Ford internships allow students and recent graduates to explore their career options and build real-world skills with a global automotive leader. Ford offers internships in a variety of business areas, including marketing, creative design, finance, and engineering. In this guide, we’ll go over the types of programs available and give you tips and tricks to help you land an internship at Ford.
What Is an Internship at Ford?
Summer internships at Ford Motor Company are 10-12 week programs that provide hands-on experience and career development. Ford internships are open to students who have finished their third year of undergraduate study or are in the first year of a master’s degree program. The Ford Motor Company also offers internships specifically for graduate students.
Interns at Ford earn competitive salaries and may receive a benefits package for the duration of their program. Students also have many opportunities to learn and grow as professionals. Ford interns participate in networking events to meet their peers and company leaders, and students are encouraged to collaborate with and learn about all the business areas at Ford.
At the end of the program, interns present a final project that both highlights their achievements to management and senior leadership at the company and provides students with tangible work they can use to demonstrate their skills moving forward. Ford invites exceptional interns to participate in internship programs the following year or offers full-time roles through the Ford College Graduate Program.
Previous interns rate their experience at Ford a 4.4 out of 5 on Glassdoor and 98% report they’d recommend interning at Ford. Positive reviews highlight a great team and company culture and note ample networking opportunities. But, negative reviews say that the work can sometimes be slow and that some of the online learning components aren’t very engaging.
Who’s Eligible for Ford Internships?
Eligibility for Ford internships differs by program, but students generally need:
- An excellent academic record
- Leadership skills
- A passion for the automotive industry and technology
- The ability to work in the U.S.
Eligible students must be pursuing an undergraduate degree or be in the first year of a master’s program. Some graduate internships are available for students in Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs or those pursuing Ph.D.s.
While GPA requirements differ for each program, students typically need at least a 3.0 to be considered for Ford internship programs. Additionally, many of Ford’s internship programs are on-site in Dearborn, Michigan, so students should be open to relocation if the program requires it.
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Ford Summer Internships and Student Programs
At Ford, students can apply for internship programs in engineering, marketing, finance, design, and human resources.
Ford Engineering Internships
In a Ford engineering internship, students can work with engineering professionals and contribute to real product innovation. Ford has internship opportunities in mechanical, electrical, and software engineering, so students from all engineering backgrounds can find a program to match their interests.
Within each engineering area, students can specialize further. For instance, in Ford’s product development internship, interns can focus on more niche subjects, such as:
- Product development and design
- Electric vehicle (EV) technology
- Product management
Students interested in engineering internships at Ford typically need to be studying a relevant field, like aerospace, systems engineering, computer science, applied mathematics, or mechanical engineering. Engineering internship applicants must have demonstrated academic excellence, with a GPA of at least 3.0 on a four-point scale, though Ford prefers higher GPAs.
Ford Marketing Internships
Ford’s marketing internships allow students to explore and innovate marketing strategies and research in a global company. Students work alongside marketing professionals on real-world projects that impact Ford’s brand across different marketing channels.
Some of the focus areas interns can work on include:
- Global data analytics
- Marketing communications
- Digital marketing
- Product marketing
- Consumer and brand marketing
- Autonomous vehicle strategy
Highly motivated candidates may be eligible to participate in the Ford Marketing Leadership Program (MLP), a five-year rotational program for MBA students.
Ford Credit Finance Internships
As a finance intern in Ford’s Credit internship program, students gain hands-on experience managing and analyzing a major corporation’s finances. Finance interns work with professionals on budgeting and financial analysis for various aspects of the business, including:
- Business operations
- Product organization
- Corporate functions
Interested students should be pursuing a bachelor’s degree in a relevant major, such as finance, business, economics, or communications. Additionally, students should possess at least a 3.0 GPA. Certain interns may be eligible for a graduate-level internship upon completion.
Supply Chain Internships at Ford
Interns in Ford’s supply chain programs help industry professionals solve some of the most challenging problems facing large corporations today. Whether it’s getting finished products to consumers or sourcing the best quality resources to build the cars of tomorrow, supply chain interns work at the forefront of the Ford Motor Company, keeping everything moving.
Students can choose from three focus areas:
- Materials planning and logistics (MP&L): organizing and planning how resources are sourced and transported to the manufacturing plants
- Parts, supply, and logistics (PS&L): managing the supply of parts from manufacturers to dealers
- Supply chain purchasing: sourcing and buying equipment and materials used to build Ford’s products while prioritizing supplier diversity and sustainability
Supply chain interns must be studying areas like finance, economics, business administration, supply chain management, mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, or accounting. Additionally, interns need demonstrable skills in Microsoft Office programs, creative thinking, problem-solving, and adaptability.
Ford Creative Design Internships
Applications Currently Open
In Ford’s creative design internship, students actively design products using cutting-edge digital technology. Throughout the program, interns gain experience in user interaction design, crafting vehicle exteriors, interiors, and components, and building full-size clay models. Additionally, using digital tools and VR, interns create new concept renderings and 3D animations, helping to craft the look, feel, and function of Ford’s future vehicles.
Students must be pursuing a degree in industrial or transportation design to be eligible, and they need to submit a portfolio with their application that displays creativity, the ability to communicate effectively through sketches and drawings, and experience crafting automotive designs.
Human Resources Internships at Ford
Ford human resources interns work on meaningful projects that support the company’s objectives and priorities. Throughout the program, interns gain relevant experience in human resources and have opportunities to pursue and showcase their talents and interests.
Interns in the Ford Motor Company Human Resources program must be in the first year of a master’s program, pursuing an MBA, J.D., or a human resources-specific designation, like a Master of Industrial and Labor Relations (MLIR) degree. Additionally, students need a GPA of 3.2 or higher and must have experience in conflict management, organizational change, project management, and multitasking.
Graduate Programs at Ford
For every undergraduate or master’s level internship at Ford, the company typically has a graduate or leadership program to match. For some of these programs, interns must have previously completed a relevant Ford internship, though there may be exceptions for highly qualified candidates.
In Ford College Graduate Programs, interns go through a series of rotations over two to five years, allowing them to explore the various teams and operational functions the company has to offer.
Strategy and Planning (S&P) Leadership Program
Ford’s strategy and planning leadership program is a 36-month rotational graduate internship that allows interns to explore and expand skills in both engineering and business. Students can experience specific areas, like product strategy, sustainability, global product planning, or propulsion strategy.
Interns must have at least two years of relevant experience in business or engineering and must be enrolled in a full-time MBA program to be eligible.
Marketing Leadership Program
The marketing leadership program at Ford is a five-year rotational program that provides a strong foundation in marketing across the different roles and business areas in the company. Interns may work on projects related to brand marketing, digital marketing, product marketing, emerging market strategy, global data and analytics, or marketing strategies for autonomous vehicles.
Finance Leadership Program
The Ford finance leadership program (FLP) is a three-year rotational program for MBA graduates. Throughout the program, interns explore a variety of finance functions at Ford, including financial planning and analysis, cost control, and marketing and sales.
Eligible students must have at least two years of relevant business or finance experience and demonstrable critical thinking skills.
Creative Design Program
Applications Currently Open
In Ford’s creative design program for college graduates, interns build real-world skills in designing features and full-scale models that influence actual Ford product offerings. Working with design professionals across Ford’s eight design studios, interns have the opportunity to use cutting-edge digital tools and VR to create new concepts and production products.
Students must be near completion of a bachelor’s degree in transportation or industrial design or a master’s degree in fine arts. Additionally, students must submit a portfolio that shows experience creating automotive designs.
Ford High School Science and Technology Program (HSSTP)
Registration is Now Open
High school students in the Dearborn area can register for Ford-sponsored science and technology sessions at the Dearborn Research and Innovation Center. There are three sessions in 2024, including a career day, a session focusing on vehicle design, and one all about welding and adhesive research. This program is free and open to all high school students.
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Applying for Internships at Ford
When applying for an internship at Ford, you must complete your application through their online portal. You’ll need to upload a copy of your resume or apply using an existing LinkedIn or Indeed account.
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Ford places a strong emphasis on skills, regardless of the program. Interpersonal skills are crucial for working effectively in a team, and employers like Ford want to know you’ll fit in the company culture outside of handling your day-to-day job duties. Some of the skills Ford looks for in every applicant are:
- The ability to use facts and data to make decisions
- A growth mindset with a focus on continually improving yourself and processes
- Respect and appreciation for others
- Teamwork and collaboration
While a cover letter isn’t a required field on the online application, including a cover letter is important. Your cover letter allows you to show more of your personality and passions outside of your resume. It can also be a great way to explain any gaps in experience or schooling and why you’re particularly interested in working for Ford.
Ford Assessment Tests
After submitting an application, you may need to complete a series of assessments. One of the primary assessments is a personality and behavioral test that determines how well you fit within Ford’s company culture. The test is called “One Ford,” and it looks at your social and soft skills, integrity, and work ethic.
Depending on the role, you may need to also complete other assessments, like:
- A verbal reasoning test that determines how well you understand and apply instructions and written text
- A numerical reasoning assessment that judges your ability to use math, graphs, and charts to draw conclusions
If your application and assessments meet the mark, you’ll go through a phone screening interview with a recruiter or hiring manager. Phone interviews are typically surface-level and serve as an opportunity for you to answer basic questions about your resume, experience, education, and motivation behind applying for Ford.
>>MORE: Check out some common phone interview questions and how to answer them.
If you’re moved forward following a phone interview, the next step is an in-person interview. In this round, you’ll be asked more in-depth questions about your experience and will likely need to answer behavioral interview questions to support your work experience and soft skills.
Preparing for an in-person interview can be daunting, but practicing common interview questions, especially relevant to the role you’ve applied for, can help you go into the process more confidently. To help you prepare, check out these role-specific interview question guides:
- Software engineering interview questions
- Coding interview questions
- Cybersecurity interview questions
- Data analyst interview questions
- Data scientist interview questions
- Financial analyst interview questions
- Accounting interview questions
Tips for Landing a Ford Internship
Highlight Your Skills
Having the right skills is what gets you hired. Beyond your work and education experience, remember to include relevant and demonstrable skills on your resume. One way to determine what skills you should include is by reading the internship job post carefully.
If you don’t have all the skills Ford is looking for, you can find ways to build your skills by:
- Taking relevant college courses
- Enrolling in a free virtual job simulation
- Finding relevant part-time, full-time, or on-campus jobs
- Working with a mentor
- Joining a club that focuses on the field you’re interested in
Grow Your Network
Networking with the right people can significantly improve your chances of landing an internship. By attending on-campus events, virtual seminars or information meetings, or reaching out to recruiters and industry leaders on LinkedIn, you can build your network and get your name to stand out in the pool of applicants.
>>MORE: Learn more about virtual networking.
Rehearse Your Answers
Practicing common interview questions is the best way to go into an interview feeling confident. Some questions you may need to answer (and how you can answer them) include:
- Tell me about yourself
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Why do you think you’re qualified for this position?
- What is your greatest strength?
- What are your weaknesses?
- Why are you applying for this position?
Don’t be afraid to ask your friends or family members to help you practice. Practice running through mock interviews with them so you can feel more comfortable and confident talking about yourself, your resume, and your desire to work at Ford.
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