Breaking into tech: Internship edition

Let’s talk about tech internships

Image of Elise Hollowed

Are you a student developer looking to land an internship? We’ve got answers! We recently sat down with Co.Lab Co-founder Helen Huang on GitHub Campus TV to find out how to secure an internship and successfully break into the tech industry. Helen shared her personal journey going from earth science student to product manager at Microsoft.

Fun fact: Her favorite rock is gypsum!

Applying: Where to start

Applying can be daunting, especially if you’re applying for your first internship. As someone who has been on both sides of the hiring process, Helen shared some personal tips for nailing an interview, as well as a few tips from the audience. She went on to detail four specific stages to focus on, which include:

  1. Interview stage
  2. Application process
  3. Resume writing
  4. Experience gathering

Advice from an interviewer

It’s one thing to talk about the interview stage and application process, but how often are you able to get advice directly from an interviewer? That’s where Helen comes in! She points out several things, including the importance of conveying authenticity during the interview stage. Interviews are a time for you to be yourself, show the team your personality, and talk about transferable skills and experiences that make you uniquely qualified for the role. If you missed the stream, it’s not too late to watch. You can catch the entire episode on Twitch.

Let’s break it down together

There are dozens of components to consider, from writing your resume to submitting your application. So where should you focus your energy?

Helen shared some important hacks for getting noticed, being prepared, and positioning yourself as a strong candidate for the role. Some of those hacks include:

  • If you find a job on LinkedIn, find out who posted the job and message them in a respectful way.
  • Check out two very helpful books: Cracking the PM Interview as well as Cracking the Coding Interview.
  • Look for application portals to increase reach and save time.
  • Quantify the impact of what you’ve done on your resume to make outcomes more universal and easily digestible for hiring managers and recruiters.
  • Create a blog or newsletter to showcase your skills, motivations, and passions.

Interested in learning all of Helen’s hacks? You can watch the entire steam on GitHub Campus TV! Follow us on Twitch for notifications, and don’t forget to mark your calendar for new streams every Tuesday at 9 am PT.