I am graduate student pursuing my masters. In the summer between my college and graduate school, I interned at a very famous company and worked on an extremely fancy sounding project. The internship and project dealt with one of the most advanced topics in my field and that combined with the name of the company made it sounded extremely impressive. But in reality the project/internship wasn't that great. Despite the impressive headline, it was actually a very simple implementation of an advanced technology.
And this is where the problems start. Although I have made no false claims or used hyperboles in regard to the project done, the recruiters and interviewers seem to miss over the fine print. They take one look at the headline and assume that I am at the very top of my field and ask questions of the appropriate levels. It is very tough to manage their expectations as when I am unable to answer some of them, it leaves a bad taste in their mouth and I can see their excitement change to disappointment. This has lead to a string of internship/full-time job rejections.
My friends who have applied for similar positions in similar companies have not faced the same issue, as their interviews start at a basic level before advancing, allowing them to successfully answer more of their questions.The dilemma I face is that while the internship-project makes my resume stand out and clear the initial barriers, it does a bad job at managing expectations.
I don't know how to deal with this. The only possible solution I see is that I remove the same. Please help me out if you have any better, more appropriate alternatives. Any input will be appreciated.
( 5 months ago )
I've been in a similar position having worked at NASA during my undergrad. I advise against taking off the internship, because the internship makes you standout from other candidates and it's a great conversation starter. Even now, many, many years later after NASA, I still have interviewers interested in hearing about my work there. However, it does sometimes give interviewers an unrealistic expectation of my knowledge though, but I see that as them reflecting their own ignorance, not mine.
It's important to remember that interviewers ask you detailed questions about your project, because they want to know your level of contribution during your internship. Don't undersell yourself. A "simple implementation of an advanced technology" might have been only simple to someone with your knowledge. An interviewer may ask detailed questions on other parts of the project or the company purely out of their own curiosity, but it's important to be honest with what you do and do not know as part of your internship.