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Programming IT Technology

Summer Jobs for Comp. Sci Students? 20

Posted by Cliff
from the pocket-money-for-the-warmer-months dept.
sparty asks: "Does anyone have any tips for a Computer Science student looking for a summer job? I've tried a few of the larger job sites (such as monster.com), along with some "summer job" sites. The former seem not to have many summer jobs, and the latter seem not to have many comp sci-type jobs--they seem to have a lot more 'work at camp' or work-at-the-amusement-park-type jobs. I've put up a page with my resume, and I've tried submitting it to a few sites. I am willing to travel for the summer, but I don't know what might be available in other areas. Is there another avenue I should be exploring?"
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Summer Jobs for Comp. Sci Students?

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    but Slashdot is not a personal ad site. I demand that this story be taken down immediately. Can I have my resume in its own article, huh??
  • Check with your department to see if your school has any cooperative education or intern partnerships with any companies or research organizations. In most cases, this is either for a summer or a summer plus a semester. At the end of the co-op program, the student writes a report about what they did while employed and receive credit for it. This can often turn into permanent employement once you graduate. I know several people (myself included) that worked a few summers and a semester or two for a company and went right to work after graduation.

  • Any company that does lots of IT stuff is looking for cheap labor (which is normally excellent pay for college students).

    Try local insurance companies, communications companies, utilities, anyone who shuffles paper.

    Joe
  • As other posters have mentioned, your university's job centre is the best place to start.

    Failing that, the best thing to do is probably to look through the local phone book for software companies. Check their web pages to see what kind of work they do, and snail-mail your resume to them (snail-mail is better than faxing, and both are better than email, for this purpose).

    Make sure to tailor your resume and cover letter to the companies you're applying to. If any of them are hiring or even *thinking* of hiring, you stand a good chance of getting interviews.

    You should be aiming for an entry-level software position as an intern or a temp worker (if you're just going for the summer).

    Be prepared to devote large amounts of effort to the search. I've found that there's about a 100:10:1 ratio between applications to interviews to job offers, so if you want a few offers to choose from, you'll need to send out a few hundred resumes. If you're really good, or have good-looking past experience, or have a really good interview, you may do better than this. YMMV.
  • I can't see what type of work your looking for... I can't get to your resume. I do, however, know that I was in your position a few years ago.

    First and foremost, talk to your professors. They might know of an alumni that owns a small computer business.

    Second -remember- YOU HAVE A MARKETABLE SKILL. No matter how deep you've delved into compsci, a computer science student at any level can handle making a web page... contact some local (non-computer) businesses, and work for cheap.

    Consult. Do your own thing. People need your services.

    HINT: contact your local ISP. Chances are they could use an intern. (tech support, net admin, custom programmer, web design....)
  • I am trying to kill both birds with one stone. I'd like to be in a "professional" environment to get that experience--that's something I can't get working from home. The money aspect is kinda important, too...I can't afford to not work for the summer, but my first priority is not lots of cash.

  • Yeah, it probably would, if my server hadn't picked today to die (segfaults on everything, trying to run "w" gives "Non-standard uts for running kernel: release 2.0.38=0.0.0 gives version code 0" and hangs). I guess it just shows that even with a nice, solid OS, if the eight-year-old hardware dies, you still loose uptime.

    Now, if I just had a way to redirect that original resume link to my backup copy of that page [smcvt.edu] (on my school's personalweb server), I'd be all set.

  • Having your resume linked to off of Slashdot will probably help with the job offers.

    Jeremy
  • on your resume you state "Installation and maintenance of web, DNS, mail, and other services on a Linux box."

    probably not the best idea to use such unprofessional and vague words like "box" and "web"
  • by Lish (95509) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @10:53AM (#319007)
    Most, if not all, summer internship positions will have been filled by now. Especially with the slim pickings there were this year. You will probably have to settle for what you can find locally. Next year start looking in December or January, February at the very latest.

    That said: other than through your campus career-services office, the best way to find a summer CS job is to call/write/email companies you are interested in directly. Make actual, nice-looking, printed copies of your resume. Write a cover letter specific for each company. Take the time to track down who at a company is the right person to send it to. Monster.com et al are for full time and contract work really. Why would a company look there for students, when they can look where the students are (campuses)?

    Incidentally, I'm surprised Ask Slashdot posted this with the resume-page link. The post is a fairly blatant "hire me". It could have gotten the same helpful answers without being advertising.


    ---

  • When I was an undergraduate CS student, I found that some of the best experience boosting jobs were right there at the University. Sure, some people got to go to big defense/aerospace companies hoping to build airplanes, but most of them ended up doing small work. But I got to work for the University's computing department. Although it didn't sound a glorious, it allowed me a very flexible schedule, fexible wardrobe, and gave me great experience. The project I worked on most of the time was used by the entire University, and gave me very valuable experience. Students were allowed to design and implement virtually everything, with administrative support from the University. We were given a budget, deadlines, and basic guidlines (all of which we provided major input for), and then set out to make something we would be proud of having our name on (especially since it was distributed among our peers and the people who gave us grades). It was fun to work among friends as a plus.

    Others I knew found great postions working with professors, developing software to aid their research or curiculum. Those projects were treated similarly, with budgets, timelines, etc. And all of the projects proved to be very valuable experience and looked great on a resume.

    Ask some professors, or look around on the bulletin boards for summer help wanted signs. Check various departmental web pages. It doesn't have to be the CS department you work with, and I even had friends who worked with the Free Electron Laser project and the University Medical Center too.
  • I should add that other schools may have positions too- when we lost a developer to a study abroad program, we hired a student who lived in the area but went to school thousands of miles away. You might be able to find a school near your home that can provide good experience.
  • by jon_adair (142541) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @10:54AM (#319010) Homepage

    ... work-at-the-amusement-park-type jobs.

    Look for a job in the monkey exhibit. Being able to ignore their constant screaming and dodge the excrement they throw at you will probably prepare you better for your career than a summer of making coffee and copies.

  • Don't get carried away papering the countryside with resumes though. Hundreds of identical resumes sent to anyone offering a job remotely related may not be as effective as a dozen resumes tailored to a specific job description at a specific company. Use the buzz words they used in their ads. The people screening applications aren't necessarily technically inclined and only know those few words to look for. Visit the company if you can. Make sure they know who you are. If you get an interview, research the company thoroughly before the interview.


    --
  • Post your resume to slashdot. Oh wait, you already knew that. :-) I hope you got a good job.
  • Is the job purely for pocket money, as the dept suggests, or to gain experience? Or are you trying to kill both birds with one stone?

    If it's programming you're particularly interested in and you are simply trying to gain experience, you might want to spend the time working from home. Helping out on an open source project, or develop something of your own with relevance to the area you wish to work in. When I'm reviewing CVs, this kind of activity helps me judge how the candidate works - whether they can set goals and see them through to completion, purely off their own back.

    If the money is essential, you could always get a non comp-sci job to tide you over. :)


  • <p>I would suggest that instead of waiting for companies to call you, go round and show people what you can offer them. You'll be amazed how easily a company will create a job if you are good enough to persuade them that they need you. Find a business you are interested in and ask them if they have any room for an additional star to their team.
    <P>I know this is not amazingly tech-orientated advice but getting tech jobs is not a problem. Just show them you are available. If a company don't need you they'll most probably recommend you to another company and so on.
    <P>Good luck anyway and I hope your search proves successful
  • by cmowire (254489) on Tuesday April 03, 2001 @08:10AM (#319015) Homepage
    Your campus *should* have various recruiting events. Mine does, both through the college of engineering and through the local ACM chapter. If you have an IEEE or ACM chapter, join it.

    You also should figure out where you would REALLY like to work and apply there directly. Be agressive about it, but not annoying. I got one internship by convincing them that they should hire an intern for the summer.

    Unfortunately, you have 2 things working against you for this summer. First, people are having harder times finding employment. There are less internships out there this year than there were last year.

    Second, you are starting late. You should have started several months ago to search for internships.

    But good luck, otherwise.
  • by JSCarr (312656)
    Don't know if this is what you're looking for, but it might be worth an explore.

    Associated Western Universities [awu.org]

    I landed an internship through AWU last June at a national laboratory. They have me doing database work (which is what I want to do) and gaining an incredible amount of experience while I go to college, along with a pretty decent paycheck (for a student).

    Good luck with your search!

  • We should personally visit companies and submit our resumes. Posting a resume in a job web site may not be of any use. Assisting in projects from home will be the best way to gain experience. Companies will take students who are in the fag end of the academic course. They judge these students and absorb them if they are good enough. So searching for summer jobs on the net is a waste of time.

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