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How To Earn A Free Ticket To A Computer Science Internship

htnguy profile image Hieu Nguyen Originally published at devsurvival.com on ・4 min read

Who is this post for?

If you are a computer science student who’s actively looking for an internship or preparing to do so, definitely keep reading. If you have a genuine interest in computer science and are considering a career as a developer, feel free to keep reading. If none of the above applies to you, but your curiosity is killing you, I guess I can’t stop you 🤷

Background

I have done 2 internships. One at UPS and the other at Rawlings Group. The first internship was the harder job search of the two, which was expected because I did not have any relevant job experience. After doing multiple interviews and working at two different companies, I have noticed things that were helping me land more interviews and ultimately more job opportunities. In this session, I am going to share some tips on how to land your internship and things that I have done to greatly increase the chances.

New fish in the sea

fish in the sea

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Sense

Just like a freshman in highschool, you are the small fish in the vast, diverse tech industry. I mean a really small fish, like a sardine compared to shark. The shark has years of experience in the sea. It knows how the environments behaves and how to adapt. As a newcomer, it can be tough to fit in and dig a room for yourself in this rapidly changing environment. If you started out feeling this way, then we were born in the same school of fish.

However, we consume, learn, and ultimately grow. With each stage of our growth, we must find a new shell or hole to fit in. In this post, I am going to show you how to find your next hole or internship as a small fry in the sea.

Cutting to the chase

Here is a list of things to follow to guarantee your next internship.

  1. The extra mile - There is only so much stuff that a computer science degree can teach you. When most universities are designing their computer science curriculums they are asking: What should I teach that will provide the most fundamental skills and will remain relevant 20 years from now? 9 times out of 10, a highly demanding programming framework or a trending language does not make the cut. The reason why they are not taught is simply because in the next couple of years, something else will replace it, which means they have to redesign their course. For these reasons, I implore you to not wait for your professor to feed you all the technical knowledge you need to succeed. Those who are successful are the same ones going the extra mile to obtain the skills needed in the REAL world. How?

    1. Start by finding your interests. It could be a coding language or a technology. For instance, I was interested in web development, so I choose to learn HTML, CSS, and Javascript
    2. Research your topic and gather resources
    3. Train and Apply - use online tutorials, courses, and documentation as a learning aid. Once you know it enough, start applying it by building something or teaching it to someone else(blog, video tutorial, answering question).
    4. After you have apply what you’ve learned to build or produce something tangible, you can start leveraging it in your interviews and on your resume.
  2. Cast a wide net - This one is a no-brainer. Don’t apply to just your favorite companies or the ones that shows up in the top 500 fortune companies list. By doing so, you are limiting your own chances of scoring an internship.

  3. Networking - Having a presence in the tech industry can be pivotal in getting an internship. Many of your connections can help provide a direct line to new job opportunities and a beneficial relationships with potential employers. They say it is always easier to ask a favor from someone you know as oppose to a stranger. How?

  • Create a LinkedIn account and reach out to potential employers.
  • Join a developer community like devto or reddit.
  • Build a profolio website and share it
  • Get involved in social events and conferences.
  • Join a hackathon - many employers will search for potential hires at a hackathon. Regardless, it is a good experience to have on your resume.

4.“NEVER GIVE UP”

never give up
via GIPHY

Let’s face it. You are going to be turned down once or twice, but don’t let that overshadow how much success is in store for you once you’ve earned a ticket to your internship.

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