Internship Tips

Smiling Students

Tips for Obtaining an Internship

Meet fellow InfoSci students who have secured exciting internships. Learn tips about how they obtained their positions.

Omar Youssef

Information Science Major and Minoring in General Business
Internship Site Name: AT&T
Internship Title/Role/Department: Advertising and Analytics Intern
Internship Location - City & State OR City & Country: New York, NY

How did you find and secure your internship?

I applied directly through the AT&T careers site. 

What were you responsible for as an intern and how did your INST coursework prepare you?

I joined the digital product team where we tested and analyzed brand new products that we could bring to market. I had to track impressions, revenue, and CPM (cost per 1000 impressions) and with those numbers we would report the success of a product. All the group projects we do throughout all our INST courses helped me the most. In the corporate world, no one works alone. Everyone must be able to work in teams. The INST courses have showed me the pros and cons of group work and most importantly it taught me how to deal with the cons. For example, organizing a time to meet in the real world with a group of people is just as hard as it was for us in college. So understanding the importance of communication and making sure we fully know everyone’s schedule is huge in order to succeed. 

What was your biggest takeaway/what did you learn from the internship?

I got firsthand exposure of how important data is. All the companies are racing to gather as much data as possible in order to deliver personalized experiences. As a result every company needs plenty of data scientists to help them organize compile and give the data a meaning. Another thing I learned is how important networking is. It is crucial to start building a network as early as possible in order to progress in the professional world. It is very difficult to go talk to people you don’t know but everyone loves talking about themselves so you should never feel nervous to approach someone. You never know how valuable that person may become in the future. 

What internship-related advice do you have for students?

Apply to as many places as you can. I made an excel sheet where I listed every company I applied to and I challenged myself to make the list as long as possible. I ended up applying to 55 companies and I only progressed very far in the interview process in 3. The odds are low so apply to as many places as you can and don’t get too attached to a particular company. Be as open as possible. I would also use the info sci and careers center for help with your resume. Both offices helped me tremendously with content and formatting. 

Cat Chiang

Information Science Major
Internship Site Name: CATT Laboratory
Internship Title/Role/Department: UI Design Intern
Internship Location - City & State OR City & Country: College Park, MD

How did you find and secure your internship?

I found the internship through the iSchool Newsletter. The lab posted a flyer for their career fair and I decided to apply. 

What were you responsible for as an intern and how did your INST coursework prepare you?

Currently, I am working on redesigning the interfaces of the programs and web applications the lab provides to their clients. The position also includes designing mock-ups for proposals and presenting large data sets in a more visually appealing way. Even though INST362 is more UX design centered, I'm able to incorporate those skills into my work. 

What was your biggest take-away/what did you learn from the internship?

My biggest take-away is that a lot of the UI design process involves constant back and forth between different teams. You can create a design that you think is presentable and is easily understandable, but the feedback shows otherwise. Also, It's not just ensuring the client can easily understand the interface, but that the developer teams do as well. 

What internship-related advice do you have for students?

The best advice I can give for starting a new internship is to don't be afraid of feedback. Like I said before, you can create something you think works but other people don't share the same sentiment. It's nothing personal. If you're working in a team, asking your lead or co-workers for tips or advice is a good way to build connections and improve your skills. 

Lydia Spurrier

Information Science Major Minoring in Technology Entrepreneurship
Internship Site Name: T-Rex Solutions LLC
Internship Title/Role/Department:  Cloud and infrastructure intern
Internship Location - City & State OR City & Country: Greenbelt, MD

How did you find and secure your internship?

I found out about t-Rex through the Information Science Society after an event they held where they invited the company to speak about the work they do as government contractors. I gave them my resume and they got back to me weeks later for a phone interview and later a face to face interview. 

What were you responsible for as an intern and how did your INST coursework prepare you?

I created a serverless cloud based applications using Amazon Web Services and ELK Stack that ingests RSS feeds from government centric publications and create visualizations to track article trends for the use of business development. All the skills I worked on were entirely new to me, however skills I gained from database design and modeling and object oriented programming gave me a good basis to learn cloud computing.  

What was your biggest take-away/what did you learn from the internship?

It is very important to network while at an internship with executives and other employees. Have a well proofread resume and updated LinkedIn as well. 

What internship-related advice do you have for students?

Apply to many many places and hand out your resume if you want an internship.