Finding internships or co-ops can be difficult. Especially if you are an international student. Not only are you adjusting to a massive cultural shift but also managing to do all the things alone. Securing your first summer co-op can get really challenging without the right resources and planning. Here, I will list some tips for you to secure a co-op once you arrive at RIT.
- Prepare your resume: The first step to prepare for your co-op is to tailor your resume according to the job description (cover letter too. I know it sucks :P). This single sheet of paper gives recruiters insight into your skills and unfortunately, recruiters spend only about 30 seconds looking at your resume. So, make sure you word it well highlighting your core strengths!
- Applying actively in the first semester: Yes, you can apply in the first semester! Many companies (especially for Computer Science and similar programs) open their applications in the month of August or early September. Try getting your applications in as soon as possible. Interviewing at the early stages of your master’s gives you the right experience that helps you learn about your areas of improvement. Some of the recommended job portals are RIT Career Connect, Handshake, LinkedIn, Glassdoor.
- Networking: An underrated skill but extremely useful. Attend networking events as much as you can. Keep in touch with people who might help to find leads for your job search. LinkedIn is a great tool for networking. RIT’s alumni network is great for finding and building contacts.
- Keep your LinkedIn profile updated: The recruiters do check your LinkedIn profiles. Keep your profile as updated as possible. Highlight your skills. Add an interesting summary/ background of yourself. Add a professional photograph. List down your experiences or certifications. Also, LinkedIn learning is free when you signup with your RIT account!
- Mock interviews: Getting interview calls but not able to crack the rounds? Ask your friends and your faculty to help point out which area you need to focus on.
- Leetcode (for software roles): Last but not the least, competitive programming is needed to secure your job. Unfortunately, It is not going to go away anytime soon. Signup for Leetcode and practice your coding skills!