During my internship search this summer, I decided to not exclusively look for programming internships. Weird for a computer science major, I know, but I did this because I am interested in many other things outside of programming. I ran into one common question from my non programming internship interviewers — they would ask me “well, you know this isn’t a programming internship, will that be an issue for you? I only ask because in the past we have had interns who were studying computer science and all they wanted to do was program.”
This is how I answered that question when I was presented with it…
We all have a toolbox. If you are studying computer science one the tools in your box may be programming. If you are a blogger another tool in your box could be writing. Tools in your box can even be your ability to talk to others or constantly pick the perfect Instagram filter.
For example I am a programmer, so one of the skills in my box is programming. However, this does not mean that I can only search for jobs that require me to program. Programming to me is a hammer. A hammer is a very useful tool, but every project I work on, or want to work on, may not need a hammer. Some projects need wrenches, saws, etc.
I have accepted a non programming internship. I will be working on the digital strategy, and chatbot curation for a startup in NYC. During the school year (9.5 months), I work on making my programming skills the best that they can be. I think it is important to have to fine-tune my other skills, which is why I blog and accepted a non technical internship.
It’s important to realize that our skills are tools in our toolbox and not what define us. We are allowed to jump from tool to tool as necessary.