Like everyone I’ve been amazed by what the digital world is made of, and what it can offer us as an added value to our daily life. Don’t get me wrong I’m still amazed even as a senior computer engineering student. I’m a Moroccan youngster who always had a dream of becoming a computer scientist, my first most real step was joining the Higher School of Technology in Essaouira, yes, where the journey started. I mainly address my talk to the newbies, computer engineering students and whoever wants to follow this path :
You spent some time as a fresh IT student, had some basics in mind, you even tried to experiment how it works in real projects, but what you still lacking here is the professional experience, trust me I know.
I still remember my first days, looking for internships, I’m not going to lie, it was a taught process, but it could be so much easier with some external help. Here I am giving you what I wish I’ve been told:
1.Know what you want
The step towards having a good internship is knowing what field you want, if you’re into web development, for example, you have to focus your energy on web development companies. Knowing your true desires will guide your search process.
2.Know your target
Collect their information
After having an idea of what field to target, the next step will be looking for companies in the same field. You can use whatever search tool you want:
- Social media (I recommend LinkedIn)
- Social contacts (a friend of a friend, your school’s professional network, etc.
But you still want to know what you must collect as valuable information, you need to:
- Obviously, an active contact (an e-mail address or a phone number)
- An idea about what this company do, its projects, its partners and for sure some names (its executive board, its HR manager, its director (or CEO/CTO), etc.)
Another thing, from personal experience, I advise you to apply for small companies’ internships, in these, you will be charged with more tasks so you can gain more experience.
These specifications will help you to establish a connection and will give an idea of what you’ll be asked during the interview (if required).
Sometimes the interview is not required, but you still have to be prepared for anything.
During the interview, you can be asked about every detail in your Curriculum Vitae including your technical/hard skills such as programming languages, technologies and frameworks you’re familiar with, etc., your soft skills such as teamwork, team management, public speaking, etc., professional experience if you have some and hobbies.
But here’s the good news, you have a trump card, which is the information you collected about this company, and which will show how interested and professional are you, especially if what they need is the same you can provide them within your CV.
3.Know what you have
For sure you need to know what you do best so you can use as an advantage:
The Curriculum Vitae
What you have here is literally who you are as a piece of paper, and while you apply your CV should be:
- True: Never lie, or put something you don’t have.
- Dynamic: you can’t use the same CV every time you apply (depends on the company needs and what position you’re applying for), and I said the moment your CV will get attention the company needs intersect with what skills you can offer.
The motivation letter
You got to know the importance of this document, and it has a huge effect on whatever decision the company will take.
The motivation letter is literally what your intentions are, the reason behind that pushes you to have this internship and mostly what qualifies you to have it and not somebody else.
Make sure you make your intentions clear.
Here’s the thing not required for your first internship, but it will give you a huge boost, it’s kind of here’s my work in real terms, and it better be deployed in a public environment.
The internship is your gate to the professional you, it’s the opportunity to improve your skills, work with others and mostly contribute to real projects that will make our daily life even easier.
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