Hi. I am a college student and I am in my third year of college. I have an associate degree in general science and i am studying to earn my bachelor's degree in Computer Science. I have been trying to get an internship (basically for job security and work experience) for the summer of 2020 but I have been constantly denied an internship position. I am now questioning if I will even get an internship (I have heard about so many people who have done several internships already but I personally know people who- just like myself- can't get even one internship).

I have applied to about 10 internships to places like Lockheed Martin and XPO Logistics just to name a few. In order to get a better chance at having my application reviewed, I asked an advisor at my school to give my an access code to a website called "careershift.com" (it is an access code my university gives). The website has contact information of recruiters. Because of that, i found the email addresss of some recruiters and also emailed them about the internships I have applied to. I got two phone interviews when I did this. It seems that because I had five or six personal projects on my resume, they were willing to give me a chance. However, I still was denied (I didn't think the interview went poorly. I did a mock interview at my school
and they said I did fine. Therefore, I just did the same thing with the phone interview).

At this point, I don't know what to do. I know that some people applied to more internships than me and finally got hired but I am restricted to positions in my area only. This is because I won't be able to get a ride to work if I don't get a job in my area (I have never gotten a job before to even buy or put car payments down on a car to take myself to work). I even went to a job fair at my school to help with this and found out that the internships they offer were mostly outside of my area also. I know I could ride a bus but the bus does not go to where I live. I could take a taxi but I need money for that also (if i got an internship that pays then maybe I could pay for a taxi if that's what needs to happen). I know that lesser known companies do internships also and can hire me but I really can't find any internships in my area for any other company other than the ones I have found (I guess I still have time to find an internship for a lesser known company). Lastly, I couldn't apply for an internship during my first two years of college because I only started learning the concepts of software at the end of my second year of college. Therefore, I'm sure I would have no chance at even getting an interview at that time. Anyway, due to my dilemma i have some questions (Sorry...I got a lot of questions. Please be patient with my numerous questions):

(1) I think that I might have to look at other options as far as work experience is concerned. I think I might have to work at the IT department at my school and help troubleshoot student log in accounts over the summer. Will this help me get at least and entry level/ associate level job in software? This job does not relate to software or programming but it relates to the technology field which is why I picked it.

(2) I have also done a research project remotely. I plan on doing more research projects that is teacher lead and not remote. Can this help boost my chances at getting an entry level position after graduation?

(3) The only reason why I got those two phone interviews was because of my personal projects (or that's what it looks like). Do you think I should do more projects? I was going to do more so that I can put the personal I have done that relate to the job on my resume (ex: personal project about SQL Database can go on my resume for a Database related job. A person project that is an HTML website can go on my resume for a web development position). If I put an older personal project on my resume, will an employer think that the project is outdated?

(4) I called the help desk for Lockheed Martin about my application. This is because they are technically the company I want to work for in the future (till I get more experience and move on to other companies if I can). They told me that I should not worry about not getting any of the internships I applied to because some of their entry level positions don't require an internship. Also, I can still apply to other internships. I just wondered if my resume will look competitive enough without a real internship.

(5) I wanted to do some programming competitions at my school (because the university I transferred to hosts some programming competitions unlike my old school). I hope to try and do one before I graduate (even if I lose). Do you think this can be added to my resume?

(6) I wanted to do this program at my school were you vist a company to see what a typical day is like for someone who does the same job you want to do after graduation. Do you think that this can be added to my resume (I know it's not an internship but I am just looking for ways to make my resume look more competitive).

(7) Some companies say that even if you don't get a job with them, they will save your resume and call you back if any other positions are available. Do you think that even though I did not get some of these internships, they could call me back for other positions (if I at least apply to other positions)?

(8) How early should I apply for a job to ensure that I have a chance of getting the opportunity? I am applying for internships now eventhough the internship starts in summer 2020 since most famous companies fill their positions up early. Also, I don't know if they are planning on hiring 100 new workers (in which case I might have a chance) or just two or three workers (which means I might have a lower chance of being chosen). If I apply for jobs my last year of college, I might run the risk of not knowing enough information to pass the technical Interview. Plus, I could do more things that I can put on my resume. However, if I wait I might spend 6 months after graduation looking for a job while I could have found one already.

(9) I said that I only got two phone interviews because I emailed about 30 recruiters total that were from the companies I applied to. When I start looking for a real job, do you think it would be a bad idea to email them again? I don't want to bother them but I have no other way to network with some of these recruiters.

(10) I wonder if I would be ready to do a job in software if I never worked in the field before. An internship would have helped with this but I think I might need to have a second plan in case I don't get an internship. Do you think an entry level job will be an ok way to learn about the job (if you are willing to try and learn) or should I just get an internship after college.

If anyone can help answer even one of these questions (since I know I wrote a lot), I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.

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All 17 Replies

To the topic question: "Yes."

But I went about it another way. I wrote code BEYOND homework and over the years always had demos of my work on hand. I built up a portfolio of my works just like you do for art and film. This has become easier as we now have smart phones so instead of the hard portfolio my phone also has demos of my works.

So two more things.

  1. I'm amazed at many of today's grads or students that dismiss the portfolio concept. Maybe that's a good thing. Leaves more jobs for those that really put in the time and effort.
  2. Tech jobs in the USA are clumping into a few cities. Now you can get all entitled or accept this is what is happening. Some are getting discouraged over that but it is happening. Watch https://www.cbsnews.com/news/90-percent-of-tech-jobs-growth-concentrated-in-just-5-cities-according-to-brookings-institute-report/

You asked 10 questions but I must paint with a broad brush that you may not get your choice of work or have to wait till there are jobs in your area.

Then again, don't look at https://66.media.tumblr.com/9cdb3d6cd00142e8aba715e7d79f03b4/tumblr_p6kh16IoMf1u0glb4o1_1280.jpg

Ok. Also, it's not like I don't know programming, object oriented programming or some basically software development concepts like Scrum development (I guess I have to learn more but that's because I'm still in college). Here is a list of programming languages I know: HTML (have to re-leatn some things but I still know it) , Java (I personalize this one), C++ (I just recently learned it in class in Fall 2019), Python (I am more at a novice level thought it is considered an easy language) and SQL (just recently learned this in Fall 2019). I only mentioned this because I don't know if it is because I don't have the knowledge they are looking for.

Wait, I thought you asked about internship. If it's a job, then yes they can expect you to have the knowledge. But "internship" means you have the basics but will learn on the job and grow into the work.

Don't get me started about internships that companies use in order to fill the ranks as if it was a slave ship.

Let's take a big old swipe or beat up software development while we are here.

Start with https://imgur.com/gallery/z2WkWhb

We have waterfall, Agile, Kanban, Scrum, Lean, and more. All these are in search of The Holy Grail. Not one has failed to deliver a never ending supply of jokes and failed projects. What many forget is it doesn't really matter which method you use, if you don't have a team with the skills you are going to have a bad day.

-> I bet there is a LASiK course on software development out there.

Our LASiK (Lean Agile Scrum is Kanban) course will train you in the latest mashup of the best software development systems known today. Our course directors have a vision. You too can share in this vision. (for only 20,000USD for our 5 weekend boot camp.)

Ok. It's good to know that I might have a chance (maybe). But your saying that companies use internships to fill up the "ranks". What do you mean (sorry..I've never heard that before)? And about the "clustering" issue. Do you mean that companies rather go to more famous cities? That makes sense since all the jobs in this field are mostly in the city that is by my area.

  1. Internships. My view is this is "not a job." Do you need me to detail how internships used to be and how many companies are ripping off interns?
  2. Clustering. I supplied a current new article on the phenomenon. I noticed this a few years back and it's only gotten worse.

What this means is don't let it get you down that you don't get an internship if they are making demands as if you were a full-time normal hire. You are not, you are an intern.

Also, be prepared to move. Don't get stuck where you are.

Yeah. I live closer to Atlanta, Ga and all the jobs in this field are mostly there (as far as my area is concerned). Moving there might be my best shot anyway. Plus, I did not know that interns were getting "ripped off ". Is there a news article on that too (since no one is talking about that in a main stream sense)? After all, that would explain why "not every internship turns into a full time job".

Companies that expect interns to be fully fledged experts and ready to go to work are to be treated as you see fit.

From the dictionary: Intern: "a student or trainee who works, sometimes without pay, at a trade or occupation in order to gain work experience."

That does not mean you show up without any skills but with the basics and if you are missing something, the job provides a mentor or a class on that area. If the company calls it an internship and then demands you be a full stack developer, run.

As to an article, here's a Reddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/learnprogramming/comments/ag606e/i_went_from_learner_to_fullstack_developer_within/ worth reading. Close to self promotion but I don't expect an intern to be ready for the job. Intern? Yes.

I see what you mean. I applied for an internship one time and noticed that the job description for the internship was the same as one of the entry level positions at their terminal.

I wonder if that means they expect their interns to have the same background knowledge as someone who is qualified for an entry level position. If so, then that's not completely fair.

As to the last question in last reply. Yes, some companies try that but with employment rates in the last few percent they don't try it as often.

On top of that the USGOV has gone Kafkaesque on H1B's. Read https://www.huffpost.com/highline/article/invisible-wall/

For those that don't know Kafka: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Kafkaesque

Definition of Kafkaesque
: of, relating to, or suggestive of Franz Kafka or his writings especially : having a nightmarishly complex, bizarre, or illogical qualityKafkaesque bureaucratic delays

There is consulting, where they run interference for you, freelance work, volunteer work, teaching, tutoring and open source collaboration to get your status up and your skills sharp.

Ok. I like the freelance idea and volunteer work also. Can working as an IT assistant work also (it's not related to programming but it is related to technology)?

As to the work of freelance, IT or such. It relates because there are many skills to pick up beyond the tech. Sometimes a new grad doesn't get that.

Were would someone start when it comes to looking for a freelance job or some sort of open source collaboration project?

Yeah. I know what you mean. They say that a lot of is about networking also. Thanks again.

Yes you can easily get the internship even by just having skills
As may online intership
or job portal like
helps many in getting internships or job in fields like software testing, app development etc.

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