The Computer Science Department strongly encourages students to participate in at least one internship experience during their academic career (please note: that internships are not a requirement in the CS programs of study in order to graduate). Most students intern the summer after their junior year. Internships allow students to apply their technical knowledge in a real-world environment while helping them discover the career path they would most enjoy. Interns often engage in the same projects and work on the same teams as seasoned software engineers and system administrators.
Not all internships are equal in quality or opportunity. Companies sometimes label jobs as "internships" to pay less, but fail to provide a quality, learning experience for the student. Choose your internship carefully. Quality internships usually fit the following parameters:
- Paid: Due to the high demand for computer scientists, the vast majority of reputable internships in this field are paid.
- Mentored: You should have an assigned supervisor who will work closely with you in a mentored relationship throughout the duration of your internship. She/he should periodically evaluate your work--having a mentored environment will allow for increased opportunities for growth.
- Company of interest: An internship is a unique opportunity for you to "test drive" a company before accepting a full-time job. You will experience the company culture, environment and projects first-hand. If you think you know where you would like to work someday, get an internship with that company. This will also be a good chance for you to show them that you will be a good addition to their team.
- Substantive Assignments: Your internship should require computer science skills, provide opportunities for increased learning and growth and acquaint you with real-world problems and practices.
Finding an Internship
- BYU Handshake: BYU's eRecruiting website has job postings, information sessions, and company contacts. Register for this system by visiting handshake.byu.edu.
- STEM Career Fair: National and local companies visit campus twice each year to recruit technical and scientific majors at the BYU STEM Career Fair. The fair takes place early in the fall and winter semesters. Many of these companies will also have information sessions and interviews during their stay to campus. Dress up, bring a resume and be ready to talk to the recruiters. See our Career Fair Tips for Success for insights on interacting with recruiters.
- Company Information Sessions: Companies frequently visit campus and host information sessions or tech talks. These sessions provide insight into projects, company culture, recruiting practices and more. Watch Handshake and your weekly newsletter email for information about upcoming sessions (if you are a declared major, you will be on this list).
Company Internship / Research Institute Websites
- Berkley Summer Institue
- Clearwater Analytics
- Fog Creek
- General Motors
- Lawrence Berkeley Student Programs
- Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
- Lockheed Martin
- NASA Student Research Program
- National Instruments
- Oak Ridge Institute for Science
- Oakland Summer Research Program
- Palo Alto Research Center
- Robotics Institute (Carnegie Mellon)