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I would say I've been exposed to more internships and jobs then my friends, but I'm finding it harder to find an internship now. Previously I interned at a company in Lebanon for a basic technology internship, then I worked part time at the same company for a year and a half as a Database Administrator.

I currently have 3 projects in my github, but they aren't personal projects except the one labeled 363. Do you suggest I build a personal projects or I keep applying to internships regardless of what I did in the past? Do you also think having an internship in a country other than the US means nothing on my resume when finding an internship in the States?

I applied to about 200 places offering software engineer internships but almost all declined. I only got 2 coding assessments and although I did relatively well in them, I still wasn't able to get in. Should I fully commit to applying for internships and focusing on my studying or do more projects and forget about internships until I have more experience under my belt? Thanks!

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    Which country are you in ? Do you apply for internships in the US now ? Or do you apply for internships in your country now ? Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 6:39
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    Do you require Visa sponsorship for you internship ? That's typically a non-starter.
    – Hilmar
    Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 8:12
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    The very first step is finding someone who has experience in writing CVs. Two people with the exact same qualifications and the exact same ability to do the job well can write completely different CVs.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 12:44
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    If you're a second-term senior, you should probably be starting to look at real jobs rather than internships.
    – keshlam
    Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 13:15
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    As a senior why are you still going after internships? Why are you applying to internships outside of an academic setting?
    – Donald
    Commented Jan 21, 2023 at 1:23

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If you're a Senior student (by which I presume you mean 4th year), you should be applying to full-time jobs, not internships. Internships are for people who are learning Software Engineering and want to get their feet wet without too much commitment. They tend to pay less money (or sometimes no money) and have usually shorter durations than long-term jobs or professional contracts. They tend to be reserved for students or younger people than yourself. This might be one reason you're failing, because they see your resume and believe you are too experienced for the internship.

Another reason you may be failing your application is due to your place of origin/citizenship. Based on your question it seems you are located in Lebanon, which is a Muslim country in the Middle East, which might make it more difficult for you to get a visa to the US. Companies you are applying to may not want to sponsor your visa (due to difficulty of the application process; I'm explicitly not implying racism here) as opposed to hiring an American of similar skill level, or people from countries which are not quite as politically difficult.

Another potential issue is that it, quite frankly, is just difficult to get a job as a junior engineer. I had to deal with a lot of this when I was a junior engineer; everyone wants someone with 5 years of experience, but it's very difficult to get those first 5 years of experience in the first place. You might just be getting unlucky. I have definitely sent out hundreds of resumes only to get a handful of callbacks, that's just how it works.

One thing of note is that GitHub is almost entirely useless when applying for engineering jobs. Of course if you code in your free time then hosting on Github is great, and companies use Github so knowing how to use it is a valuable skill, but in terms of displaying your skill to prospective employers, it's useless. I have a Github repo myself, and the link to it is on my resume (and on job applications when asked), but I have never, not even once, been asked a question about anything that was on there. I'm pretty sure they don't even look at it. If you think your portfolio is not sufficiently robust, I can assure you that is not the problem.

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  • "I have never, not even once, been asked a question about anything that was on there" - why would you expect to be asked a question about it? Seeing this from the perspective of someone who occasionally has to sift through applications and pick worthwhile candidates, I will gladly examine any code samples they provide to get an idea of their way of tackling problems, structuring their work, etc. In fact, this can very well weigh stronger than anything in the actual application documents, which typically just boil down to an extremely superficial overview with a certain amount of ... Commented Jan 21, 2023 at 8:42
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    ... self-aggrandization. But other than maybe to praise the applicant, I've never seen a reason to bring that up during any interviews. Commented Jan 21, 2023 at 8:42
  • I once helped with intern recruitment for a large company in the US that hired a lot of interns and new college grads. We were explicitly told not to consider anyone that required visa sponsorship. Visa sponsorship is very complicated and they just didn't want to make that kind of effort for an intern or college hire. We had more than enough qualified applicants that were already eligible to work here to fill our quotas.
    – Seth R
    Commented Jan 21, 2023 at 16:13
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    @O.R.Mapper Put a different and more technically accurate way, I have not even once ever been given any kind of indication that the people I was interviewing with even opened my Github or looked at anything on it.
    – Ertai87
    Commented Jan 22, 2023 at 6:11
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    @Ertai87 I will usually review github repos and portfolios as part of resume screening when provided. But unless I find something specifically intriguing, during the interview I will ask questions about things important for my role. So, impressive work in something we don't use could get you an interview over a similar candidate but not likely to ask questions about your unrelated work in the interview.
    – cdkMoose
    Commented Jan 23, 2023 at 20:14

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