This past summer, I had the opportunity to work for 11 weeks as a software engineering summer intern at Accenture, a Fortune 500 technology consulting company. Spoiler alert: I also ended up accepting a return internship offer and am now interning at Accenture again!
Prior to this, my very first internship was as a web developer intern at SBDigitalAgency, a startup which offers digital marketing to a variety of small businesses. My second internship was as a software engineering intern at the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. My third internship was as a digital marketing intern at the USC Credit Union close to my campus. My fourth internship was as a product manager intern at InvestFar, a real-estate investing startup.
I hope that this will be helpful to other students that are looking for a summer internship. Let’s get started.
What Is A Software Engineering Intern?
First and foremost, I’m sure you’re thinking:
- What is a software engineering intern?
- What can you be expected to do as a software engineer?
- What experience do I need to get a software engineering internship?
At Accenture, this was our software engineering internship responsibilities:
- Analyze, design, code, and (as required) test enhancements to complex modules
- Develop system specifications and interfaces for complex components
- Design and code applications to functional and technical programming standards
- Provide primary support toward installation of application releases into production as directed
- Coordinate and participate in structured peer reviews/walkthroughs
- Plan and execute all required process steps as defined in our methodologies
- Create operational documentation for the application
- Coordinate work with other Systems Specialists on and across application
- Develop necessary skills to complete tasks; complete tasks and escalate issues in a timely manner
How I Got My Software Engineering Internship Using On-Campus Recruiting
I came across a “Technology Summer Analyst” listing by Accenture through the USC career portal email list. I didn’t quite know what Technology Summer Analyst meant, but when I looked at the position’s description, it meant that Accenture was looking for a software engineering intern.
I applied and got an email from my local recruiter within 48 hours: I was moving onto the first interview.
The first interview was a 45-minute chat with an Accenture manager. We went over my resume, particularly emphasizing my software engineering background (here’s a blog post about my first software engineering internship experience), my leadership at HackSC Junior, a pre-college hackathon, and other on-campus involvements.
Some behavioral questions I had prepared for in advance were:
- Why Accenture?
- Who are you? (giving my elevator pitch)
- Why consulting?
- Who are Accenture’s main competitors?
- Tell me about a time you worked in a team.
- Tell me about a time you worked on something where you had very little guidance and how you went about it.
- Tell us about your Agile / Scrum / Project Management experiences.
(Pro-tip: When doing these phone screenings, always, always, always have amazing answers to these!)
And always, always, always ask your interviewer questions at the end! This demonstrates that you are truly interested in the position and want to learn more about how you could fit into the company culture.
Here’s some I had prepared beforehand (don’t ask all of these – maybe just 2-3 depending on your time, and just whatever fits the mood):
- What challenges are you currently experiencing within your team or client?
- What is Accenture’s approach to failure?
- What were some of your proudest moments throughout your position?
- What are your biggest predictions for the type of technology that is revolutionizing Accenture?
- What does a good and a bad day look like for you?
Thank You Note
Also, always, always, always send a thank you note. I wasn’t able to catch my interviewer’s email, so I sent it to my recruiter instead.
Here’s what I sent:
Dear [Recruiter Name],
I enjoyed learning more about Accenture’s Summer Technology Analyst program today. The information shared regarding the company’s culture, work-life balance, and personal success stories from my interviewer who has been with Accenture for 10 years was very insightful and interesting.
It sounds like an exciting opportunity, and I am confident that applying my interdisciplinary engineering savvy and business development skills to reach and resonate with clients would allow me to succeed and excel in the position.
I have attached my completed EOD form and appreciate the opportunity to be considered for a final round of interviews. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the meantime if there are any questions.
And within 24 hours, I was notified that I was moving onto the next round: on-campus interviews at USC.
In true consulting fashion, I was given a “case workbook” of very, very useful preparation material for my consulting interviews.
On-Campus Interviews: Part I (Confirming Interview)
The confirming interview was 45 minutes of just going over my resume with the Technology Managing Director at Accenture (think like a President at Microsoft or something similar), affirming my understanding and enthusiasm for Accenture, and the Technology Summer Analyst role.
It was actually not that intimidating. We laughed a lot and I made sure to impress him away with all the research I had done like:
- “Accenture has a headquarter in Dublin, Ireland. I actually interned abroad last year in Switzerland.”
- “Partners include tech industry leaders such as SAP, Workday, Salesforce, and Cisco.”
- “I understand that Accenture works primarily with 75% of Fortune 500 companies ranging from the medical, technology, and SaaS industries.”
- “I run a clothing brand out of my dorm room and we did $1,000 in revenue in a month.”
You can also go on Reddit and learn some cool tidbits about the company. That’s what another summer intern did and impressed her interviewer!
On-Campus Interviews: Part II (Case Interview)
Next was another interview lasting 45 minutes. We did a project management case. While my major is Computer Science and Business Administration, I had never done a formal case interview before. It was… Interesting. But I tried my best. I made sure to bring up Agile concepts that I had learned about a semester prior in one of my elective classes.
On-Campus Interviews: Thank You Notes
Here’s the first thank you note:
Dear [Interviewer #1],
I greatly appreciate the time you took to meet with me regarding Accenture’s Summer Technology Analyst program during our confirming interview yesterday on March 22nd at 10:45AM. I enjoyed learning more about Accenture and especially the details you shared about the company’s approach towards success and failure as a means of growth, which is something I really value. In addition, your insight regarding Artificial Intelligence and its salience for clients and its role in transforming our digital landscape was very insightful.
I am now even more excited about the position and my fit for the role. I am confident that applying my interdisciplinary engineering savvy and business development experience would allow me to succeed and excel in this position which relies on this intersection to reach and resonate with clients to fulfill their needs.
I appreciate the time you took to interview me and for the opportunity to be considered for the summer analyst position. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the meantime if there are any questions.
And the second thank you note:
Dear [Interviewer #2]
I greatly appreciate the time you took to meet with me regarding Accenture’s Summer Technology Analyst program during our case interview yesterday on March 22nd at 11:30AM. After hearing from you about the project management and technological consulting skills that are essential for the position, I am more confident than ever that I am an ideal candidate.
I understand that the position requires extensive knowledge of Accenture’s partnerships with companies and technologies such as Atlasssian (Project Management Tools), Salesforce (CRM Solutions), and IBM (Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence), and more, which I have heard of but am not yet familiar. However, one of my greatest strengths is my ability to learn new tasks and new technologies quickly and efficiently. For example, as a Web Developer Intern at SB Digital Agency, I became well-versed with WordPress after only taking a course on Udemy. Within a month, I developed a new landing page for the company which procured 200+ lead generations in the first month as a result of utilizing an automated workflow sales funnel on the platform.
You also stated that adopting such technologies and frameworks that I suggested within the case, such as AGILE and SCRUM, will also depend on the client’s propensity to adapting to change and a variety of other factors to consider. This intuition was very insightful and will be helpful for my product management and technology consulting professional development, especially in regard to my product management spring internship with InvestFar, a real estate investing platform currently in its pre-launch phase.
I have the leadership experience, organizational skills, and technological savvy to be an essential member of the Accenture Summer Technology Analyst program. I greatly appreciate the time you took to interview me, and I look forward to hearing from you about this position.
An important note about the second thank you note: I don’t recommend sending an email of this length.
So… Why did I do it?
I thought I totally bombed this interview. I really, really, really wanted the position, so I sent the interviewer an insanely long email reaffirming my commitment and how I would improve.
Funnily, my recruiter later told me (after I started in the summer) that both interviewers were completely blown away.
Life As A Summer Software Engineering Intern
On our very first day, we got spoiled. We got Patagonia backpacks to carry out work laptops. That night, we also were treated to a five-course downtown Los Angeles “food walk” where we got sushi, chicken, and dessert.
On the third day of orientation, we also got out project assignments. Since we’re a consulting company, we get “contracted out” to work at different clients. That summer, I worked on the CalSAWS project, which is the largest welfare system in America.
We also got spoiled to go to free events. I attended the AT&T Shape conference in Burbank, California.
We also had a conference called “All Access Accenture” in Boston. We got to meet all the other underclassmen interns, went on a yacht, and visited the Accenture Boston office.
Software Engineering Internship Summer Hackathon
We did a cool internship summer hackathon. I led my hackathon team of six and spearheaded the development of a web-platform MVP that utilized blockchain technology to revolutionize the healthcare sector. You can view the GitHub code here and the live prototype website here.
End Of Summer Presentations In Irvine
On our very last day, we went to the Irvine office (~45 minute drive from our Los Angeles office) to present our end-of-summer internship presentations.
I got the return offer!
BONUS: The Winning Resume That Got Me Interviews With JPMorgan Chase, Facebook, Salesforce, Accenture, BlackRock, Cisco, & Redfin
Now that you have seen how I got my second software engineering internship and the projects I did, I want to show you my job-winning resume. If you follow my resume template, the odds of your resume opening the door to getting internship interviews with your dream companies will skyrocket.
Yes, I want the winning resume template!
100% privacy. No games, no spam. After signing up, I'll keep you posted with a few emails per week.