Computer science is the field of study that deals with information processing and solving problems using computers. Computer science is often used to refer to the theoretical aspect of computing and its practical application in software engineering, data analysis, or artificial intelligence. It also plays a vital role in other fields such as cybersecurity, cyber security certification, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), data mining, neural networks, and computer vision.
A computer science (CS) internship is an ideal opportunity for a student to develop the skills required for a career in IT. Internships are one of the best ways to build practical knowledge, sharpen analytical and problem-solving skills, and develop professional relationships with employers.
Top 20 CS internships for college freshman 2022
- Microsoft Explore
- Google Engineering Practicum
- Google Summer of Code
- Facebook University for Engineering
- Twitter Academy Freshman Engineering Internship
- Intel Early Internship for Software Engineering (IRISE)
- Amazon University Internships
- Pinterest Engage Internship
- Khan Academy internships
- NSA internships
- Breakout Mentors (mentor students age 9-14 as they learn to program
How do you get cs internships to freshmen?
An aspiring Software Engineer, Entrepreneur, and Problem Solver
As a college freshman, especially in Computer Science, Internships are extremely valuable, as they provide you with a paid, invaluable industry experience that can very likely translate to a full-time opportunity. I found that without much experience, the most important steps are (like Tom mentioned), 1. Getting an interview, 2. Passing the interview. Although getting an interview as a freshman can sound quite daunting, I have found several ways that anyone (yes, even high schoolers) can get noticed.
- Have an active Github account and work on open source projects with others
- Participate in ACM, Code Jam, Bubble Cup, Code Chef, or other programming competitions
- Try to attend local hackathons, they can be quite rewarding (allowing you a chance to learn about different technologies) and provide a great resume booster (I recommend Meetup: find your people)
- Establish your online presence with a blog or post your coding samples to demonstrate your technical abilities
- (The most important one) Make sure that programming is what you love. Having completed internships at Amazon and Google (Summer, Fall 2013), I can tell you that how much you get out of Software Engineering is exactly how much you put into it, so you might as well make sure it is something that you truly love!
As for career fairs, make sure you go to as many as possible and maintain a specific and relevant but yet concise resume to present to recruiters. Including the languages and technologies that you are familiar with on your resume is a MUST for software positions.
As for interviews, I strongly recommend the same book as Tom, Cracking the Coding Interview, by Gayle Laakman, as it has helped me on numerous occasions, along with practicing on websites like Programming Interview Questions | CareerCup, LeetCode, and Project Euler. I find that simply walking through each problem in the book is not enough, so I frequently find myself on CareerCup seeking more practice 🙂 You don’t have to complete every single question on those websites, but simply do a couple of questions every day. You would be surprised by the results! 🙂
The final and last piece of advice:
Remember, it is not about what internships or companies you’ve worked for, but rather about what you learn during your internship. Success is measured through the journey and not simply the end result.
What tips do you have for a freshman CS student trying to get a summer internship?
There are two main steps to getting an internship: getting an interview and doing well in the interview.
Getting an interview as a freshman is the more difficult step. As Sammy said, apply EVERYWHERE. Even places you think you won’t have a chance of getting a response from.
You’ll need a resume that doesn’t make you sound like a freshman. This means you’ll want job experience and/or projects to talk about. If you talk to people from your CS department, you’ll almost certainly be able to find a professor who’s looking for a student to help with research or with programming, even a freshman.
If you can’t get job experience programming, then you’ll want to work on projects. You can certainly just start working on one in your free time, but I think the best way to get started is to go to a hackathon. A hackathon is a great way to draw attention to your project, and if you go to a smaller hackathon, you might even get a chance to demo your apps to fellow hackers and sponsors. I got interviews with Dropbox and Yahoo by building and demoing an app at a hackathon freshman year, and I didn’t even win a prize.
Once you get an interview, the goal is to, again, not sound like a freshman. Work through the problems in Cracking the Coding Interview, and learn how to code on a whiteboard. You need to show companies that they’re hiring someone who’s just as competent as CS majors who have taken more classes.
Due to a couple of small side projects that I had started at college and my ability to answer interview questions, I was able to get an internship offer from a large tech company (Bloomberg) before I had finished my first semester, and without any previous job experience. Going to a really good school (CMU) certainly helped, but having projects to talk about and being able to answer most of the interview questions secured the internship for me.
I had an extremely hard time getting a summer internship as a college freshman in CS last year. I didn’t have trouble getting interviews, but it took me a while to figure out how to get past them. It took me about 7 months until I started to pass interviews and get offers.
I initially didn’t mention that I was a freshman on my resume. I highlighted that I was a junior by credits and had an associate degree from a local community college. I also described my CS-related work at a startup company and two non-profit organizations. I was surprised that I received a handful of interviews as a freshman, but it turned out that this happened because I looked like a senior applying to full-time positions. Adding my high school graduation date resolved this problem.
Having project/work experience helped with getting interviews and having something to talk to interviewers about, but I found that most interviews mainly consisted of writing code on a whiteboard. Most recruiters specifically wanted to see if you had taken data structures to have a better idea of what questions to ask. The questions in the Cracking the Coding interview were useful for practicing whiteboard coding techniques.
I found it really helpful to study data structures (arrays, sets, hash tables, linked lists, and trees) and algorithms (sorting, searching, and going through trees and lists). Make sure you know how to quickly find time complexities of them as well.