13 answers

Are internships or coops really important to get a job in software field?

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Due to covid-19, I haven't secured a #co-op or #internship yet. I am a college student and I do not have any previous experience. Will this affect my #job-search after I graduate? If yes, do you have any #suggestions on what I can do to improve the chance of getting a #job?
#software #developer #it #technology

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13 answers

Srinivas’s Answer

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Hi Sneha,

How are you?. Hope you're following the guidelines during the tough times.
Now, regarding the internship, it only helps you in understanding what you're good at it, during internship, let's say as a software developer you'll get an opportunity to assess not only your technical skills but also about leadership skills. If you enjoy not just doing your work but also helping out the fellow interns staying the course, then it will tell you that you're good to climb the corporate ladder. Now, that can help you make a decision what kind of masters (only if you want) you can do. Also, if you enjoyed working the business teams in analyzing the requirement then may be you head in the techno business direction meaning you can make your career in a particular business domain (finance, telecommunication etc). Finally, internship only helps for those who wants to assess their future, you will definitely find a job with or without an internship.

Hope this helps.
Hi Srinivas, I'm good. Thank you for your response and guidance. Sneha S. Translate
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Jacqueline’s Answer

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hi there. I don't think you necessarily need this. Hang in there. It's a tough time with COVID for everybody. I work for a software company - SAP - and one thing we are still doing in this new virtual world is hackathons. Those are still taking place. I would say that's an interesting place to explore working as a team on development challenges. Try to find hackathons you can participate in so you can add those to your resume. I think we actually just concluded one in Toronto. The other thing we offer too, is continuous training on our openSAP website and platform, and they are all free courses... also a good place to stay plugged into what's going on.
Again, hang in there. Internships and co-opps will be available again soon!
Hi Jacqueline, thank you for your answer and support. I will definitely check them out. Sneha S. Translate
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Stephen’s Answer

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It's not. For your first job, you will have to apply a lot of roles. Before THAT, move to where the jobs are like the Bay Area. You can't get a role where none exists.
You need grit, keep applying, keep contacting. It's just hard work and some luck.
Hello Stephen, thanks for the answer! Sneha S. Translate
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Dave’s Answer

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Hello Sneha,

The silver lining, due to COVID-19, is this is a global crisis and EVERYONE business is affected in some way. The reality of graduating students not having the ability to have their ceremonies to celebrate, as well as the diminished opportunities for internships will be recognized. So far, I have worked for two Fortune 250 companies, and both companies have positions to bring in talent without any experience, these are usually your staff level jobs.
A staff level job can pay well, give you fantastic benefits, great exposure to your new career, and exponential upside opportunity for growth.
What YOU should do is have as many professionals review your resume as possible, and put together the best version that makes you the most confident.
When you have an opportunity to interview, DO YOU RESEARCH on the company and the position. Make sure you have your notebook with your questions that you want to ask, and I am not talking about asking about benefits. Ask the interviewers what brought them to the company, what they like the most about the company, what projects have they worked on that they found interesting, etc.
The point is to STAND OUT, even though you may not have experience, you show you have a desire to work and be a part of that team, which transcends experience in MOST cases.
Finally, don't be discouraged by NO or not hearing back. Make notes of each process, and each interview question. Study them. Refine them. Let each NO make you a better candidate for YES!

I hope this helps! Best of luck!
Hi Dave, thanks a lot for your answer. Will keep in mind what you said during my job search. Sneha S. Translate
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Rachel’s Answer

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Hi Sneha. This is a great question, especially around this particularly difficult time in the world with COVID. Many internship programs have been cancelled and the global situation has just made things uncertain for everyone.

If you havent secured an internship yet during your degree, don't panic. There are plenty of things you can do to make yourself more attractive to employers. This time might be a good time for you to:

- Refresh your resume. Make sure you have added things like personal projects, any extracurricular/volunteer activities, coding comps, hackathons etc.

- If you havent done any personal projects, or gotten involved in hackathons - try to seek these opportunities out! Now is a great time to start learning a new language or start building a personal project.

- You can start practicing Leetcode or Hackerrank questions. Many companies use these tools as part of their recruitment process, so if you can start practicing these types of questions now it will pay off.

- Take the time to update your Linkedin profile, and make sure you're on platforms such as Handshake, Jumpstart or Piazza. Many campus recruiters use these tools to search for candidates. Make sure your degree, graduation date are up to date on these platforms as recruiters normally use these details to filter or search for candidates.

I hope that helps!

Take care.



Hi Rachel, thank you for your insightful answer. Will try to do everything you suggested. Sneha S. Translate
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jennifer’s Answer

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Sneha,

It is easy to get a decent job through internship. The internship could give you a choice to know the company and the team know you, but it doesn't mean you couldn't find a job without internship. You could

1. Search on the company career and try to apply for jobs as early as you can.
2. Attend the university career fair.
3. Find an internal contact to refer you.

Hopeful it helps.
Hi Jennifer, thanks for the useful tips! Sneha S. Translate
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Julian (Yuliang)’s Answer

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Hey Sneha,

I know how it feels to worry about not having any experience while you are still studying, especially if you are in your penultimate or final year of your degree! I would like to say, don't stress! The best thing you can do is to keep practising for interviews and brush up your skills on the interview process, as well as general programming skills. I went into my first coding interview not knowing how any of it worked at all. It was such an embarrassing experience but i learnt a valuable lesson. I learn about the format of the interview and how it works, and went back home and started studying/practising for it.

So, the coding interview is probs the one you need to prepare for the most. It's usually around 45-60mins, where the interviewer presents a programming problem, often involving data structures or algorithms. There's tonnes you can practice on LeetCode and Hackerrank to name a few. Doing this as practice will REALLY help out!
Tip: a lot of these problems use HashMaps in the optimal solution ;) So brush up on that!

Another resource that is super helpful is this book:
Elements of Programming Interviews Python
https://www.amazon.com.au/Elements-Programming-Interviews-Python-Insiders/dp/1537713949
I highly recommend this book. It gives detailed explanation on how they approach common coding interview problems.

Also, don't worry if you don't finish a coding interview or get the right answer. Usually the interviewers care more about HOW you approach the problem rather than if you finish it or not! Having a Growth Mindset is the best thing you can do! Always talk the interviewer through your thought process and make sure to listen to any hints or clues they may give.

Try to get as much practice as you can. Even apply for roles you don't think you can get. Just do it for the interview experience/practice. I got my first internship by doing an interview where i went in with the mindset of using it only as practice. And surprise surprise, i somehow got it!

Best of luck with finding and internship!
Hi Julian, thanks for sharing your experience! Sneha S. Translate
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Salman’s Answer

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Hi There – Hope you and your family are well in the midst of this COVI-19. I did live in Toronto and went to Victoria Park SS. The reason I mention this is because I understand the school system there in Canada.

In terms of it being really important to have a Co-Op or an Internship – Short answer >> “Yes – Important” but not required. I would say that I’s not required but can only help your case for proving your skills and ability to join the workforce. If you time it well, as in having one in your senior year of college, it could work in your favor that you get a job offer from where you’re interning.

Another factor to consider. If you’re going to be competing with other students in the area that do have co-ops or internships and you don’t have, it could prevent you from getting that “foot in the door” interview.

Internships/Co-Ops can also help validate that you’ll enjoy the work that you’ll potentially be doing in the future. If you're interested in software development, it can help you validate the coding platform you want to build your career on – for example do you want to code in Java or are you looking to use Ruby on Rails or Python. You may even find out that you don’t like coding but are more interested in COTS (custom off the shelf) applications like Oracle, SAP, PeopleSoft, MS Dynamics, SalesForce, etc.

Hope this helps!!
Hi Salman! Thank you for your answer. Sneha S. Translate
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E’s Answer

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Hi Sneha,
It is great to have real world project/industry experience. One way to get that is through internships as you mentioned. However, good thing about Software is that you can start gaining that experience on your own without much investment or specialized equipment. Let me list some ideas for you to consider.

E recommends the following next steps:

  • Start offering services on freelance platforms like upwork/fiverr
  • Create and launch a mobile app/game
  • Contribute to open source projects of your choice
  • Teach software topics to high school students
  • Create tutorial videos and post on youtube
Hello E, thanks for the check list and answer! Sneha S. Translate
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Jing’s Answer

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Hi Sneha,

I'm sure many students fall into the same situation due to the current pandemic and glad you are actively looking for ways to make up the lost internship opportunity.

Here is an online training site that my company provided to public free of charge and it plays a big role in our software engineer internship as well, that interns are required to finish trainings relevant to their products. Hope it will be helpful, happy learning!

Salesforce Trailhead: https://trailhead.salesforce.com/home?utm_source=google_sem&utm_medium=paid&utm_campaign=1271128943&utm_content=100728673385&utm_keyword=salesforce%20trailhead&sfdc_modal=trailhead-welcome&gclid=EAIaIQobChMInr_8w7iM6gIVjR-tBh1uowN1EAAYASAAEgJ23_D_BwE

Hi Jing, the course is super helpful. Thank you! Sneha S. Translate
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Kelly’s Answer

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Hello Sneha,

Hoping that you are staying safe and following the health department guidelines during this time of COVID-19. An internship is always helpful but I believe employers will have understanding about your situation and timing. Remember you are not alone. Internships help you to better understand what area of focus you may want to consider. Although you may not be able to have an internship now you may want to also consider finding opportunities with your university. There may be professors working on software projects that can be worked virtually. This will be the time where you will need to think out of the box for opportunities.
Hello Kelly, thank you for the response and encouragement. Will start looking outside of the box :) Sneha S. Translate
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Prakhar’s Answer

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Internships definitely play a big role to understand the professional work culture, industry processes and learn from the professional. Its a great opportunity to work on latest technology with no/less pressure of project deadlines.

But Internships doesn't guarantee job in the market once you graduate. Now, the hiring panels looks for the hard work, concept clarity and project related knowledge of yours. So, whether you do a project in internships or by yourself, if you know the complete inside out of the project and developed it by yourself, that will create a significant impact of your profile to the hiring panel.

Knowledge will always open great opportunities to excel in career !!!

Good Luck !!
Hi Prakhar, thank you ! Sneha S. Translate
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Purva’s Answer

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Hi Sneha,

In my opinion, how you land up a Software engineering interview/job is an amalgamation of your previous projects, your previous experiences and the knowledge you possess. Having said that, I do believe internship helps giving you a push for getting a full time job, but I dont think it is the only criteria.

You can contribute to open source projects: Using GitHub to start contributing to open source would also be good idea to put yourself out there.

There are huge amount of volunterring opportunities at : https://angel.co . A lot of startups look for volunteering opportunities, so that would be a good target area.

Keep your linked In profile updated and reach out to recruiters, managers, engineers working in the industry.

Try attending conferences (after the lockdown), that will help you meet the recruiters/managers for some interviews.

Additionally, irrespective of weather you have had an internship or not ; it is important to be prepared for your interviews
You can Tick off some pointers/ pre req before you approach getting into a technical internship :

1. Get your hands dirty in learning a language ( I would recommend Object oriented programming languages like Java, C, C++)
PS: This is the key to crack any of your tech interviews.
I learnt a lot of coding basics from : https://www.khanacademy.org , Udemy.com and coursera.com

2. Practice solving some problems : This will help you gain deeper knowledge of concepts and have a hands on on how interviews might actually
work.
Refer leetcode, https://www.geeksforgeeks.org

3. Set up a mock interview with a friend / https://interviewing.io

I hope this helps.
Hi Purva, thank you for the answer! Sneha S. Translate
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