How to Get An Internship : An Example From Software Development
By Emma Bonney
It’s your dream to be a software developer? Then you probably hope to land a software developing internship that would help you gain experience and enhance your skills. But not knowing how to approach this situation can be a problem. Here is what you need to do to get an internship in a software development company.
Don’t wait until spring to start looking for open positions. The recruiting season for companies specialised in software development from Eastern Europe starts in August/September because they are technology experts who want to make sure that they have time to check all the resumes they receive before choosing their interns. It’s advisable to search for an open position in Eastern Europe because it’s a centre of the tech development world and the opportunities are endless in countless industries. Start looking for internship positions in August, early September or October. Most of the companies end their recruiting process by November or December.
Use your connections
As a college student, you may feel that you don’t have any connection, because you think they should be real adults. Well, this is a misconception, you probably know some alumni who work in teams of software developers at the companies you want to work at. Also, it’s the moment for you to discover LinkedIn, it can help you build a network that facilitates your admission to the internship you want.
Reach the connections you know and who work in the field, it’s easier to ask for help from people you already know. Don’t forget to ask your friends and colleagues if they interned at companies that have dedicated teams of software engineers, they can refer you to the recruiter.
Besides reaching your connections to find out more about possible internship programs you should also use your college’s career affair. There are great chances the companies to be there to recruit students.
Your personal projects are more important than your GPA
Some students are focused only on school because they believe that their grades will bring them success. But the fact is that you should focus on the projects that passion you, the ones that help you improve your skills, and make you happy. The personal projects related to software development solutions look amazing in your resume because they show employers that you are a creative person and you have initiative.
You will notice that if you start focusing on your personal coding projects your grades will not budge even if you spend less time in school. You will acquire knowledge that will help you maintain your good grades, only that you will get it another way than studying in the traditional manner.
Also, if you focus on the things you like you will be more relaxed, and you will be able to retain more information. You will no longer be stressed out about your performance, and this will improve it.
In the IT world, side projects are always an effective way to learn new skills and to build your resume. As a student, you will also find this activity quite rewarding because you will be able to practice on your own the skills you acquired. It’s advisable to do a side project you are passionate about, don’t start one just to build your resume.
A great idea is to do coding work for non-profits, you will work with people who have the same interests, and it will help you understand what you want from your next job. Working together with other people, on a team will prove a fantastic experience.
Always apply for an internship
Keep testing the market, always apply for internships even if you’re not looking for one at the present moment. Popular IT companies like the ones from Eastern Europe give out their internships a year in advance. In the worst-case scenario, you will acquire more interview experience.
Many people apply to jobs only to test the market, you should use the same strategy. If you’ll get an internship with a popular company, it’s no reason not to accept it. You can always change your plans when it comes to your career opportunities. By testing the market, you understand where you stand in terms of your competition.
If you don’t get interviews you should keep improving your skills and resume. Work a little harder and you will have greater chances next time when you apply.
Don’t accept a job before researching the workplace culture
Sometimes it’s not hard to get accepted, it’s challenging to decide what internship is the right one for you. If you are part of a minority group, you should check the company’s culture to understand if you’ll find difficulties working there. Some tech companies can make their employees feel uncomfortable, and this is the last thing you want as an intern.
Other times you don’t have to be part of a minority to feel like your internship is the worst decision you have ever made. This type of experience can deter you from software development completely.
Do research; try to get in touch with employees, and former employees, to find out their opinion. Check if someone from your network has worked at the company and ask them to share their experience
Don’t be afraid to aim high
Sometimes IT students find hard to believe that they will ever be able to get an internship or job at a popular company because they don’t trust their skills and knowledge. Don’t have the misconception that you’ll never be good for that job. Those companies are not looking for geniuses, who spent their entire life coding; they are looking for talented people who are willing to learn new things.
IT companies are looking for people with good soft skills, good developers who can give a fresh perspective to their team. If you work hard, gain experience while working on your personal project, have a decent GPA, and you apply for the internship, you’ll definitely receive an interview invitation. You have a chance to work for a big company you only have to apply.
A bit about myself:
Emma Bonney is a successful blogger whose articles aim to help readers withself-development, Women’s Empowerment, Education, entrepreneurship and content management.