Internship woes and worries

New Zennely
Oct 12, 2017 58 Comments

TLDR/summary version at bottom.

I guess I'm no good at behavioral interviews? I'm a first year masters student in Information systems. I have 1 summer left for an internship and have been getting rejections almost weekly for the past month from Goldman Sachs, Exxon mobile most notably.

I have an okay resume that with enough persistence on the recruiters at my school, I can get an interview. (Except for some reason huge companies like Microsoft, apple, Amazon, adobe, etc. which bums me out. Maybe I don't have a foot in the door?).

I do my best to study about the position, and express that I have a passion in technology, but fail at interviews I guess.

I took my first programming class 2.5 years ago and switched from finance into IS and now in first year masters for IS. I've been busting my balls to get into the program because I wanted it so bad. But leaves me short to the 4 year coding prodigy kids (I'm 26 and interviewing for internships while the other candidates are 19 or 20 is... humbling).

TLDR/summary version:

Tons of rejection this last month for positions like software engineer internships. I'm nervous all the 'good' internships are filled for next summer already and that if I don't get a good one, I'm pretty much set for mediocrity the rest of my life. It's pretty disheartening, especially considering I'll be getting married soon. Makes me feel like a failure.

Any help, guidance, suggestions, referrals, questions, even motivational stuff, would be greatly appreciated, because, I'll tell you what, I'm struggling.

Thanks in advance

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TOP 58 Comments
  • Microsoft toor
    Dude I got rejected from like 100 jobs before I got my first one (granted, I was aiming high). Interviewing with no real prior experience is sometimes just a numbers game. Also, the more you do it, the more comfortable you'll get and the easier interviews will become.

    I still have an engrained "I will fuck this up" mentality when I interview because I have been rejected so many times. At the same time, I'm much more relaxed and prepared for that fact, so I now tend to be very calm and collected during interviews and end up doing surprisingly well.

    Don't worry. Just keep going at it. You'll be fine. The only wrong choice here is giving up.
    Oct 12, 2017 11
    • New Zennely
      OP
      Interesting. I just researched them a little bit. How long have you worked their and how has your experience been?
      Oct 12, 2017
    • Booz Allen Hamilton groa10
      I’ve been here about 10 years. I led a team of interns this year, thought it was a great program and we extended offers to all four seniors and they all accepted.
      Oct 12, 2017
    • New Zennely
      OP
      Do you know when the internship application is open? I couldn't really find a dedicated page. Saw lots of testimonials of people who work there though haha
      Oct 12, 2017
    • New Zennely
      OP
      I'm actually applying now to them. Thanks again!
      Oct 13, 2017
  • Microsoft horsebat
    Go start a startup. Corporate is overrated
    Oct 12, 2017 5
    • New Zennely
      OP
      But then there's not as good benefits, pay, and instability, is that right?
      Oct 12, 2017
    • Microsoft horsebat
      No risk no reward. Corporate is all about sucking dick all day for a life of boredom and security. Some of the greatest entrepreneurs had difficulties getting jobs
      Oct 12, 2017
    • New Zennely
      OP
      Hahahaha I suppose that's true. No risk no reward. I must ask though, do you still work at Microsoft and if you do how come?
      Oct 12, 2017
    • Microsoft horsebat
      Haha not anymore I quit about a two months ago to work on a startup. I can't say I regret it yet!
      Oct 12, 2017
    • Microsoft / Eng QgVw70
      Which startup
      Oct 12, 2017
  • Facebook special ed
    Microsoft vet and FB eng here. If you want to DM me your anonymized resume, I can see if there's anything that immediately jumps out turning people away.
    Oct 12, 2017 5
    • New Zennely
      OP
      How would I anonymize my resume? Just remove name info and job location? And I am kind of new to blind so I am unaware of how to send something on this here app.
      Oct 12, 2017
    • New Zennely
      OP
      I was going to chat you, but it turns out I only have 10 messages to use.
      Oct 12, 2017
    • Facebook / Eng johno
      Same. If you've got a copy, I'd take a look.
      Oct 12, 2017
    • New Zennely
      OP
      What's the best way to get it to everyone and kept anonymity if needed? I mean, I don't particularly care if people have my resume. It can't hurt I suppose.
      Oct 13, 2017
    • Microsoft / Eng
      OCAmIEvil

      Microsoft Eng

      BIO
      Sinful birth under the cross
      OCAmIEvilmore
      Don't send it to everybody here. Just put a scrubbed version on Google Docs, get a share link, and DM to @johno and @special ed
      Oct 15, 2017
  • Adobe OEmT02
    Simple. Solve Cracking the Coding Interview. And solve all problems in LeetCode. Doesn't help you get an interview call, but will help you secure the job.
    Oct 12, 2017 3
    • New Zennely
      OP
      How does it help you in interviews? I don't think I have ever done a huge technical interview before.
      Oct 12, 2017
    • Adobe OEmT02
      Depends on how "technical" your resume is. I ensured that i had enough "Java" all over my resume. Completed my Masters last year, and got offers from Amazon and Adobe. Similar pattern in both was solving string manipulations, and data structures.
      Oct 12, 2017
    • New Zennely
      OP
      That makes good sense. Thanks!
      Oct 12, 2017
  • Amazon / Eng Scaramucci
    Apply to an internship at Amazon. If you do well enough on the online evaluations you'll get an offer with no human contact whatsoever - not even a phone interview. And keep your head up - no one gives a shit about your age
    Oct 13, 2017 5
    • New Zennely
      OP
      Thanks! I applied for an internship at Amazon and never heard back.
      Oct 13, 2017
    • Amazon / Eng Scaramucci
      When was this? For summer 2018?
      Oct 13, 2017
    • New Zennely
      OP
      Yeah. I applied mid September or so. Same thing with Microsoft
      Oct 13, 2017
    • Amazon / Eng Scaramucci
      Definitely does not mean you were thrown out at Amazon. Last year I got referred in October, got my first message in January
      Oct 13, 2017
    • New Zennely
      OP
      Woah, really? That's intense stuff! Thanks.
      Oct 13, 2017
  • Facebook / Eng Elpm80
    I also was seeking an internship at 26yo while still getting my BS. Got rejected from every known company. Some even rejected me multiple times. Finally got an internship with a small, unknown, dysfunctional startup and just worked on gaining experience and credibility there. Just gotta do your best with what you're given and keep grinding.
    Oct 12, 2017 5
    • New Zennely
      OP
      Do you feel like you missed out or could have done something better to get those internships?
      Oct 12, 2017
    • Facebook / Eng Elpm80
      I don't think so. Don't think I did anything particularly bad interviewing, but did get a sense that at least some age bias must exist when interviewing interns. I was also balding which only highlighted my age difference even more haha.
      Oct 12, 2017
    • New Zennely
      OP
      Haha alright, I'll keep that in mind. I guess I just gotta keep going. But how do you stay motivated with rejection after rejection? And not let it get you down?
      Oct 12, 2017
    • Facebook / Eng Elpm80
      Definitely got me down. Especially when seeing classmates of mine land internships at companies like Google and Microsoft on their first try. At same time I was diagnosed with a chronic kidney disease, and almost lost my student loans due to a hospital billing mistake that dinged my credit.

      Just need to keep focused continue. Don't dwell and the bad shit, learn from it whenever possible and keep pushing forward.
      Oct 12, 2017
    • New Zennely
      OP
      Yeah, that's exactly the same thing happening to me! Everyone seems to be making it big and I'm... not haha alright, I will keep going. After talking to some people on here about it and what to do I started researching some more internships and will be applying this weekend as well as having a few people review it. Thanks!
      Oct 12, 2017
  • Adobe VTJL44
    You might consider going to tech meetups and talk to people to improve your network. Then they could be your referrals.
    Oct 13, 2017 3
    • New Zennely
      OP
      What do you mean by tech meet ups?
      Oct 13, 2017
    • Benefitfocus xNSV78
      Search an App Store for “meetup”.
      Oct 14, 2017
    • Microsoft / Eng
      OCAmIEvil

      Microsoft Eng

      BIO
      Sinful birth under the cross
      OCAmIEvilmore
      Like Meetup.com, etc.

      I've been to a few, and they consist /mostly/ of job seekers.
      Oct 15, 2017
  • LinkedIn / Eng Zaku
    I’m older than you and did an Internship with LinkedIn.
    Oct 12, 2017 2
    • New Zennely
      OP
      What did you do to get moving forward and be selected?
      Oct 12, 2017
    • LinkedIn / Eng Zaku
      Interview prepped for a month straight during school. I literally ignored School during that time.
      Oct 13, 2017
  • Zendesk / Sales
    GoAlbert

    Zendesk Sales

    PRE
    Symantec, Marketo
    GoAlbertmore
    I am not sure what city you are considering but EVERY tech job I have had I was referred in by an employee. Find people at the company and ask for a referral. No excuses that you don’t know anyone. Search LinkedIn and find alumni from your school, send them a nice note as and ask if they will refer you. They might even coach you on what the recruiters are looking for in candidates.
    Oct 12, 2017 1
    • New Zennely
      OP
      That's a great idea! Do most alumni not mind doing that?
      Oct 13, 2017
  • Adobe CryPTO🤠
    10,000 hours rule. In order to get good at anything in life you have to spend a lot of time practicing.

    Github is the new linkedin for tech jobs, most of the info on a resume or linkedin is fake or significantly exaggerated so I don't usually pay much attention to that. There is also no way to validate.

    At least if I am interviewing I will check or try to find your github profile (especially if you don't list it or don't have one or its empty - red flag), look at projects, languages you used and the code, commits. Are you active, contributing to other projects or even have your own little pet projects.

    Tells me almost immediately before even talking to you if I am more likely than not going to hire you.

    Start reading and writing a lot of code, participate in opensource, contribute code to projects, participate in pull request reviews, learn to collaborate with other engineers (turns out to be hard, people get emotional and attached to their terrible code), show that you understand and can solve problems, teamwork and have passion for the craft.

    While CTCI, hackerrank and leetcode does come up in the interview. I'm more likely to hire somebody with good signals from all the above on github than a 20-40min coding challenge you can practice for that tells me little about how successful you'll be doing any real work.
    Oct 27, 2017 2
    • New Zennely
      OP
      What if the code I am working on as a side project can't be shared because it is proprietary. Like it's code that I can turn into a business, slowly but surely. I can't share that very well right?
      Oct 28, 2017
    • Adobe CryPTO🤠
      Focus on getting better first before worrying about that. Also if a little bit of code is enough to clone your entire business, maybe it's not a great business to begin with?
      Oct 28, 2017
  • Yahoo blurt
    Do some practice interviews with your friends first. There might be something weird about the way you word things or something
    Oct 15, 2017 1
    • New Zennely
      OP
      That's what I am starting to figure out because people in my program were getting selected, and I just know them to have silver tongues, as it were. I was going to schedule some mock interviews at our career center tomorrow sometime.
      Oct 15, 2017
  • Microsoft hhmmmm
    What school are you at? Your situation reminds me a lot of myself. Keep working, keep pushing you'll get there :) there is always someone smarter and younger then you. That doesn't mean you can't be a wild success too.
    Oct 13, 2017 1
    • New Zennely
      OP
      I'm at the Marriott school of business, first year masters. It rough because it only been two years since I got into technology, and I get to final interviews and always turned down haha get my hopes up and then destroyed mightily
      Oct 13, 2017
  • Microsoft / Eng
    OCAmIEvil

    Microsoft Eng

    BIO
    Sinful birth under the cross
    OCAmIEvilmore
    Also, there are lots of sites now that help. There are interviewing sites where you can practice and get referred at the same time. Just google it.
    Oct 15, 2017 0
  • Microsoft / Eng
    OCAmIEvil

    Microsoft Eng

    BIO
    Sinful birth under the cross
    OCAmIEvilmore
    Make sure you have a LinkedIn profile with good keywords. List projects, whatever. Make sure you check the box indicating that you're looking.
    Oct 15, 2017 0