Tomorrow I’ll be starting my very first day at Barclay’s as a developer intern, but it’s been an extremely long path to get here. This timeline goes back all the way to September 2018, when applications for summer internships in technology began to open worldwide. I’d been waiting for this day for a very long time, as I’d finally be eligible to apply for all those big tech internships I’d dreamt about. Would I spend my next summer sitting on an Amazon bean bag? In a Google patio? In a Twitter cafeteria?
And of course, I did apply to those 3 companies almost immediately. Others on the list included Apple, Facebook, PlayStation, Spotify, Airbnb, Uber, and all sorts, in locations from London to Tokyo to San Francisco. The final count of companies I applied to in that month alone was probably over 20. The final count of companies that I was rejected by almost immediately? As I’d expected, also probably over 20. In all fairness, I wasn’t really expecting to even be considered by any of these companies- it’s just fun to dream. That all changed in November when I was invited to visit Amazon’s offices in London.
Really? They actually noticed me? I was thrilled, to say the least, and you can read about my experience there in my first ever blog post here. Not long after that, Amazon got in touch, inviting me to a first round interview with them, which I ended up passing leading me to a second. Could this actually be a dream come true? And so soon? January rolled around, and after waiting almost 2 months for a verdict from the second interview, I was invited to a final interview with Amazon in London. Not long after, I was also invited to a final interview with JetBrains in Munich.
The JetBrains interview was fairly standard, about half an hour of behavioral questions, then half an hour for the technical question. They were kind enough to provide feedback, something I’d discovered a lot of other companies don’t do and had informed me they were pleased with my performance. Great! Just the confidence boost I needed heading into my final interview with Amazon. It’s probably not shocking when I say that to this day that was the most difficult interview I’ve ever done in my life, nothing even comes close. Almost an hour was spent on the technical question alone, and I had to have my hand held for most of it, but surprisingly, I felt fine after it since surely they want everyone to find it hard? They just want to see how we approach an insane problem- right?
A week later on my train home from uni, I got the dreaded rejection phone call, and to be frank, devastated wasn’t even the word. To further rub salt in the wound, they even refused to disclose feedback on the interview. I suppose JetBrains was a good insurance option- right? Nope, not long after, I received a rejection call from them as well. Back to the drawing board I went, once again making a huge round of applications to the likes of Pandora, Twitch, and Dropbox to name a few but in all honesty, the majority were ones I hadn’t even heard of.
Fast forward to February and I’d completed final interviews and assessments for NatWest and Runtastic. I wasn’t particularly keen on NatWest (who did end up rejecting me) but Runtastic sounded absolutely perfect and I truly felt like I was a perfect fit for them too. The role was specifically for their iOS team, located in Austria, for a company centered around health and fitness. This is was it, this was the universe’s plan for me. Surprise surprise, I was wrong yet again. I didn’t think it was physically possible to feel lower than I did after the Amazon rejection, but I was at a point now where practically all of my options had been exhausted.
“Screw it”, I thought and threw my application at every single company in the country that was taking tech interns. To say I was desperate at this point would’ve been a huge understatement. I could’ve easily given up at this point and I almost did. But there’s never any point in giving up when you want something badly because then at least you know you gave it 100%. And then Barclays Emailed me.
I’m now writing this about 3 months later, excited beyond belief to start tomorrow. The moral of the story? Never give up.