I'm an undergraduate electrical engineering student. My degree has a mandatory requirement for me to secure one more 4-month internship before I can graduate. I'll either need to find one for...
I'm an undergraduate electrical engineering student. My degree has a mandatory requirement for me to secure one more 4-month internship before I can graduate. I'll either need to find one for summer (May-Aug) or for fall (Sept-Dec). If I can't find one, then I risk dropping out of my degree. I have a lot of student debt, so that would be a serious problem.
I think I'm doing something wrong in my job search. I have a feeling I'm not applying to the right jobs. Or, I might be framing my skills/experiences the wrong way. Or, maybe now is just a bad time to be applying for internships?
I would really appreciate it if you could tell me what you think I could be doing better. Feel free to be brutally honest... I feel like I've been given an opportunity (STEM degree) that I'm squandering, and I want to be whipped into shape. :(
- 3rd-Year Courses: Broad ECE curriculum (circuit theory, power, signal processing, control theory, embedded systems, EM wave theory, communications). No significant projects (theory only). Many assignments done in C or MATLAB. GPA was B-ish territory, if that matters.
- 4th-Year Courses: Specialized in signal processing and data analysis (audio processing, image/video processing, computer vision, data mining, machine learning). A handful of projects using MATLAB or Python (OpenCV, numpy/pandas/etc., PyTorch). All of these were A+'s, if that matters.
- Internship #1: I configured DSP units used to control sound systems in pools, arenas, hospitals, etc. The DSP units typically used proprietary visual programming environments (drag and drop components), with maybe some custom lua/python scripting functionality if I was lucky. It doesn't feel transferable to say "I have a Level-2 certification from QSC to design Q-SYS systems."
- Internship #2: I did IT helpdesk support in a team for a place with 1000+ employees. Technical phone calls, imaging PCs, equipment tracking, addressing various tickets. Not much here feels transferable either.
- Internship #3: I designed a video processing algorithm in a computer vision research lab. It tracks birds and detects when certain flight behaviors have occurred. I used Python (OpenCV, scikit-image, numpy/pandas/etc.) and git to manage my own progress. I wasn't on a team so I have no experience with handling merge conflicts, CI, or anything like that.
- Part-time work #1: I deployed a deep learning model developed in MATLAB to perform inference on a mobile device. This involved converting the model from ONNX to the TensorFlow Lite format. I also turned my work into a Jupyter notebook so I could share it with my lab colleagues.
- Course projects: (1) In one course, I am taking a recent CVPR paper implemented using MXNet and re-implementing it in PyTorch. (2) For my Honours Thesis, I am training a CNN to classify different bird species using PyTorch. I'm then going to integrate it into the codebase for the algorithm designed in Internship #3. (3) I implemented an audio noise reduction algorithm in MATLAB. (4) I tried to implement a video processing algorithm to transcribe chess matches in Python. (5) I compared different block-matching algorithms for video compression in MATLAB.
- Technical extracurriculars: I have no club experience and have not participated in any programming competitions.
- Personal projects: Nothing notable. Some small things here and there that never went anywhere because I had a hard time balancing my studies.
Job search strategy
Since most of my recent experience is related to computer vision (image/video processing) and data analysis (feature engineering, machine learning) I have been trying to apply for Data Science/Data Analysis internships.
I go to indeed.com and linkedin.com, "Keyword OR" all of the languages/libraries/frameworks I have used, then submit my resume to the ones I find. I have submitted 10 or 20 applications. I also sometimes try to cold-email companies in my town. I want to stay in town because I don't want to leave my friends, so I would do remote work too. But, I would leave if it was necessary...
I would be OK with any programming job. I don't have experience with many of the tech stacks I see for various programming jobs, though. So I don't apply, because I assume a true software engineering major would get the job over me.
What could I be doing better?
EDIT: Anonymized resume here: https://i.imgur.com/V8s4XLJ.png
EDIT2: I already regret posting. This is too much information for me to process, and I don't know how to convert everyone's varied opinions and perspectives into an actionable plan. I feel overwhelmed and am shutting down trying to read your comments. I don't know what to do. But feel free to keep replying if you'd like.