions that have completed at least one year of college, and are either from Hawaii or enrolled at a UH campus

All interns are pursuing a STEM field, and many are pursuing the following majors:

  • Mechanical engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Computer engineering
  • Computer science
  • Electronics
  • Astronomy
  • Physics
  • Networking and information technology

The kinds of projects Akamai interns do

The project will take about 7-8 weeks of full-time work for a college student.

The project will be of value to the mentor AND their host organization and will be valuable for interns career advancement in their field of interest.

Much of the Akamai Program’s funding is aimed at developing an observatory workforce, so many projects are in the engineering and technical areas of observatories.

The Akamai Program has more than 20 years of experience, and has placed more than 500 local students in internships.

Much has been learned from that experience which has shaped the priorities of the program. The table below outlines the kinds of things the programs looks for, especially when there are more projects than interns that can be placed.

More aligned with program priorities


Less aligned with program priorities


Intern will complete a project that will be used and valued by site
  • Completing the project is seen mostly as a learning experience for intern
  • Project is verifying results
  • Project is primarily to shadow someone
By completing the project, the intern will gain skills of value to their career goals
  • Project unlikely to be very challenging or push intern to gain or improve skills
  • Project not aligned with intern’s career development interests
Intern will have an opportunity to network and be a part of a STEM community
  • Intern will only have mentor to interact with
The primary mentor has been identified and has met with Akamai Program staff
  • There are multiple mentors, but not one clearly identified as the primary mentor
  • A senior level person wants an intern but has not yet identified who will work with intern throughout the summer
Mentor (or co-mentor) will be present in-person, and committed to spending about 2-4 hours/week with intern
  • Mentor(s) primarily working remotely or somewhere else
  • Mentor has significant travel or vacation plans during the project period

Mentor is a professional in the field that the intern is interested in pursuing

  • Mentor works in a different field than the interns’ field of interest

Please note: The Akamai Program does not place interns with remote mentors, nor interns working remotely. The in-person experience is an essential part of what the program strives to provide.

Looking through past projects is often a helpful way to stimulate ideas. You can search projects by:

    • All alumni year HERE  
    • Field of interest (e.g. mechanical engineering, astronomy, etc) HERE