Unrelevant Project Experience

Hello everyone,

I was wondering if unrelated project experience can help with getting an internship event though the projects are diffrent from your major. For example, you build a bridge and that's a civil/construction engineering project and not a computer science/engineering one.

Sam Lee

Hey Sam - 

Any experience can be positioned as valuable as long as you tell the right story. For example, the first job I applied for and got was an email marketing job. At the time, I had just graduated from college, and the only work experience I had was as an employee at the on-campus dining hall, some writing jobs for a blog, and then my free time hobby of  doing basic html for a video game I played. The email position required someone with at least 1 year of HTML experience.

Up to that point, I never had a job where I worked for a year that strictly involved email experience, but on my resume, I included my writing jobs and my hobby to show that I was knowledgeable about HTML . 

Once I got the interview, the hiring manager was less concerned about my ability to write HTML and more about my work ethic, how I worked with others, and whether I would be a good culture fit. At this point,  this is where my experience at the on-campus dining hall came in. I could actually cite examples where I worked in challenging environments or had to work with difficult stakeholders (in my case, that was crazy customers).

Ultimately, I got the job, and the reason why is because I took all of these seemingly unrelated projects and tied them together to show a story of growth. 

So, for your situation, I'd ask you to think about how your civ. eng. project could relate to a comp. sci. project. And I would push you to not think about it in terms of "Did I write code at this job?" Instead, think about things like:

Did you have to think critically?
What problems did you solve?
Did you present findings or analysis? How did you gather this information?
What was your impact on the team?

Good luck!

Hey Chris,

Thanks for your input. I really appreciate it.

Sam Lee

No problem. Feel free to share a jpg of your resume at some point like this post (http://huttle.co/posts/yfRvB4tXH8j9SK9vr/internship-resume-feedback) and we can help there too.