getting an internship


victim of VR
Jul 29, 2011
This is also a question regarding general preparation for the "real world" and finding an actual job when I graduate.

So I don't know how many here are vaguely familiar with the few threads I've posted over the years regarding my personal life, but I essentially was a nurse, stopped being a nurse because it's fucking awful, and am currently going to school for comp sci. I am hoping to graduate in about a year and a half. In the summer semester of 2018 I'd like to get an internship, but I'm really not sure what to focus on to increase my chances of scoring one. I missed the internship fair this semester, but am planning on going next year to scope out the opportunities. That said, I'm sure there are general skills that interviewers look for, and I'm wondering if anyone might have some insight in that regard.

As to what I know now, c++ up through polymorphism (so pretty much everything regarding very basic functionality of the language), as well as some linux and networking experience along with more in depth knowledge of data structures and algorithmic analysis. I don't really know any other languages beyond simple shell scripting along with stuff like sed, awk and grep (most of which I've already forgotten because I hate it and it's stupid), but the very nature of networking has exposed me to a bit of c (I'm aware c++ is basically just a superset of c, but I still can't just read through c code super easily). This coming semester I'll be doing databases and assembler language (sweats nervously).

So, based on your experiences, what should I focus on to give myself a leg up? This applies to both internships and preparing myself for finding a job in da real world. For the record, while my actual coding ability is...fair (I get A's in my classes but I'm fairly slow and get the feeling that these classes are meant to be doable for the less than gifted), I have very little knowledge of actual device hardware, operating systems (beyond basic linux stuff with Ubuntu/mint) and really anything to do with technology. Hell, I do most of my coding in fucking Vim and geany. Part of me just wants to bury myself in assembler right now so that class will be less traumatic when I get to it, but perhaps my free time would be better spent focusing on other things?

Also, for those saying "just get your masters or go into engineering/robotics instead", that's not really possible, though I'd certainly like to. I suck too much at math for that stuff anyway. Calc 2 at my school would probably eat me alive (I've been told it's particularly brutal here).

Metalix Knightmare

New member
Sep 27, 2007
The most I can really recommend for this is do NOT under any circumstances go for an unpaid internship. I'm not even kidding, those jobs actually WORSEN your chances of getting further work.


AccursedT- see you space cowboy
Jun 6, 2013
Metalix Knightmare said:
The most I can really recommend for this is do NOT under any circumstances go for an unpaid internship. I'm not even kidding, those jobs actually WORSEN your chances of getting further work.
Really? Out of curiosity, why?

Pirate Of PC Master race

Rambles about half of the time
Jun 14, 2013
Well, for start up you should focus on the languages or job you want.
C and C++ are generally used as OS related work, while higher level languages like PHP, Java, Javascript, MVC will be used with web development and app development.

Find a language or a job you like to do and stick to it. It will determine your future.

If your school somewhat cares there would be like a student center or something who can help with your resume crafting. Look it up!
Do school volunteering like tutoring or something and mention it on the resume.
Large school projects are useful thing to list as well if you don't have real experience.

And lastly, don't expect good job right off the bet. First jobs are nightmares unless you are exceptional.


Queen of the Edit
Feb 4, 2009
Fox12 said:
Metalix Knightmare said:
The most I can really recommend for this is do NOT under any circumstances go for an unpaid internship. I'm not even kidding, those jobs actually WORSEN your chances of getting further work.
Really? Out of curiosity, why?

Other employers know the intern shenanigans of other companies. In retrospective, it should look like this;

"So you did an internship to better prepare for your transition into this skilled labour sector?" >>>"Yeah, I did!" >>> "Oh, neat. Well we could use hard workers. Welcome on board."

In truth it looks like this;

"So you did an internship, huh?" >>> "Ah, yeah" >>> "So basically I really can't trust this reference at all, right? They're not going to fire unpaid 'talent'." >>> "I guess not..."

It's a pretty fucked up world, hence why the old 80s adage still holds true. "If you can't value your own work, don't expect others too."

Some jobs you have no choice. You have to do practicals for education, etc ... but internships are generally dead ends. At least in Australia you're almost always better off doing skilled volunteer charity work, instead. At least that has the feel good aspect and you might run into that recruitment officer who might gel with what you did for the community.

Plus you actually meet the right contacts in the volunteer charity sector. I used to do Red Cross stuff, and you often work with simply nicer people who also do such activities. People who actually want to help the less fortunate, not see them as labour cost saving mechanisms. Honestly, internships are all kinds of evil. Some jobs require something like them by necessity of the fact that the work itself is high security or requires a lot of trust, but most internship programs are just pure, unadulterated greed given legal licence to persist.

It will look better on your resume than nothing else, but that doesn't mean something even better won't then look, well, better.

The other reason you really shouldn't do unpaid internships is it creates unnecessary corporate friction. When yuo have to work for zero gain it naturally creates a low work imperative. After all, labour without benefits is kind of hamstringing itself. Not only that but you're hamstringing yur own attempts of finding other paid work which would look better on your resume (and nearly all other work looks better on your resume) ... so you inevitably create the situation where your time spent someplace leaving either a stain on your record, or pissing off people who should be grateful for your labour but instead feel entitled to it.

It should be a hiring practice that should be abolished in the first place. The fact that it exists merely makes abusive workplace relations a guarantee in the longterm.


(Edit) For all the really young people, two words. Military service. Depends on the country, naturally ... but military service in someplace like the U.S. or Australia? Plenty of former servcemen who went back to civvie life that will give you the silent nod when they see it. Hell, that's actually how I got my Department job. Plus the education pathways in most Western militaries is pretty good.

I suggest you get used to waking up at 5.30 each morning and working your butt off, though. But personal discipline and responsibility is a useful trait regardless of where you go.