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Internship panel 2023: Guillaume Noziere and Stepan (Stephan) Sharkov, current MS&E MS students

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Event Summary:

Current MS&E MS students Guillaume Noziere and Stepan (Stephan) Sharkov hosted a Summer Internship panel, talking about their experiences, how they obtained them, and what they learned.

Main takeaways:

  • Aim for a mix of experiences over your summers, as you’ll learn from all of them, even if it's realizing what you *don’t* want to do! Low risk, high reward. Different industries, different size companies, different cities/countries/cultures.
  • Valuable resources: Handshake, career fairs (talk to people as much as you can), department events, various Stanford mailing lists (MS&E jobs, Career Ed, other relevant departments), referrals, Stanford Alumni Mentoring aka SAM, Leetcode (for practicing technical interview questions), the portfolio company pages of VC’s that have Stanford links and Pitchbook (both of these for finding small companies and start-ups with Stanford links).
  • Network during your internship. Have coffee/lunch with people. Attend any events the company hosts.
  • Big companies tend to hire early in the academic year for the following summer (or even late the previous year, eg, hiring spring 2023 for summer 2024), but smaller companies will have positions opening up as close as a month before they start, as they identify business opportunities and problems they need immediate short term help with.
  • Practice, practice, practice for both the behavioral and technical interviews. Upgrade to premium on Leetcode, but remember you have to get through the screening to get to the technical interview, so practice the general interview questions too.
  • If you’re thinking you might get a return offer, talk with the other interns about what their offers look like, to help with your negotiations. Signing bonuses are the easiest things to negotiate up because they are a one-time thing.

Zoom recording:

The video recording is available only to those logged in to their [SUNetID] Google Drive account.

Please note that we recommend listening to the recording as opposed to relying on the (less than perfect) transcript. 


2m 25s: Speaker introduction: Guillaume
5m 45s: Speaker introduction: Stepan (Stephan) 
10m 03s: Can you talk more about what you’ve learned from exploring different industries and different sized companies?
13m 19s: What are your tips for looking for internships?
19m 16s: Have you used any non-traditional networks, such as family or family friends, and what are your tips for building your network while you’re doing the internship?
24m 24s: When should someone panic if they don’t already have something lined up for this summer? What are your tips for finding something last minute?
28m 13s: Any particular resources you’d recommend for finding small companies and start-ups?
31m 17s: How best to prepare for online assessments and technical questions? For example, how many questions did you solve in Leetcode, etc?
37m 01s: What should you be doing while you’re doing the internship?
41m 31s: What are your tips for at the end of the internship - wrapping it up, those final few days, and then the weeks and months afterwards? 
49m 04s: Are cover letters useful?