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For Decrease-Earnings College students, Large Tech Internships Can Be Arduous to Get

The intern choice course of underscores longstanding inequities in Silicon Valley recruitment and hiring. This yr, layoffs and cutbacks at main tech corporations have solely narrowed intern alternatives, college students say, exacerbating socioeconomic disparities. In response to a callout from The New York Times, almost 300 individuals — college students, latest graduates and software program engineers — shared their experiences making use of for tech internships and jobs, with some describing the method as “brutal,” “unfair” or “disheartening.”

To attempt to compete, dozens of scholars spent hours making use of for greater than 100 internships, training for internship coding exams or engaged on private coding initiatives to attempt to impress recruiters, they mentioned. Greater than half of the respondents mentioned that they had by no means heard again from the companies the place that they had utilized for positions.

Some college students at lesser-known public universities mentioned they felt at an obstacle in contrast with their friends at pc science powerhouses like Stanford, the Massachusetts Institute of Know-how, the Georgia Institute of Know-how and the College of California, Berkeley. Just a few college students mentioned that they had give up part-time jobs or uncared for their course assignments to dedicate themselves to making use of for tech internships — solely to obtain no gives.

Some faculty college students at higher-ranked computing packages reported extra profitable outcomes. Kien Pham, a scholar on the College of Minnesota, mentioned he had spent a lot of the summer season and fall intensively making use of to greater than 300 internships.

That included making ready for an interview with Amazon, he mentioned, by spending the higher a part of two weeks writing down episodes from his life that matched the corporate’s guiding values, recognized internally as leadership principles. He later accepted a software program engineering internship supply from Amazon for this summer season.

Some college students famous socioeconomic disparities all through the applying course of.

Tech corporations like Microsoft and Google have internal referral systems during which staff could advocate candidates. These referrals may help distinguish sure college students amongst tens of 1000’s of candidates. However college students at lesser-known colleges usually lack the form of trade, household or elite college connections that may result in worker referrals.

One other concern, Ms. Farmer mentioned: The intern choice course of could overlook or underestimate faculty college students who’ve jobs.

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