Attend Tech Week Events
Tech Week is in September each year—in time to learn about and prep for the start of the recruiting season. Meet alumni, learn about both technical and nontechnical roles in tech, and learn how to be a competitive applicant. For those pursuing a technical role, attend the employer-taught Technical Interview Workshop and Mock Technical Interview Night. Sign up for events on Handshake.
Stay Current on Industry Trends
Whether you are thinking about a technical role or a nontechnical role, it is important to understand the industry, new trends, and the nomenclature that tech companies use. There are lots of blogs, publications, and podcasts to choose from. Here are a few to get you started:
Build Your Skills
Is your Java a little shaky? Want to learn front-end development? Hoping for a nontechnical role? Not sure how to start app development? LinkedIn Learning has courses that you can take for FREE as a Bowdoin student. If you complete a learning path, a badge will appear on your LinkedIn profile. Log in at login.bowdoin.edu.
Note: The number one piece of advice from alumni for students who are thinking about a nontechnical role in tech is to learn to code—even if you don’t want or plan to on the job. Understanding some code—and how software is developed on a general level—will help you in any role.
Prep for Technical Interviews
If you are applying for technical roles, you will need to be prepared for technical interviews. Technical interviews can be coding challenges (technical challenges sent in advance) or white board interviews (live problem solving), or both. Prepping for either type of interview includes practicing technical problems. In addition to our Mock Interview Program and Mock Technical Interview Night, there are many online resources to help get you ready. Here are a few:
Devise a Personal Project or Contribute to an Open Source Project
Personal projects are a great way to show an employer that you have initiative, the ability to teach yourself new skills, and a strong interest in programming, user research, design, or whatever role you are pursuing. Projects don’t have to be large or perfect—they should give you something to talk about in your interviews. Not sure where to start? Try the internet! There are loads of ideas, and these can get you started.
Open source projects are another great way to boost your programming skills and gain experience contributing to a common code repository.