I am a M.S student in data science/machine learning. I will have to start an end-of-studies internship in a few months. I have several offers in my area and am at a loss about which ont to choose.
My long-term goals (in a few years at most) are to move countries (within the EU), and I would like to work at a large tech company in R&D. My current short-term goal is to find a challenging and rewarding position and gain experience.
During my internship search, I felt that my application wouldn't be strong enough for the most famous and competitive positions (at Google, Amazon, etc.), and so I aimed for the ones focused on my domains of interest that were at my school's career fair. I have two offers (both in my home country):
- One is at a local very small implantation of a very large foreign company, which you have heard of. I would be working with a small team of engineers on a subject that is related to my domain, but maybe not ideal. It is mainly about computer vision, which is interesting to me, but not my core topic.
- The other is at a comparatively small company (a few dozen employees) that seems cutting-edge in their domain. They heavily use deep learning and are focused on R&D, which is a large part of their staff. When I interviewed there, they also told me that they were first on their main market (quite specific, but important). They have large clients in the telecom industry, but are completely unknown to the average person.
Overall, I feel better about the second offer, and had a good impression when I interviewed there, but several things bother me:
- The first internship would enable me to have a famous name on my CV. I don't know how much this is worth, but I have read that having worked at a big-name company will be an advantage when passing the CV screen in future applications.
- I don't know exactly how well-known the second company is in their domain, and I find very little online about them. I am sure that they are active and do research, and have been told that they publish papers and go to conferences, but I am not sure how to evaluate the impact that interning there would have on my career prospects.
- I am having regrets about not looking abroad more. I couldn't find many internship openings that seemed both interesting and not too competitive for my current profile. I worry that, by choosing the second offer, I will be at a big disadvantage in the future compared to people who moved countries to work at bigger companies.
The final problem is deadlines: I could lose one or both offers if I wait long enough to sign. I don't think I have much competition right now, but the recruiters in the first company have asked me to answer quickly.
Considering my goals, what would be the pros and cons of each offer? Should I keep looking for offers abroad, taking the risk of losing these two? Is there one in the two I mentioned that would put me at an obvious advantage when applying abroad in the future?