I'm majoring in computer science. However, I don't want to do a software engineering internship. Reasons:
- I'm already a decent programmer & have worked in big companies/startups/research lab-esque organizations. I definitely have a lot lot more to learn, but I'm not sure if doing software engineering (SWE) is the best use of my time.
- I'm not sure I want to be a SWE. I love programming, but it seems like the way to make the most impact in the world these days is to create an (actually meaningful) startup/organization. (I know, I know every young person says this these days).
Given that this is the case, I'm trying to figure out what to do this summer besides a normal tech internship. I've decided to ask forums like LW/Hacker News in order to get the advice of people who have lived a few more years.
Here are current options I've been considering:
- Try to understand virality -- I'm not particularly good at creating viral content or content that appeals to the masses (aside from the natural edge that comes from being young), which could certainly be useful when marketing a product. An option here is trying to intern at a company like Buzzfeed which is full of people who understand emotions / virality.
- Try to understand soft skills / business -- There are roles out there like "business development intern". I don't know anything about "business development" but negotiating with other companies / writing white-papers / etc. could be a useful skill
- Spend time learning on my own. To enact change these days, it's probably not sufficient to just know programming (unless you want to do a SASS). Spending time on my own learning physics/chemistry/biology could be useful. The issue here is I believe mentorship is useful and this option negates that completely.
- Working on my own business (not a software project). I've done this in the past & learned a lot about how to be scrappy. Not a terrible idea, but I don't want to sink 3 months into something only to have to return to school. Also negates mentor-ship. Also I'd rather spend time learning right now so I can execute on something that's not a local maximum of what my brain can imagine right now.
Anyone have thoughts?
Something more towards AI safety work?
What sort of change do you want / hope to enact? Which things will you change, in what direction?