Internship 5

Why is it that GPA doesn't matter for jobs and engineering recruiting? Doesn't that represent mastery of material? Funnily enough I'm not doing too well in CIS 120 and CIS 160 because I have such a tough schedule but I really like programming and the problems we do in 160. I just wish I had more time to practice and actually do the work.

I think this is more of a CIS phenomenon more than a general engineering trend. Most of the stuff that we do in the classroom isn't really indicative of what industry is looking for from you, so even if you don't find that you're excelling with classroom material, that doesn't truly represent your potential on the job, and recruiters know that. I was in a similar boat as you, with CIS 160 especially, and if you find yourself enjoying the material then I think you're doing just fine.  

CIS Intro Track first semester is definitely a grind, and you'll have plenty more semesters to continue mastering software engineering. I personally found CIS 121 way more enjoyable than 120 and 160 because the application of the material was built into the core of the course. It gets easier as you go through the system :)

Zesty Zebra, 2:55 PM, November 25th 2019

How important is it for freshmen to get internships? Some of my friends are looking and I feel super lost and overwhelmed, particularly because I don't even know what I'm going to major in.

It is NOT important, please don't stress about this! I think the pre-professional culture at Penn puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on students to recruit for summer internships, but especially freshman year I found that the best thing for me and my mental health was to go home and spend time with my family - and this didn't prevent me from getting jobs later on at all!

Funky Flamingo, 2019 November 09, 11:30 AM

Do I need an internship my sophomore summer?

This question was asked from a freshman perspective! I'll give the same response: No! There are so many options for how to maximize the utility of your summer, and you are valid no matter what you choose to do.

Perky Puffin, April 9 2019 2:06 PM

If you're feeling ambitious and just want to try, there's lot of large tech companies that have freshman/sophomore oriented programs aimed towards learning and experience (I only know tech perspective). Some popular ones include Google EP, Microsoft Explore, Facebook University, Google Summer of Code, Twitter Academy, Amazon Future Engineers, DropBox Launch, and many more. Also don't be afraid to apply for things "only meant for juniors/seniors," or leverage friends/connections you have. But of course, these are extremely selective and not having an internship is very ok, don't stress too much (harder said than done I know)! :)

Chunky Chipmunk, April 9th 2019 9:11 PM

I have an unpaid internship... does Penn offer funding for these?

Just saw a DP article for if you're highly aided:

Chunky Chipmunk, April 9 2019, 1:10 AM

There's also the Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship Center which gives our grants if you are working at a startup!

For a general list of all resources here's a link from career services:

Angsty Armadillo, April 9, 2019, 1:49 PM

Do I need an internship my Freshman summer?

You certainly don't need an internship during your post-freshman summer. That could be a good time to rest after your first year away from home and adjusting to a new and often intense place. You could travel. Or take a class. Study abroad! At Penn, most students definitely do feel the need to apply and select an internship. But keep in mind that there is nothing wrong with whatever you choose to do, and there are so many options!

The Signal made an awesome data project about this very issue: You can see the different paths students have taken during their years at Penn, and hopefully you find that you have a lot of options with what you can do with your summer.

Perky Puffin, April 8 2019 3:45 PM

Wanted to emphasize that it's 100% okay not to have some amazing internship; freshman summer will be one of the few left where you can do fun things that you want! It's totally Penn culture to believe that everyone has an internship when in reality it's totally uncommon at almost every other school. Spend time discovering what you like, and then maybe work on the skills you need to build before applying to internships the years after!

Chunky Chipmunk, April 8 2019 8:10 PM