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Introduction

In the previous articles, we talked about the things you should be doing or the path you should follow in the first and second years of college. In this article, we will look at the dos and don’ts for third-year students. The overall theme of the third year is internships and placement preparation. Let us look at some tips to make the most of your time during the third year of college.

The third year is the time when most students will be applying for internships. Internships can be of two types – on-campus and off-campus internships.

On-campus internships are the internships that your college provides you. To be eligible to apply for on-campus internships, you need to maintain a particular CGPA that your college has set. You should have a clear plan in mind for what companies you want to apply to because some colleges might say that you cannot sit for further interviews if you have got an internship with one company. Make sure you have mastered competitive programming because that’s what the companies test in interviews.

Coming to off-campus internships, they are the ones that you apply for through the company’s application portal. Your college won’t help you with these applications. You have to do your research, be up-to-date with openings, and also ask for referrals. To do that, you can follow the company’s social media pages ( Linkedin, Twitter ) or set an alert for the site so that whenever a new opening becomes available, you can apply as soon as possible. Apart from this, you can also join your college groups, placement cells, ask your seniors, etc. Don’t forget about networking. The more time you give to research, the better the opportunities you will get. 

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Make sure that you start applying as soon as you see an opening. Don’t wait for the last day. Prepare your resume and cover letter beforehand. Don’t be afraid or doubt your capability. The worst that could happen is you would get rejected, but if you don’t apply, you will never get to know if you would have got the opportunity or not.

Applying to internships is not the only to get selected. Some companies select candidates through hackathons and other competitions. Keep an eye on that too. For example, Google has competitions like Codejam, Kickstart, Hashcode, etc. All these competitions are online.

Another thing that is important for third-year students is interview preparation. Work on your problem-solving skills, practice Data Structures and Algorithms, Competitive programming in-depth, and make sure that you focus on quality over quantity. Instead of doing 1000 easy questions, do 200-300 medium and hard questions. Work on improving your soft skills like public speaking skills, management skills, and leadership skills and give mock interviews.

In case you don’t get an internship or you are not interested in getting one, contribute to open source programs. These contributions come in handy when you apply for programs like Google Summer of Code or Outreachy. These contributions help recruiters know that you are interested in joining and helping their organization, which increases your chance of getting selected. You gain a crazy amount of experience while working with the team members of these companies on a real-world project. These members are very experienced and become great mentors for students.

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If you are interested in higher studies and don’t intend to sit for placements, then the third year is a really good time to research this. You can coordinate with your professors and start working on a research paper, start preparing for exams like CAT, GATE, GRE, GMAT, etc. Try to volunteer, work on finding good universities and scholarship opportunities.

If you follow all these tips regularly, you would not need to worry about placements or anything. If you didn’t, start learning Data Structures and Algorithms as soon as possible and a bit of development if possible. You will get the most opportunities for internships in development. Concentrate on one type of development, whether that’s mobile app development, front-end web development, or back-end web development. Make a realistic goal and try to achieve it. Remember that getting into FAANG companies is not the way to succeed. You can start your professional journey in a good startup too. Some startups pay at par with the FAANG companies. 

We hope these tips help you in making your college life easy, organized, and fruitful. Just remember that no matter whether you started late or early, if you still change your habits and start working hard, you will succeed. Be sure to read the following article in the series to know the tips for the final year of college.

: By – Ria Prasad

Also Read:

Second-Year College Roadmap- Engineering Edition.

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