At Four Ingenieros Foundation we do it for the kids! We decided to give some advice, tips, stories, and lessons learned from the founders themselves. These tips and experiences have helped them strive from their early days as students and into their engineering careers. To start off this Professional Tip #1 we’d like to remind everyone that our end-of-the-year fundraising campaign is in full effect. Please donate now!
I was a sophomore at Santa Barbara City College, and I just had learned about a local start up in town called Sonos. I stumbled upon their website and immediately fell in love with their speakers and their technology. I knew that my next internship was going to be with them. I just needed to apply and make it happen. But how? I went through their job site and found nothing. They had zero internship opportunities available. I was bummed out, but I did not let that stop me. Next thing I knew I was searching for an email, any email on the site. Then I found email@example.com. Was I going to dare to email the CEO? Yes. I emailed him my resume and expressed a strong interest to work as a software intern for Sonos. Sadly, I did not hear back. A month passed, two months passed, but nothing.
I did not give up. I emailed the CEO again and kindly said I wanted to work as an intern for his company. A month passed, two months passed, and still nothing.
I finally got a phone call one day. It was HR telling me that they indeed received my emails and I was not being ignored. This gave me a rush of excitement. HR told me that they were going to start an internship program and I would be eligible to apply. I would be interviewed by their software test manager. In the next few days, I received that phone call, and the interview happened. I was not promised anything that day, and I was not satisfied with the results. I knew if I really wanted this to happen I needed to stand out from the rest. I needed to do something that nobody usually does.
The next thing I did was email the software test manager a month later, and I expressed my interest, again, as a intern at Sonos. I wanted to talk to him and ask him questions about Sonos over coffee at Starbucks. This would show him that I was genuinely interested. I was not like any other applicant trying to find an internship; I was a motivated, strong individual who put in 110% to achieve what I wanted - to work at Sonos.
After that talk over coffee, I received a call from Sonos and the rest is history.
I’ll let you in on a little secret, I do not like coffee but it was worth it. I got the internship and a huge confidence boost.
When you apply to internships, go above and beyond. Do more than the regular applicant. Show them you are truly, genuinely interested. Ask yourself, “How badly do I want it?” What is it that you will do to get your next internship? Share with us your thoughts or experiences.
Juan Zepeda - Software Engineer & Co-Founder