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Can I apply to tech internships in my freshman year?

I am finally a freshman studying for a degree in tech "BS in Information Systems". I am not too technical nor have good programming skills but I want to try and gain experience in how and what the tech industry looks and works through internships. My portfolio and resume focus more on digital marketing. I am interested in the roles of:

IT Analyst
Business Analyst
Product Manager
Project Manager
IT Support

Thank you comment icon Look into internships right now. It would be great to know how the process of how the interview process is like and some interviewers are willing to give feedback for next interviews to come. Wilson Ung

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Subject: Career question for you

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Conrad’s Answer

It's great that you're looking to gain experience in the tech industry through internships, even though you might not have a lot of technical skills or programming experience yet. Here are a few tips to help you find internships and build your skills in the roles you're interested in:

Build your skills: Even though you may not have a lot of technical skills yet, you can still start building your knowledge and experience in the areas you're interested in. Look for online resources, such as tutorials, and MOOCs, to learn more about IT, business analysis, product management, project management, and IT support.

Networking: Networking is key in the tech industry, so start building your professional network as soon as possible. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with professionals in your desired field.

Create a strong resume and portfolio: Make sure your resume and portfolio highlight your skills and experience, even if they are not directly related to the tech industry. Emphasize any transferable skills you have, such as problem-solving, attention to detail, and project management.

Look for internships: Research companies in the tech industry and look for internships that align with your interests and goals. Look for opportunities in different roles, such as IT Analyst, Business Analyst, Product Manager, Project Manager, and IT Support.

Be open to different types of internships: Keep in mind that not all internships are created equal, so be open to different types of opportunities. Some internships may be unpaid, while others may be part-time or remote.

Be willing to learn: Be open to learning and be willing to take on new challenges. Many companies are looking for interns who are eager to learn and are willing to take on new tasks.

Remember that it's important to be patient, persistent and be open to different types of opportunities. It may take time to find the right internship, but with hard work, dedication, and a positive attitude, you can build the skills and experience you need to succeed in the tech industry.
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Josue
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Hannah’s Answer

It is never too early to start applying for internships. Since you just started your degree, it may be an unpaid internship; however, employers love seeing experience on a potential employee's resume. Search companies you may be interested in joining and see if there is a contact person to send your resume to. Even if they do not need an intern at the moment, they may know someone who does. Networking is a great skill to master while in school.
Thank you comment icon You rock! This advice is very helpful, ill but it into use Josue
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Joseph’s Answer

All employers usually require for internships is that you're out of high school. Once you've entered a college, you can apply to different companies for internships, some schools even have job fairs for this purpose specifically. As you mentioned you don't have enough experience to really know what you're doing, you may not be sitting at a PC doing the work initially, but they will find something for you to do to help introduce you to the environment. Best of luck!
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Patrice’s Answer

Hi Shaina,
It is not too early to apply for tech internships. In an internship, you can develop new skills, enhance the skills you already possess, make networking connections, learn the business operations.

Most companies have application deadlines, so be sure to do your online research of the companies in which you are interested interning. You will learn more about the intern roles, criteria, and which skillsets you will need for each company.

I hope this information helps! Good luck to you.
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Roxanne’s Answer

It's never too early to start because this is a process which takes time to master when applying for internships. Practice makes perfect. Do some research to identify businesses of interest and set up auto notifications for internship opportunities. Understand their offerings as you build a portfolio including your resume, letters of recommendation and sponsors. You will want to have multiple portfolios that will cover different areas of interest. Always focus on your strengths. If you are well rounded in certain areas such as leadership, communication skills, planning, strategic thinking, successfully completed relevant projects - these areas comprise a solid foundation for opportunities.
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Erlis’s Answer

Most require you complete your sophomore year, be entering your junior year or finished with your junior year. HOWEVER, read the requirements carefully and if you can apply for an internship with less than junior or sophomore status, go for it! It just may not be many. But there are many unpaid internships out there or you can speak to someone in a industry to mentor and/or intern for free. At the end of the day it's about the experience so give your best sells pitch because you will be going up against more seasoned students.
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Geoffrey’s Answer

Hello Shaina, yes, you can apply to tech internships during your freshman year of college. Many companies offer internships to students at all levels of their college education, and some even specifically target freshman and sophomore students.

However, keep in mind that as a freshman, you may have less experience than upperclassmen and may face more competition for internships. But you still can apply, and in your resume and cover letter, you can highlight any relevant coursework, projects, or extracurricular activities that demonstrate your interest and aptitude for the field.

Additionally, you can try to gain some experience through clubs, volunteering, and personal projects before applying to internships. This will help you stand out and be more competitive in the application process.

It's important to remember, that the most important thing is to not give up, even if you don't get the first internship opportunity you apply for. Keep working on your skills, and keep looking for opportunities, you will find one that is the best for you!
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Carol’s Answer

Normally this would work in your Junior or Senior year. With that much time put into a field of study, shows the intention of pursuing that career. On the other hand if you have exceptional grades in your area of expertise you could possibly get an internship.
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Katelyn’s Answer

Applying early to internships is great practice, even if you don't get the position. I started applying for internships sophomore year and the recruiters gave me feedback on what to work on that year so that I was a strong candidate my junior year. You will also learn the timing of when many companies are looking to hire. I learned that summer accounting internships are filled during the fall semester, over 6 months before the start date! Not every field is like this, however, it was one of the takeaways I learned starting the process early.
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Margaret’s Answer

Hi Shaina,
It's a smart and strategic move. It's always good to start exploring different career fields in your early career and then understand which field you are really into.
Although not all companies offers internship opportunities, you will need to do some homeworks/search to find out and don't hesitate to reach out to recruiters on LinkedIn
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Daria’s Answer

Most of the internships target sophomores and juniors. However, before applying for your first internship, it's a really good practice to be familiar with the application, interview, and the resume writing process. So kudos to you for considering internships as a freshman, it's a really good move! You can also consider some un-paid internships and see if your school reimburses/compensates students that have unpaid internships.

I like that you are open to multiple career opportunities! In addition to looking for internship, I recommend learning more about each career, reviewing the basic and preferred qualifications in the job descriptions and trying to understand which skills you might still need (and want!) to develop. This will help you narrow down the list of options.

E.g. Business Analyst internship might ask for SQL skills, or experience using Tableau/QuickSight . You can take some free online classes to understand how Tableau works and what it's used for. Or pick up a school project that will need you to use SQL skills. IT Support - have you built your own PC? Do you like troubleshooting computer issues? Is there a lab or an interest group at your schools where you can get exposure to this? This experience (even building your own PC) would be valuable on your resume and during the interview.

I also encourage you to look into cloud consulting (more technical, like a solutions architect, and less technical, like Sales, or Customer success manager). These professionals are in high demand and need to have a combination of tech and people skills.
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. I am glad that you are interested in Tech.
The post you have put down may need working experience. As a freshman, the most important is gain working experience and exposure to working environment. I suggest you can identify any intern opportunities in Tech Companies or IT department of corporates.
Below is my suggestions :
1. Prepare cv to highlight the relevant knowledge and experience (if any)
2. Explore intern opportunities on the career portal of Tech companies or IT department of corporate
3. Keep an eye on the intern opportunities post in college career office
4. If there is any corporates or Tech Company you would like to work in, you can send your cv to their HR department with a cover email explaining why you have interest to work for them
Hope this helps! Good Luck!

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Kelli’s Answer

Hello. Great job that you are thinking about your future career choices now.
It is a great idea to apply for internships. This will give you a more on the job experience to prepare you for your career path.
Sometimes internships even shed light on what it is like so you can decide if you really want to take that path.

Here's some suggestions to start:
1. Create a resume.
You can always build on this as you go along. Even as a freshman, something as simple as volunteer work can be translated to life/work skills.
2. Sign up for announcements from the Career center or department at your school.
Contact your counselor or advisor for guidance if you need it. They can help you beyond just helping you decide courses to take!
3. Look up resources to practice interview Q & A.
Use a friend or maybe voice record yourself if you want someone to observe later.
4. If you do not get accepted to an internship you apply for, don't stop pursuing! Everytime you find one and apply, it will all be a learning experience to add to the next opportunity that comes up.
Good luck!
Kelli
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Trevor’s Answer

Absolutely! There are generally more available after your Sophomore year, but some definitely exist after Freshman year.
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Kate’s Answer

It's definitely great that you're already wanting an internship to get that real-life experience! However, from my experience/what I've heard from friends is that is rare to get an internship that early, and that is ok! No one expects you to.... It would be a great idea to get some certifications as there is no "requirement" or "experience" needed. You could learn Salesforce, or Anaplan, or learn a coding langauge! Any of these things would look great when looking for internships the next summer. You could also shadow someone for a week or two if you know someone doing a job you are interested in!

Kate recommends the following next steps:

learn a coding language
get certified in a new technology
shadow a friend/family member
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Alexander’s Answer

Hi Shaina,

It is great that you are thinking about your career so early on in college! In my experience, you can absolutely apply for tech internships in the roles you listed after your freshman year. However, I do think that there are a couple things that you should keep in mind.

1. In my opinion, the most important thing you can do, especially if you are early on in school and don't have a ton of experience is to build up skills that relate to the industry/role that you are targeting. There are so many great online courses that you can take to bolster your knowledge, especially when it comes to programming and the IT industry. A couple great resources for the IT and Business Analyst roles you mentioned would be Datacamps and Udemy. I have used both and they are both great. They offer tons of programming/data science courses that would be great for someone in your position.

I saw that you listed a Project Manager role as well. A great starting place to learn more about that role is PMI.ORG. PMI stands for Project Management Institute and they have tons of information about the role on their website, in addition to lots of resources for the certifications that they offer. I would also check out Scrum Alliance, they offer information/certifications on Agile Project Management methodologies.

It is important to remember that while getting a certification is great the companies that you will apply to also take notice if you are familiar with the skills and tools that are relevant to the position you are submitting an application to, so any learning you do will be beneficial. If you can write about and discuss the role in a cover letter or interview with a strong understanding that is be super helpful.

2. I would also really spend time practicing your interviewing and writing skills. Your resume/cover letter are what will get you in the door and are important but after that its all about the interviews you will do. Something that helped me was just taking a few minutes out of everyday and practicing basic interview questions. Also find a friend or family member who is willing to read through your resume and cover letter and get their feedback, this is another thing that really helped me.

3. Most companies typically target people who are a little further along in college, usually Sophomores and Juniors. So it may be a little tougher to find something being a freshman but totally possible. I would cast a wide net especially since you are interested in a few different roles. At the very least you will become a resume and cover letter writing expert! Which will pay off pretty much your whole life.

I would also not worry about applying to the same job the next year if you don't get it the first time around. As I mentioned, age may be a factor when applying now and companies like to see that you will persevere and are passionate about working there.

Hope this helps, best of luck in your job search!


Alex
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