Maike Zhang is a current Computer Science student who completed his placement year at Bilibili. In this post, he gives a short summary of his experience and good advice on how to stand out when applying for placements.
My name is Maike Zhang and I am a Computer Science student. When looking for placements, I would suggest using LinkedIn Learning and other learning apps to develop work related skills. What you learn at university is largely theoretical and doesn’t necessarily equip you with being an intern in a company. Learning new skills is not something you can do in a short period, so it is good to prepare months in advance so that you are ready when it is time to apply. Remember that it is good to add any projects that you’ve done and what you learned to your CV as it could be a point to talk about in an interview. To balance studying and looking for placements, I think that managing your time is essential. You should ensure that you complete your studies first and then look for work opportunities after or in your dead time. For me, the workload in January and February was not very heavy, so I used these two months to develop new skills and search for placements.
I worked in a technical team in a company called Bilibili. We were developing a development tool aiming to improve other programmer’s working efficiency. I joined the team as a frontend developer, but only writing frontend related code became very repetitive. I wanted to learn more coding so I asked my colleagues to help me and tried to write some backend codes using a language called Golang. Be sure to make the most out of your placement by asking for help and exposing yourself to new processes. I gained a lot of confidence from this placement as I finished all the frontend work and some backend work which may be beyond the capabilities of my peers. What I learned in the placement will help me a lot in my final years of university. I developed my time management skills as a lot of responsibilities were given to me and I had to manage them well, in a timely manner. My cooperation skills have also improved since I had to work with other colleagues and build professional relationships with them all.