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4 Ways to Level Up This Summer, Even Without an Internship

Written by Lucille Tasker, Director of Data & Technology at Rewriting the Code

Updated April 2024

The 2024 summer internship climate is challenging. You aren’t alone if you didn’t land a summer internship or even lost one. Below are Rewriting the Code’s top recommendations for ways to make sure that your summer is productive. We will walk through how we recommend spending your time and also how to highlight the new skills you learn on your resume.

Work on A Personal Project

Your biggest summer 2024 priority should be developing a personal project and prepping for interviews for 2025. A personal project is a great way to build new technical and non-technical skills. They are also a great way to show off what you’re passionate about in technology and are great conversation topics during interviews. If you’re an RTC member looking to work on a project with other team members, you can use the #projects channel in the RTC Slack Workspace (request your invite here) to find people who want to work with you. In addition to finding developers for your team, you may want people in Project Management and Product Management roles to help you guide the project (and they can work on their skills, too!). If you don’t have an idea for a project yet but know you want to work on one, we recommend posting in the channel and asking if you can join someone else’s team! If you already have an idea and are looking for teammates, please post a brief description of your project, what skillsets you are looking for from team members, and your timeline for completing the project. If you are not an RTC Member, become one today! 

Projects belong on your resume. Make sure you highlight the skills you learned over the summer on your resume clearly and effectively. Rewriting the Code stores lots of resume tips in our Resource Library. You may also want to check out this video with Mayuko (she talks about projects on resumes around 9:00)

Dive Deep Into New Skills

Rewriting the Code has interest groups to help you explore new technical skills and subjects. You can join our #interests-cybersecurity or #interests-data channels to find members who are also interested in building their skill sets. 

Educative has free resources for creating projects. These skill-building activities can help you build a larger project on your own or in a group. You can learn how to do anything from creating an e-commerce store in Rust to minting your own NFT. 

If you really want to make yourself marketable to recruiters next season, Artificial Intelligence skills are MUST! We highly recommend you check out this AWS AI & ML Scholarship program. All scholarship applicants who complete prerequisites and submit an application get exclusive access to the Introducing Generative AI with AWS course, a $250 USD value! You’ll gain in-demand skills in this cutting-edge domain through practical training and labs and receive a certificate upon completion. 

Build Your Portfolio and Prep Your Resume

Are you looking for a guided prep to get your portfolio prepared, assess your skills, and study for interviews? This free GitHub Career Readiness Pack is a great place for you. As for interview prep, you’ll get access to Educative – we highly recommend their Algorithms for Coding Interviews course. Educative also has many great skill-building courses available for free that may help you create a personal project!

Get To Coding!

Working on your coding interviewing skills over the summer will set you up for success during fall recruiting. If you’re not sure where to get started on that, you can check out our top resources here

If you’re an international student in the US and feel like you’re struggling to stand out to recruiters when hiring for roles in the United States, acing your coding interviews and standing out during the resume review process is going to be of the utmost importance. An excellent way to build out your resume with new skills is by doing projects. You can also share these projects during interviews as an easy conversation starter! 

Not landing a summer internship doesn’t mean missing out on opportunities to boost your resume. With the right mindset and approach, you can still have a productive summer that helps you build new skills, gain valuable experience, and make meaningful connections. Whether you decide to work on a personal project, prepare for interviews, or take advantage of scholarship programs and free resources, make sure to make the most of your summer. By focusing on personal growth and skill-building, you’ll be well on your way to success in your future career endeavors.

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