You’ve graduated college or you’re just wrapping up your last semester and looking forward to stepping out in the real world. You’re ready to conquer your fears, land that dream job, and start adulting. Whether you’ve got your entire future planned out or are scoping out your options, you’ve probably thought about internships.
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Internships are a great way to get your feet wet, make connections, and build the foundation of your career. One of the best places to snag an internship — particularly if you’re interested in development and research — is at Shopify.
Looking for more information on applying for Shopify internships or want to know what it’s like to work there? We’ve got you covered with this handy guide. Read on to learn more about how to apply for Shopify internships, what the interview process is like, and what to expect if you land the gig.
The Basics of Shopify Internships
Shopify internships are largely in the research and development space, particularly in software development. That’s because Shopify is an online platform that makes it easy for people to sell products online. You don’t have to be a software developer to land an internship at Shopify. The company also offers internships in other realms including design, data science, UX research, and content strategy.
Shopify internships immerse students and professionals in real-life working environments. These internships aren’t the kind where you run and grab coffee for people who do the real work. You’ll get your hands dirty and work one-on-one with Shopify employees from the moment your internship starts. Internships are scheduled in four-month or eight-month terms and occur throughout summer, fall, and winter.
Shopify’s internships are in high demand for several reasons. All internships at Shopify are paid positions so you can focus on learning and honing your skills. The company was also voted number one by employees in Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work in Canada 2017, beating out companies like Google and Amazon for the top prize.
Interns are immediately paired up with a mentor who can help guide them throughout their stint at Shopify. Best of all, interns get a piece of the action, working right alongside part-time and full-time Shopifolk to learn the tricks of the trade. Looking to transform your skills from college to a career path? Here are some tips on how to apply for a Shopify internship.
Steps for Applying for a Shopify Internship
Ready to jumpstart your personal growth and start an internship that can help lay the foundation for a successful career? Interning at Shopify in software engineering, e-commerce, production engineering, or another topic can help you launch your professional life. Here are a few steps to take if you want to apply for a Shopify internship and more information on the Shopify hiring process.
Review Open Internships
Shopify lists available internships on its Shopify Careers page under the Internships tab. Each posting details the position, requirements, and location — typically in Ottawa, Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, or Waterloo since it’s a Canadian company.
The first step in landing a Shopify internship is to apply online. You’ll be asked to include your resume, cover letter, personal contact information, LinkedIn and personal website links, and education status.
In addition, you’ll answer two questions that are designed to show your passion and engagement for your desired internship topic. This is a great place to show off your personality and love for the work you’re applying for. The more time and effort you spend answering the questions, the more likely you are to stand out from other applicants.
Complete the Skill Challenges
For tech-related internships — backend developer intern and design intern positions — you’ll be asked to submit a personal project like a Github link so that the recruiter can test your skills. These challenges vary depending on the position, but you may be asked to create a Shopify store or a solution to common problems using coding tools such as Python or Ruby on Rails.
While there is no formula to ensure you blow the competition out of the water with these challenges, there are a few things you can do to increase your chance of success. For technical challenges, stay focused. It’s easy to want to show off your skills by going above and beyond and solving more than one problem. Instead, keep things simple and put all of your efforts into creating a brilliant solution for the one specific problem rather than trying to go too big. Recruiters use these challenges to assess your problem-solving skills so keep that the focus of your efforts.
If you’re asked to create a fake Shopify store, make it as real as possible. Use your online store to tell a story as if you were creating a real business site. Think of things like what you would sell, what products would be featured, what your design theme would be, and so on. Remember, Shopify wants to see your passion for the subject so add details and put effort into your challenges to make your skills stand out.
Interview Process for Interning at Shopify
The interview process at Shopify consists of two different phases. The first phase enables the interviewer to get to know you better while the second phase focuses more on your technical skills. Here’s what you can expect from the interview process at Shopify.
Life Story Interview
The Life Story Interview is the first time you’ll be interacting directly with the recruiter or hiring agent at Shopify. This step of the application process is all about introducing who you are as a person to the interviewer. It’s a more casual affair than the upcoming technical interview. This interview typically lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour. Tell the interviewer what your hobbies are, what you like to do when you’re not working, your passions, and your previous experience.
For this interview, keep things light and treat the interaction like a conversation you’d have with someone you just met at a friend’s party. Focus on sharing what drives and inspires you. The idea with this interview is for the company to get to know who as a person and how your life story has shaped your world views. Technical aspects aren’t as important as this step so try to focus on your life story rather than your work history. We all love working with people we enjoy being around, so show the interviewer why they’d love to work with you every day on exciting projects.
If you make it to the next round after the Life Story Interview, you’ll be invited to an in-person technical interview. This is the time to highlight your expertise and show off your chops. This interview is conducted with two Shopify developers and typically lasts around 60 minutes. You’ll be asked to present one or two projects, which should include code that you’ve written on your own.
There are few guidelines for these projects, so you can choose to create everything from an Amazon Echo app to integrations that improve the Shopify App experience. During the interview, you’ll be asked to present your project and be asked a number of questions about it. You should know everything there is to know about your technical project so you’ll be able to answer the developer’s questions. It’s also a good idea to bring diagrams or create a slideshow to highlight certain aspects of your project.
The second part of the interview is a segment where the developers pose a technical problem and ask how you would solve it. These problems are typically centered around system design in order to test your skills when it comes to developing schema and authentication protocols.
Work through the problem out loud so the interviewers get a chance to see how you think. Take your time and ask questions if you get hung up on something. After all, you’ll be working with developers just like your interviewers and they also want to see how well you work as part of a team.
What It’s Like to Intern at Shopify
After all that hard work, you’ve landed an internship at Shopify. Congratulations! What now? You may be wondering what your day-to-day will look like and what to expect. Here’s a glimpse into what it’s like to work as an intern at Shopify.
Hard Work, But Fun
From your first day to your last, you’ll be expected to put in hard work. If you love what you’ve signed up for, working with your mentor and other Shopifolk will be hard, but absolutely worth the effort. Shopify internships are designed to help you grow personally and professionally. You’ll be challenged day-in and day-out, but you’ll also get to celebrate your success with coworkers who are invested in your success.
The Shopify offices are set up to help you work but also take breaks when you need to, thanks to extensive perks. The offices have table games like foosball to help you blow off some steam before you get back to the grind. Breakfast and lunch are offered to all employees and there are also snacks you can munch on to keep your brain fueled throughout the day.
Working at Shopify also means getting to attend industry conferences that help further your knowledge and professional goals. Internal hackathons help get the juices flowing in friendly competition with coworkers while conferences and summits introduce you to the latest trends and industry thought leaders.
Company-wide events also enable you to meet other Shopifolk and see what they’re working on outside of your department. You’ll meet other interns and full-time professionals that can give you insight into new ideas or new ways of doing things that you can take back to your desk to improve your work.
Let an Internship Transform Your Professional Career
Whether you’re looking for a summer internship to increase personal growth or something a little longer to really improve your skills, the Shopify internship program offers great opportunities. These four- to eight-month internships are jam-packed with hard work and fun experiences that are sure to launch your career to the next level.
Looking for more internship opportunities? Check out our channel, The Internship Show, to learn more about interning, what to expect as an intern, how businesses can recruit top talent, and how to hire interns. It has everything you want to know whether you’re a student looking for an internship or a business looking for the best college talent.