PILAS Paid Internship Program


What is PILAS

The PILAS Internship program (Programa de Internos, Los Alamos) is a workforce development project that gives students the opportunity to work with local businesses to gain employable skills while earning an hourly wage and academic credit.

The word “pilas” also means “batteries.” These internships connect a student’s program of study with real workplace activities, providing the spark that students need to continue their studies to completion and increase their employment opportunities at the same time.

Participating businesses define a meaningful project through a mentor application process and are matched with a student intern. Students work 120 or 180 hours in their internship over 12 weeks. In addition, interns attend three seminars at SFCC, submit a midterm and final paper, complete a final resume and cover letter, work closely with their PILAS Faculty Advisor, and learn interview, networking, and communication skills to earn 3 academic credits for the course.

To date, more than 130 SFCC student interns and 80 local employer-mentors have participated in the PILAS paid internship program. Approximately 40% of students have received employment opportunities each semester after their internships. Click here to see PILAS interns at work!

The PILAS Internship Program is made possible through collaborative support from the Regional Development Corporation, SFCC, Santa Fe Community College Foundation, Anchorum, and the NM Higher Education Department.

Student Internships

Internships are offered across 19 academic areas at SFCC – from engineering, business administration, media arts, film, photography, and computer science to alternative fuels, greenhouse, water resources, automotive, and solar to culinary, hospitality, woodworking, fashion design, legal and criminal justice. Students are paid minimum wage by SFCC for 10 to 20 hours each week over 12 weeks and will earn three academic credits.

Students interested in applying for internships can go to the Student Participation Page for more information and to complete an application.


To participate in the program, employers meet four mentor criteria including identifying a project-based work experience and mentoring student interns with the skills and knowledge required to complete the project. Employers interested in applying as PILAS mentors can go to the Employer-Mentor Participation Page for more information and to complete an application.

Submission of a mentor application does not guarantee your organization will be matched with a student. Each semester, the PILAS program has about 25 to 35 paid internship slots and about 80 to 100 active mentor applications across 20 academic areas. Sometimes students are interested in an internship but pursue another. Often many internships each semester go unfilled. Matching depends upon the needs and interests of students that are enrolled each semester, as well as their choice of internship.

For more information, contact PILAS Internship Coordinator Marlene Simon at marlene.simon@sfcc.edu or 505-428-1684