What would look more impressive to an employer...

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by MorphingDragon, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. MorphingDragon macrumors 603


    Mar 27, 2009
    The World Inbetween
    What would look more impressive to an employer, having an internship on your CV or having developed and published a new Algorithm? I've come up with a new, possibly O(n log n) 3D+ Convex Hull algorithm with some interesting properties and my University wants to give me a summer scholarship to finalize it. But I already have an internship lined up being paid an amount not to be snuffed at. The Algorithm isn't complex enough to have it as my Honours project.

    I could possibly do both as I've talked to the employer and he'd said he'd be happy to hire me part time.
  2. Flunkyturtle macrumors 6502

    Dec 20, 2011

    Depends, do you NEED the money? if not i'd say do both and work part time.
    I think THAT would look best on your CV :)
  3. mydogisbox macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2011
    I would say it probably depends on a couple of factors:

    1. What the hiring manager is looking for. The more "managerial" the hiring manager, the more the internship will matter. Also, it's more likely that you will have code you can share with the hiring manager from your algorithm while proprietary code is unlikely to be share-able.

    2. What position you're applying for. How well does the type of work for the internship vs how well does the algorithm match up with the position you're applying for.
  4. ScoobyMcDoo macrumors 65816

    Nov 26, 2007
    Austin, TX
    When I am hiring fresh-outs, It always helps if they have a nonacademic internship along with a great reference from their manager.

    With the academic projects, just be up-front about your participation. I've had candidates overstate their participation, but when I interview them, I find their actual role was much smaller than I was led to believe.
  5. lee1210 macrumors 68040


    Jan 10, 2005
    Dallas, TX
    Is this potential employer in industry or academia? Does this potential employer do "hard" CS work or do they record clicks in a database? Will coding/critical thinking trump understanding and refining business requirements? Does the hiring manager have a CS degree, an MBA, or both?

    All of this will contribute. My gut is do the internship at least part time. You're going to have a CS degree. This doesn't show without question that you're strong with algorithms, but it helps to show a foundation you can build on in an interview. Without any practical business experience it's hard to tell someone convincingly that you can work in this environment.

    Either way, good luck!

  6. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030


    Sep 13, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Internships are pretty common. Having published a useful new algorithm would certainly make a resume stand out.
  7. MorphingDragon thread starter macrumors 603


    Mar 27, 2009
    The World Inbetween
    I've decided to do both. For 2 days I will be on campus. The other 4 days I will be at the internship. (Only sunday off, feels bad man)

    I'm in the position where I pretty much have a job when I graduate, but can't risk not being desirable to employers if it falls apart. I plan to do a doctorate because I like teaching, but I don't want to be stuck in Academia just yet. D:
  8. Mac_Max macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2004
    My experience has been tracking clicks pays more than when I used to do AV related programing :D. YMMV of course ;).

    Commentary aside, Lee's point is quite valid.

    I'd suggest doing the internship either way and if you had to choose between one or the other, my money would be on doing the internship and doing your own research privately OR find a platform like Google Summer of Code or Microsoft Imagine Cup. Anything like that will likely net you a larger audience anyway. In my case, being able to point at end users using code I've written has been much more helpful to me professionally than anything I did at school (CC or University).

    One disclaimer: I distrust Comp Sci academia so I'm very likely biased by that. If your plan is specifically to go into Academia... ignore me.

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