Added: 29th April 2022 by Jane Street
Software engineering intern candidates often ask how team placement works and how much input incoming interns have over their teams and projects. We know team placement is an important factor for many students when deciding which internship to accept. We’ve spent considerable time and thought on this process in recent years and hope to demystify the experience with this post.
How are projects selected? — The process is decentralised: each would-be intern mentor comes up with a set of project ideas based on the needs of their team. These proposals are then reviewed by software developers that run the internship program.
A week or two before the internship starts, we set up a Zoom call between each intern and a software engineer involved in running the internship where we talk in depth about the intern’s preferences.
We’ll ask if the incoming intern has preferences about:
As we talk through each of these questions and others, we’ll share more context about the kinds of work being done on various teams. This gives the interns an opportunity to express less concrete and more open-ended preferences. We also ask how much every preference matters to the intern. While we hope to match every preference an intern has, there are times when we have to compromise, so we use the strength of preferences to make sure we get the interns to the best possible fit for them.
Not having strong preferences about any of these things is perfectly fine. We think all of our mentors and projects are great, but giving folks the opportunity to express preferences when they have them has been a major win for us and the interns.
After the first project, we do the whole process again for the second project! By this time, the interns have a better idea about what matters most to them and what kinds of things they might be interested in working on next at Jane Street. We encourage interns to change areas for the second half to get a diverse experience even if the first team/area was a great fit.