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The No. 1 Skillset to Land an Internship or Job in Tech: Problem-Solving

In conversations with many successful tech innovators and leaders, one skill keeps recurring, time and time again: problem-solving.

An AI-generated image of a student working on a computer.

Why Does It Matter For An Internship?

The essence of tech is about identifying a challenge or inefficiency and creating a solution to make life easier. Each line of code, every system you design, and every feature you implement is in response to a problem that needs solving. This ability to navigate complexities and emerge with solutions is what distinguishes exceptional tech professionals from the rest.

Building Problem-Solving Skills with Zero Work Experience

You might wonder how to develop problem-solving skills without any formal work experience to add to your tech skillset. Here are three effective strategies:

  1. Initiate Personal Projects Dive into projects that spark your interest—whether it's building a website, organizing a community initiative, or starting your own business. Projects like these put you in real-world scenarios where problems will naturally arise, challenging you to find solutions. This hands-on experience is invaluable and closely mimics the professional tech environment.

  2. Join Competitions Participate in hackathons, case competitions, or online challenges. These environments mimic the pressures of real-world tech scenarios, requiring you to think on your feet and solve problems quickly and creatively. Competitions also offer a platform to test your skills against peers, providing a competitive edge.

  3. Volunteer Look for opportunities to apply your tech skills in volunteer settings. This can offer insights into practical, often community-based problems that technology can solve, making your work impactful and relevant. Volunteering not only helps you build your problem-solving skills but also adds a meaningful dimension to your resume.

Showcasing Your Problem-Solving, Tech Skillset

Once you've honed your problem-solving skills, it's crucial to showcase them effectively if you're looking to land an internship, specifically a tech internship:

  1. On Your Resume Highlight specific projects where your problem-solving skills led to successful outcomes. Detail the challenges faced and the solutions you implemented, using metrics to quantify your impact. For example, mention "time saved," "cost cut," "performance improvement," "user growth," or "customer satisfaction."

  2. During Interviews Be prepared with stories that demonstrate your problem-solving process. Discuss the challenge, your approach, the solution, and the outcome. Employers are keen to hear about your thought process and how you handle complex situations.

  3. Build an Online Portfolio Use your portfolio to display your projects and blog about your problem-solving strategies. This showcases your technical skills and your proactive approach to tackling problems. An online portfolio is a powerful tool to attract potential employers and network within the industry.

Ready to Build Your Project?

If you're a student looking to build a personal project this summer, we've built a mobile app that's designed to guide you through these projects and your entrepreneurial journey. Take your first step here!


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