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.