Help! Multiple Offers, How Do I Choose?
It’s nearly crunch time for Summer of Tech 2016, and some students are going to be in the position of having to weigh up different opportunities. Because of the timeframes involved, we ask students to decide FAST on Offers Day.
The only way to do this properly is to get support and advice and do some soul-searching BEFORE offers day, so that you’re confident you’re making the best choice for you.
We are running bootcamps this week, and 1:1 support is available too. Below are some tips to help you get a jump-start on assessing the merits of different roles, organisations, locations & opportunities that might be presented to you on Offers Day:
Think about what’s best for YOU, this summer
Lots of students find this time of the SoT process really stressful. It’s important to try and focus on what’s best for YOU. Not what your friends think, not what you think your potential employers might need, not what your parents or lecturers think… now is the time to make a good choice for you, for what you can do this summer to test out your tech career, to learn some stuff, to get some industry experience, to make some good contacts, and to (hopefully) set you up for the next step in your career.
Make a list of what’s important
Everyone will have different priorities, but here’s some suggestions. You could be very analytical about these criteria, assigning weightings and points systems… or just use these bullet points as a framework to think about the merits of each role:
- The role
- Skills / training
- Team / Mentor
- Short term outcomes
- Career goals
We asked Kate Henderson (SoT2014 and SoT2015 veteran) to help with some advice to SoT2016 students.
Kate’s Top Tips
- Interest in work: how much do I care about/enjoy what I’ll be doing there
- Work environment: culture fit, is the office atmosphere a nice place to work, was anyone blatantly offensive during my interview etc
- Flexibility to learn/variety: I don’t want to get bored a month in because it’s the same tedious stuff over and over
- Room to grow: think about how fast the company is growing and how that might affect you. Eg. How do current workers handle constant growth
- Pay: you can have a bit variation in offers, so it is something to consider. Especially if you want full time after.
- Word of mouth: if you know anyone in the local tech industry, ask for their thoughts/experience with that company. It’s a very small world here so everyone knows someone who works for so and so. If you don’t know anyone in the tech industry, ask the Summer of Tech team!
- If you haven’t tried the technology etc they’re talking about just give it a play in a quick project to see what it’s resources etc are like.
- If you’re looking to learn make sure you’d have a direct mentor (and, if possible, meet them during the interview process!)
- Ask about team structure and recent projects.
- Watch any office tour videos they might have.
- Ask about their development process.
- Team bonding stuff – Friday drinks? Wednesday team lunch? It helps more than you’d think.
Out of Town? Rose’s Top Tips
This year we have a record number of candidates who are living outside of the town they’re available to work this summer. An internship is a great way to test out a new town, and if you’ve got friends, family or can talk your way into some good value summer accommodation, why not give it a shot?
But being an out-of-towner is pretty stressful during recruitment season. We feel your pain! Most employers are happy to interview via skype, but nothing beats a face-to-face meeting, or a chance to visit their actual office.
Here’s some tips below from SoT2015 intern, Roseanna Grundy. Rose was studying at the University of Canterbury, but landed a summer internship in Wellington last year. She says…
Think about what’s important to you? What do you want to get out of the internship? Are you looking to build on skills? Learn a new one? Looking for a job? Try out a type of company?
- Indicators: speed interview process, people you met at Meet n Greet, asking questions about culture, visiting the offices.
Visiting the offices was a huge one for me.
Rose’s Top tips for evaluating job opportunities
- Write down things that you want to get out of the internship, and what things could be important to you. Cool project? Writing outward facing code? Social/culture fit? Learning a new technology/role? Mentoring support?
- Have confidence in the fact that multiple companies want you. Feel comfortable asking for more information, let them know what things are important to you to match up.
- If possible, even if you are out of town, attempt to see the offices and the culture. This really helped me when I was stuck!
- Attempt to eliminate companies from your list, and tell companies early. Narrowing down may seem like you’re minimising your options, but you can only choose one in the end and it’ll clear your mind. Tell companies early when you figure it out.
I made lists. A lot of them. Create criteria. Rank companies, score them.
Be systematic, go with gut or a combination of both.
Rational vs Instinctive
Now that you’ve done your grid matrix rational analysis, take a moment. Breathe. Sit with yourself and think about the opportunity. If you have any negative feelings associated with the job offer, then it’s ok to go with your gut feeling. Don’t sweat it too much! Intuition sometimes trumps all other methods of decision-making.
If you’re weighing up multiple job offers, there is basically NO WRONG DECISION!
It’s an internship! You’ll learn some stuff, earn some money, meet some cool people and have a great summer. Try something out, give it a go.
Kia kaha! Stay strong, be positive, ask for help
Applying for jobs is stressful. If you’re not on any shortlists, if you’re on one, or if you’re on more than 5…. it’s a crazy recruitment dance, and you don’t quite know where it’s going to land.
The good news is that Offers will be released on the 5th of October, which isn’t too far away. The SoT team is here to help. Talk to friends, parents, lecturers, trusted advisors – everyone can support you in this decision, but the final decision is YOURS to make.
Don’t forget: some employers are slow to shortlist, slow to interview… and slow to sign up for Summer of Tech! We just had another one join in today, and in 2015 our final placement for the year was on Christmas Eve!! So please, hang in there, we’re doing our best to streamline the process for everyone, and whether you get an internship this year, or next year, or not at all, we hope that you’ve got something good from your time with Summer of Tech in 2016.