The Data Science Internship Hunt: A Fortune 500 Story

You should spend some time daily on these platforms and save relevant jobs which you would apply to at night in your free time probably.

Another possible way as the title suggests is to go through the Fortune 500 list and look for open internship positions at each one of them.

Data Science Positions?Data Science is a vast field so, there are a variety of positions in which you could apply: Data Science Intern, Data Engineering Intern, Machine Learning Intern, Deep Learning Intern, Data Analyst Intern, Business Analyst Intern, Analytics Intern, etc.

You never know which positions you could fit in based on your profile.

Never be restricted to one profile as you always want to keep your options open.

You can craft your resumes based on these positions.

Iterations, Iterations, and Iterations!There is no perfect resume and cover letter till the time you are not getting any calls(This doesn’t include generic calls of coding tests and automated video interviews), you should iterate over your application materials.

Once you start getting REAL calls, at that point, you can think of stagnating the iteration process of your application materials.

Utilize your winter breaks!All the Universities generally have a one-month-long winter break, and I feel this is the best time to bump up your applications counter.

No doubt you should enjoy during winter break along with making time for applications.

Even I was in Florida for winter break at my uncle’s place where I used to travel and make the applications in my free time.

Till this time, most of the major players are in the market with their internship positions so, you should try to make at least 15 applications a day (At least that’s what your target should be).

Rejects, Rejects and Rejects!To digest the rejects that you would be getting every day is an integral part of this whole process.

Rejects are nothing but a motivation for you to apply more and look out for THE POSITION at another company where you would be the right fit!.Whenever you apply, you generally get a confirmation of application email which says ‘A recruiter would contact you if you are a right fit for this position with further steps’.

You won’t hear back from all the applications that you make so, all you can do is apply.

I have got more than 70 rejects from 205 applications that I did during my internship hunting process.

Seniors had always told me to be ready for making a thousand applications, and I was prepared for that before I came to the United States.

Power of Linkedin and NetworkingLinkedin is the go-to portal when it comes to internship or job search.

The other way around the application process is via getting referrals from someone who works at your desired company.

First thing, build your network with people working in your industry.

So, whenever you send a connection request, don’t forget to add a note to the person mentioning why you would like to connect with him (Don’t ask for a job in the note as it looks very desperate).

Go smooth!.Connect with your undergrad and grad alumni residing in the states and ask them for guidance regarding a position at their company.

Don’t hesitate!.Imagine some junior of yours asking for help 5 years after.

Won’t you help?.They would have gone through the same phase and are always happy to help.

This technique worked out for a lot of my friends and is tried and tested.

This is simply the other way around the resume shortlisting and getting a call for an interview.

In most of the cases, referrals can directly get you interviews.

The Call!So, Once you get shortlisted by your resume and cover letter, Most of the times you either get a coding challenge or an interview.

Coding challenges may test your Python, R, and SQL in terms of technologies.

It generally tests your data manipulation and analysis skills.

The next step then would be n technical interviews (n varies according to companies, and it can range from 1 to 5).

For Technical interviews, you need to be thorough with your resume(each and every centimeter of it), know the basics of position you are applying for.

You should not know everything written on the job description, but when asked in an interview about something you do not know, you should always be positive and revert with something like ‘I am presently studying this in my X coursework and will be good at it by the end of this semester’.

There is scorecard continuously running in your interviewer’s mind, and you have to make sure you don’t go negative on the scorecard until the last moment when he/she is open for questions.

Now, this portion is the game changer!.You should ask one or two questions like “How is your experience in working at this company?”, “Can you tell me about an interesting project that currently your team is working on?”, etc.

No matter how your interview goes, Always end your interview on a positive note by telling the interviewer ‘Why You?’ and sell yourself to finish off the game by bumping your score on his/her scorecard.

Also, do ask about when will you hear back from them.

The Tech InterviewData Science being a technical position, there are technical rounds which include coding tests, data challenge or technical interviews.

So, these are the type of questions you should be prepared to answer:Resume-based: Questions on your projects and experiences.

Modeling: Testing your ability to build and take a decision on the choice of machine learning model based on situational variables: training data, feature-set, test data, computing power, prediction time, training time, etc.

System Design: Testing you on building the entire pipeline from extraction, pre-processing to prediction and insights.

Database: Questions on SQL, concepts of relational databases and NoSQL databases.

Coding: Expect a live coding round if you are applying for a data engineering position.

These include concepts of recursion, back-tracking, divide and conquer, greedy and dynamic programming(These are a rare breed.

)After the Interview?Now, this is the time when you have to control your mind.

Your mind overthinks about how your interview went, what if you get this offer, and you read about the company and its locations (LOL! That’s what I used to do :P) but better would be to get over that experience and get back on your application track until you finally hear back something from them.

Do put up a courtesy email to the recruiter in your contact for setting up the interview and ask about the application status when it’s one day above the hear back time according to your interviewer.

The Offer!A recruiter would generally call you up when they have an update directly or they would set up some time to talk.

This call is THE CALL when the recruiter makes you an internship offer.

You should patiently hear what he/she has to say about the offer instead of jumping out of your chair in excitement.

You should surely express your excitement over the call and overwhelm the recruiter.

Internship Offers and Salary Negotiations?When it’s an internship, you generally are not in a stage to negotiate the compensation as this is a real-world experience that the company is providing you while you are still learning, studying and completing your degree.

But when you already have an offer in hand from another company, you can surely try to negotiate as the company can make you the offer at par if it’s not hurting their norms because THEY WANT YOU (This worked out in my case!).

Choosing the right opportunity!In case you have multiple offers, Just imagine yourself doing the work mentioned in the job description at that company, and you would be able to make a choice wisely (Compensation is secondary! ????).

What about me?Being honest, this is the track I followed during my entire application process.

I was ready to make a thousand applications for getting the right internship, but I started early and had to stop at 205 applications.

I received a Data Science Internship offer from American Family Insurance Group and a Data Engineering Internship offer from CBS.

I have finally decided to spend my summer with CBS Interactive business unit of CBS Corporation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Why did I chose CBSi?From the first year of my undergrad studies, I had a dream to work for a media and entertainment company (Because I loved to animate and design stuff) and what better opportunity would be than working at America’s most watched network and a global top 10 web property.

This summer, I would be probably writing big data pipelines for processing and modeling the data of CBS, CBS News, CBS Sports, CNET, Gamespot, Comicvine, Download.

com, MaxPreps, TV Guide, last.

fm, Metacritic, MetroLyrics, Chowhound, TechRepublic, TV.

com, and more :p.

That’s all folks!.shoot your questions regarding Data Science and Data Engineering Internships on LinkedIn or at [myLastName][myFirstName] at gmail dot com.

Super excited for this summer and will keep you posted on my internship experience.

All the best!.

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