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Interns

By Steve Jones,

Today we have an editorial from Aug 8, 2007 that is being republished as Steve is on holiday.

You wouldn't think that it would take much to woo interns to Silicon Valley, especially for Google. My guess is that Google and Microsoft get to fight over the top candidates, and neither of them is really a loser. It's all the other companies out there that end up getting the less highly rated interns.

Which is cool with me. It would have given me lots of other choices if I were graduating :)

Still, how cool would it be to get to the Bill Gate summer BBQ while in college?

I had the chance to intern at Virginia Power a long time ago and it turned out to be a great experience. I was an EE graduate student at the time and ended up in the maintenance group learning how to schedule maintenance and giving input for work that was actually being done. Done by someone else, of course. It was, after all, a nuclear power plant. You can't have interns running around with wrenches tightening reactor bolts. It is rightie-tightie, right?

However I ended up moving over to the IT group and writing a scheduling application that my old department actually used to manage their work. I stayed in IT, switched to computer engineering, and the rest is history.

I think interning is a great idea and it gives you the chance to groom someone for your company. It's a chance for students to learn, do real work, and you to find out who fits and doesn't fit in your organization. And it brings a new perspective to your group, with the addition of someone that isn't set in their ways. After the recent Revisit What You Know, maybe that's a really good thing.

I think there are less IT people to choose from overall, especially as salaries stagnate a little and the layoffs continue, but there is still a demand for people that's hard to fill. If your company doesn't look to hire people right out of college, maybe they should.

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