When it comes to summers for engineering students, most try to search for internships or other types of employment to get some valuable experience on their resume. Unfortunately, for many, they aren’t able to find internships for one reason or another. This past year, COVID was a major reason that many companies went on a hiring freeze and didn’t accept as many interns as they usually do. As a result, students are forced to sit through the summer and wait for fall before they can try to get an internship again.
However, there may be an alternative to sitting around and waiting for the next hiring season to roll around. Students have many different options to put some valuable experience on their resumes in order to put themselves in a better position when fall rolls around.
The best part about being a software-related major is that most of the tools, technologies and programming languages used in the industry are available to you! Countless tutorials, online courses, and demos are available to you online to learn the most commonly used industry skills.
The best place to start is by looking at the job descriptions of jobs or internships you want to apply to. Anything from data science roles to full stack development roles will list the commonly used skills that the company is looking for. Next, do some research on them and see what they are used for. Researching what these skills are and how to use them will give you a good idea of how they work. Finally, think of some project ideas that use these skills and get started programming. If you aren’t able to think of any project ideas, look on the internet for some ideas.
When you’ve completed your project, create a GitHub page and add this project to it. Make sure to add comments and a description so your code is easily readable and understandable. You should also continue working on the project, even after you’ve uploaded it, and making changes wherever you see fit. If you have the time, work on more projects! Putting your GitHub and these projects on your resume will show recruiters you have the ambition to complete projects on your own, as well as showing them you can understand and use the skills they require.
There are many ways to progress your career development this summer even if you were not able to find an internship. You can still improve your resume this summer without putting any new internship experience on it. There are courses and certifications offered for various engineering-related software and programs you can work on achieving this summer.
Take the time to find out what skills you need for the type of position you want to have in the future. 3D modeling programs like AutoCAD and SOLIDWORKS are useful to know for many engineering disciplines. Try to see what skills you need for the job you want and work toward being as qualified for the position as you can be in those areas.
It is also good to build your soft skills such as communication, teamwork and leadership skills. These can be improved upon with experience from many entry-level jobs. Also, consider taking up your own personal project that demonstrates your engineering skills.
**This blog was written by peer career coaches Prashant Mokkapati and Austin Berg