Daniel O’Connor

How to get a great computer science internship

Photo of the Computer Science internship event

My friend Eitan and I were expecting 20 people to attend last night’s CS Internship Q&A. We got 130.

I’d like to thank the great student panelists and share some of their advice:

  1. Work on side-projects, contribute to open source - When you’re competing with thousands of students, the work you do outside of class will set you apart. All of our panelists have worked on side-projects and stressed their importance. Can’t think of a project to work on? Start contributing to open source software. This is by far the most best advice.
  2. Prepare for interviews - Brush up on algorithms, study data structures, and practice interview questions. Practice does make perfect, and there’s no shortage of books to help you. Cracking the Coding Interview is often a favorite.
  3. Big company or startup? - Ideally, try to intern at one of each. Startups often give interns larger projects and teach you more about the inner workings of a company. Larger companies, on the other hand, will provide more structure and name recognition on a résumé.

These three points are only a few of the topics we touched on.

For more advice, check out Alexey Komissarouk’s excellent brief guide to tech internships.

Next up this week: MHacks!

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