I currently in my second year (fourth semester) of the aerospace engineering program (with a business minor) at one of the larger public universities. Currently I have a GPA of 3.837, but I expect that to fall due to the increasing difficulty of the program and other unrelated issues. I'm trying to get a sense of my ability to get hired with my stats at this point and what I should do regarding internships.
I started a paid "internship" at the Department of Transportation in one of their research centers as a research assistant last summer. I am given a great deal of responsibility with little guidance and expected to complete the research projects (which include database administration and development) and given presentations before state/federal officials. I call it an "internship" as it's a hybrid between an internship and a job, as I will be allowed to continue working there, rather than it just being a single summer. However, while my job includes a great deal of collaboration and discussion regarding the projects I am given, it is not in the aerospace business. What should I do? Will it hurt me a great deal to be interning here, rather than an aerospace corporation when it comes to getting a job in the field?
Secondly, what is the typical GPA of a hire at a major aerospace corporation in your experience? I expect that I should be able to finish with at least a 3.0 as I know that is the hard cutoff for most major corporations. However, what GPA does a candidate usually have, and how important is it once it is above 3.0?
Given my current position (expected graduation GPA is between 3.42 and 3.11, with the upper bar at 3.63 and the lower bar at 3.01) what kind of job options could be available? Should I pursue a different internship. I'm quite terrified about my realistic job prospects at this point. Thanks for any help.