It's Spring Semester – What do I do with my summer?

Looking last minute for a summer opportunity?

Authored by
Sarah Thomas/USB
April 27, 2022

It’s spring semester, and I am still searching for sort of technical experience for the summer. What should I do?

Important note – a “productive” summer doesn’t have to involve an internship or technical work! But for someone who’s still searching for a summer resume-building activity in the Spring semester, there are opportunities (many of which are offered by Purdue) that still available.

Finding a Summer Internship

The CCO doesn’t always have CS/DS specific resources and opportunities, but it is the best place to find centralized job listings.

Tips for optimal job search using the myCCO job search tool:

  • Filter job results by “Posted In Last 24 Hours”. Most companies post job listings and collect applicants within a span of few days, so finding newly posted listings gives you a better chance of hearing a response.
  • Search jobs by “Desired Majors” rather than “Job Function” – some roles may sound non-technical at first.

Spring Career Fairs & Company Days

Every spring semester, Purdue has a “Just In Time” career fair. These companies are looking to fill positions right away, and many are looking for CS/DS students. The CCO also hosts career fairs in the spring.

Attend as many spring company days as possible. Company days have lower attendance in spring semesters than in fall semesters –– attending them is a great opportunity to get more 1-on-1 time with recruiters or company representatives. Look out for notifications about company days in the Opportunity Update that is sent out to CS/DS majors!

Research Opportunities

Many students are interested in research, but are unsure about how to get started. The summer is a great time to explore research.

390 Research Courses

Some 390s are course numbers for research work. Once you have contacted a professor or lab and been invited to do research work, you can arrange to enroll in a 390 course during the summer term. More on finding labs with open positions below.

CS 390s

If you are enrolled in a CS or DS course, chances are your professor either is involved in research, or knows another professor who is doing research. Talking with your professors about their research work and asking if they have openings for you to get involved is a great way to get your foot in the door.

If talking with professors in person sounds daunting, the CS Department Website has a compiled list of research areas and descriptions, the labs and professors doing research in each area, and contact information. Reach out using the contact information from these listings. Link here.

Other Department 390s

You don’t have to limit your research search to the CS department. Many other departments are looking for CS/DS students, and even if they have not specifically posted an opening for a CS student, it is likely that they could benefit from taking on someone with technical skills.

The Pyschology Department, for example, has research opportunities listed on this website.

EPICS, VIP, and other structured programs

There are structured Purdue programs where you can do technical projects and research as well.


EPICS is a service-learning design program for Engineering Students that is also open to Computer Science and Data Science majors. There are several teams that work in various fields – each team works with a partner in the community and develops a product to address the partner’s needs. To see a list of EPICS teams and their current work, visit the EPICS website here.

You can enroll in EPICS as a course during the summer term. For more information on how to join, visit the EPICS Registration Information page.

VIP (Vertically Integrated Projects)

VIP is a program that provides opportunities to do research and design projects related to active research areas of Purdue faculty members. Many of the teams’ work/research is focused on Data Science and Computer Science.

You can enroll in VIP as a summer term course For more information on the current teams and information on enrolling in the VIP program, visit the VIP website.

REUS (Research Experience for Undergraduates) in Computer and Information Science and Engineering

REUs are summer research programs for undergraduates studying science, engineering, or mathematics. The programs are sponsored by the National Science Foundation, and are hosted in various universities.

See the full list of programs on the NSF website.

Categories: research internship

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