Canton, N.Y. is a beautiful small town, filled with small shops and restaurants scattered throughout. Though it offers opportunities to experience local art and culture and is close to many outdoor adventures, it’s not exactly known for being a hub of emerging technology. This can leave some STEM majors, particularly those in computer science like myself, a bit confused when trying to find convenient internships. However, I’ve been taking advantage of the many helpful resources St. Lawrence offers to seek and secure available positions in the field that I'm interested in.
Not only does the University provide a great computer science curriculum, but it also offers a fantastic alumni network and career center. At the beginning of my junior year, I knew exactly where to go when I wanted to inquire more about finding internships and potential jobs. I went to the Center for Career Excellence to ask about pursuing opportunities in computer science while living in St. Lawrence County. Not only did my career counselor and I discuss potential career paths, but they also recommended I check out Handshake to find remote internships.
Throughout the fall semester, I was skimming through recommendations on the site, looking for companies and tasks that I might be interested in. I also decided to talk with my peers and faculty advisor about my concerns. A few of my friends were in the same boat, unsure of finding internships in a fairly remote location during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. When talking with my advisor, he shared some anecdotes from when he was searching for internships. He also shared similar concerns but knew that he could use what he had to improve his chances. Moreover, he offered some sage advice on how I could leverage specific techniques I’ve learned in my recent classes to sound more proficient in interviews, specifically from "Programming Languages" and "Computer Organization."
Throughout the spring semester, I was constantly exploring Handshake in an attempt to find remote opportunities. Luckily, in the tumultuous COVID-19 era, many companies offering remote computer science positions did not have to overhaul the structure of their offices to make remote work accessible. I applied for many open positions, interviewed for a few, and was accepted by two, one focused on front-end web development and the other focused on general IT work.
Thanks to St. Lawrence's amazing Center for Career Excellence team and the small student-to-professor ratio, I received personalized guidance that gave me a leg up when applying for remote job opportunities. After all of these efforts, I accepted the offer for the web development position and am excited to gain more hands-on experience in a field that I'm passionate about!