February 24

Internship Completed

Done, done, done…


Except for demo day. But that only counts if I don’t have a job yet… which I probably won’t in 2 weeks, but I can try.

The internship was such a big deal to me when I picked Epicodus. No one else had an internship, and there was even a possibility (when I read about the school) that it could be a paid internship.

So, what is an Epicodus internship really like?

We had close to 80 students and 30 employers. A couple dropped out at the last minute. I’ve heard some can also jump in at the last minute, but don’t know of any this time around.

We had 2 of those 30 where the interns were paid… about $10/hour. And at least one of those was for a longer time frame than the 5 weeks. (Another was a part-time internship for much longer, and also about $10/hr… and less than 20 hours a week… great if you don’t have to pay rent, right?)

One nice thing about the companies that pay is that they seem to have their act together. They know what the interns are capable of and they plan accordingly… with things like REAL mentors, and some on-the-job training.

One of the internships extended the interns beyond 5 weeks, but still without pay. They were one of the better companies, but I don’t think they can do that – make the internship longer AND not pay people. The 5 weeks is a class for us, so the pay is optional. But more than 5 weeks is NOT required, and so I think there is a law… the interns aren’t the ones complaining though, so maybe the experience of being there is more important to them than getting paid.


And that brings me to the majority of the internship companies. Small companies. Startups. They are really interested in finding FREE help to do whatever. And too many of them seem disappointed in the quality of the interns they are getting.

No, you don’t learn absolutely everything you need to know to walk into a company and take over the entire IT department.

We get a good foundation so that we can learn things quickly and hit the ground with minimal orientation. But we are promised a mentor – and a lot of these companies don’t really have one. Or they do have another developer, but they don’t have time, or a plan, or the patience to work with new people.

My internship was at that kind of company. We were their first group of interns and it was a big shock that we would come in and have questions. They got 6 of us and so there was probably a constant stream of questions (sometimes just a basic “what should I do next?”).

The biggest disappointment though is at the end when you hope they might ask you to stay on and get paid, but they are busy asking for more free help from the next class.

So now it’s time to hunt for a job, and I’m not sure that any of the coursework or “experience” from my internship is actually going to help me find one.

Copyright 2017. Karen Freeman-Smith. All rights reserved.

Posted February 24, 2017 by KAS in category "Career Change", "Epicodus