Money aside

First, who is the “big dog?” That’s a matter of perspective. Is it Apple? SpaceX? Google? NASA? McKenzie? They’re all big dogs. They’re all different.

Second, why choose Florida over Alabama for football? You can’t assume an applicant will get offers at every company they’re interested in, just as football recruits don’t get offers at every school they might be interested in.

Last, and @momofboiler1 summed it up well,

this cannot be overstated. Your son has insiders in friends at many companies. He needs to lean on them.

My son was a year ahead, so he had classmates at multiple companies he could query. I asked him if he knew anyone at SpaceX. His reply “oh, yea.” To which I replied how do they like it? “They hate it!”

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I hated LA, because I had no exposure to the good parts. As long as you don’t have to commute, West LA and Culver are actually pretty awesome. I was shocked because Anaheim was my only previous experience, leading me to say I hated LA too.

@eyemgh Well that was much easier actually. He wanted a top academic school that also offered top level football. Alabama already had multiple players at his position. UF and UGA were in need. After visiting both schools to get a vibe, UF was the clear cut winner. The only other schools of interest with great academics were Duke, Stanford and Harvard. None of those, especially Harvard offered an elite football environment or emphasis on football. UF offered the best of both worlds.

I think the best way to approach this is to treat the internship as a job. Just pick the company that you think you would like to work for.

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This is actually exactly the same. He (or you) just don’t understand the candidates yet. Also, this is arguably much more competitive as there are a lot more talented SEs than there are those with the physical gifts to play SEC football.

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@eyemgh Very true. So now it’s narrowing down to a few companies that offer great worker satisfaction and the highest pay lol. Tough combo to find I’m assuming.

It’s a matter of defining “worker satisfaction.” If you’ve never done it, you don’t know what you really want, either in where you want to live, or don’t want to live and what you do and don’t want to do.

My son for example, after having had been fortunate to have had three internships was EXTREMELY discerning when he started looking for his first job after graduation. He’d done several things, which led him to a deep understanding of what he wanted and didn’t want to do for a career. He did some impressive things along the way in school projects, internships and jobs, that I’m sure led to good references, but never at a big name company. He landed at a startup as the first new grad hired by veterans of one of the biggest name companies, not because of where he worked, but rather what he did along the way. He’s still there. He makes great money and he does stimulating, satisfying work. His network is now so strong that he will be able to work for any of the big names when he decides this no longer suits him.

Your son needs to do that…work for anyone. He may not even know yet what he want to work on. There are many things a programmer can do. Things change as you learn more. My son’s interests certainly did, both about the work he wanted to do and the ideal environment to do it in.

He should throw out applications to LOTS of companies for job descriptions that he things are cool. No one here can tell him what that is. Ultimately if he wants a UI job and he has back-end experience at a big name, it won’t be nearly as valuable as front-end experience at an unknown company.

Even the best papered candidates hear mostly crickets unless they are referred from the inside. That’s where he needs to use his connections and have a bit of luck.

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Employers are going to be more interested in what you’ve done. I suggest an internship that gives you the most experience. That will help your resume more than anything else.

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