1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Applying to major companies - AMD/Intel/IBM/Apple/etc

  1. Nov 16, 2007 #1
    ^ Those are some of the major companies I am applying to. I have gotten a call from Intel, though for the wrong time duration, so I had to turn it down.

    Does anyone have any information as to when they begin contacting interns for interviews? Any advice on the interview (technical questions, etc.)?

    Also, what other company has a good internship program? I am a far better than average student, but not the perfect student.

    Thanks for the help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 16, 2007 #2
    Whats your major? What type of position are you looking for as a co-op/intern?

    I'm co-oping with IBM currently I have been for 8 months, and i'll be going back with them again in the summer.
  4. Nov 16, 2007 #3
    I'm a junior EE. Anything hardware, semiconductor, embedded systems, software programming (only if it's related to hardware).
  5. Nov 17, 2007 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Refer to this post by berkeman:
    Read the entire thread for more tips:

    Also, it would be great if you could give us some feed back here at PF after the interview. I'd be curious to know what sort of questions they asked you and what ever info you'd like to throw in.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2007
  6. Nov 17, 2007 #5

    Ben Niehoff

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I've heard Apple is very nice to their interns. I co-op'ed at IBM in Austin, and they were a lot of fun. Their attitude is a bit more relaxed; they certainly get things done, but they also allow themselves to have some fun while they're at it (for example, the hallways often have foosball tables in them). I highly recommend interning at IBM. :D

    I work at Intel right now, so I'm not going to comment on them, except to say that if you have the engineer's spirit and you're a go-getter, then you'll do well there. What I've discovered is that I don't really have the engineer's spirit, so I've started the process of going back to school to follow my original dream of becoming a physicist. Long story.

    As for interviews, the most important things are to A) project confidence (but not cockiness), and B) show communication skills and eagerness to work with a team, and C) show ability and eagerness to learn. If your grades are at least 3.0, then people skills are more important, as nobody wants to work with someone who, despite being extremely intelligent, has no ability to cooperate in a social environment. Remember, they're mostly trying to see if you'll fit in well with their team; if you know your stuff, that's great, but it's easier to train somebody who's slightly underqualified than it is to correct somebody's personality flaws.

    And you must be eager to learn, because what you've learned in school will likely only have a marginal application to what you do in an internship. For example, this exchange happened during my first three days at IBM:

    Boss: "So, do you know any Perl?"

    Me: "No, not really."

    *Boss goes and gets a book from his office.*

    Boss: "Then you'll need to learn it. Here, you can read this while they're setting up your account, and then start fixing somebody's old code next week."

    On the plus side, these things are valuable...Perl is probably one of the most useful things I've learned, at least as far as programming languages go.
  7. Nov 18, 2007 #6
    I see, Ben. Thanks for the info. Do you remember what timeframe IBM hires interns? I've gotten one call for a spring co-op located far from where I live, so I couldn't accept it, but I'm looking more for summer.

    Also, I have heard IBM is relaxed and fun!
  8. Nov 18, 2007 #7

    Ben Niehoff

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I'm sure they'll want to hire interns in the summer, don't worry.
  9. Nov 18, 2007 #8
    ha Ben, that sounds just like what happened to me and still happens.

    He goes, so do you know anything about mainframes, networking, ipV6, or Rexx?

    I go, No, no, no and no.

    Well it looks like you'll have some catching up to do!

    IBM is super relaxed which I love, I actually am amazed that people get ANYTHING done at IBM. When I'm working all I hear is them laughing or talking about football.

    But they do get things done. I heard websphere isn't as relaxed. At Tivoli we were allowed to get semi hammered at work and get paid for it, it was hilarious.

    Tivoli actually a few years back was allowed every Friday have a "beer bash" <--- they are all heavy drinkers it seems. Anywho, they ended up spending close to $3,000 dollars one night, and ibm didn't care. But they did bad 1 quarter and took it all away hah thats how it works I guess. THey still talk about it though, and people from websphere still think thats what tivoli does every friday.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2007
  10. Nov 18, 2007 #9

    Ben Niehoff

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Yeah, IBM was a lot of fun. As an intern, you have even fewer things you have to do...so I spent a lot of time playing foosball, pool, or mini golf (there was a course outside my building), and getting paid for it. :D
  11. Nov 18, 2007 #10
    hah really? Sounds fun.

    I'm constantly busy (I already have 2 patents sent in) but I guess it all depends on your manager, some people I talk to never have anything to do, others have to work over time every weekend. I'm kept busy but not to the extent of over time every weekend like my one friend in websphere.
  12. Nov 18, 2007 #11
    Are these divisions you guys are talking about? WebSphere? Tivoli? What do they each do?
  13. Nov 18, 2007 #12
    You have 5 division in the software group at IBM:
    Tivoli (which I work for)
    Information Management

    To make it short and sweet:
    Tivoli- is huge on mainframe technologies like zNetView. Software the can keep track of tons and tons of networks/network management software.
    Websphere- does a lot of web based technologies in java EE (Websphere Application Server as an example).
    Lotus- focuses on office productivity like Lotus Notes/Word processors, etc
    Rational- focuses on tools for developers, such as rational software architect/Rational application developer, rational tester, etc

    A newer division is IMS, I'm not exactly sure what products they focus in.

    I would like to move into Websphere becuase Tivoli is full of older people, mainframes are boring to me, I'd rather be learning up to date technologies.

    But experience is experience and not many people can say they know z/OS. So its skills that are harder to obtain through just college.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2007
  14. Nov 18, 2007 #13
    Where is most of the hardware? Tivoli... ?:/
  15. Nov 18, 2007 #14
    actually no....

    There is a whole separate group for hardware I believe.

    I haven't talked to anyone at all who has done hardware design in Research Triangle Park. Which I thought was weird.

    I heard in Virginia there is a big Hardware group. What I listed was IBM's Software Group, so hardware has a whole different group I'm assuming.

    Research Triangle Park is HUGE and IBM has like 10 different locations in RTP so maybe one of those other builds I never entered does hardware ^^;;
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2007
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook