Beyond Big Tech: Where Can I Find Summer Opportunities?

Interested in working in the tech industry, but not sure what to make of the news (Twitter Takeover, Meta Layoffs, Google Hiring Freeze)? While the tech economy looks like it is going through an economic slowdown, there are still many organizations who are eager to hire Harvard talent! It is time to get creative with your internship search. Read on to learn about tech opportunities at media companies, startups, and non-profits and more.


TV with Disney +

Many media companies are looking for tech talent, especially as they build their streaming platforms and digital apps. Below are a few examples of organizations that have opportunities in the technical space, including software engineering, data, and product management.

  • Disney Tech: Disney has technology internships in software engineering, UX/UI design, data science, product management, emerging tech and information security.
  • Paramount: The Summer Internship Program offers endless ways to explore careers through am immersive, well-rounded paid program that encourages students to bring their passions and insights to work. Target Class Years: Rising Juniors/Seniors
  • TikTok: TikTok offers a variety of internship opportunities worldwide for undergraduates and those pursuing advanced degrees.

Biotech and Pharma

Woman performing testing in research lab

While most people associate biotech and pharma companies with drug development and research roles, there are opportunities within the tech space as well. As companies continue to gather and utilize data and build advanced technologies, they will seek to attract talent with CS skills.

  • Biogen Information Technology Internship Program: Preference is for rising seniors (current juniors) as this feeds into their IT Rotation Program for new grads. It is for 12 weeks from June-August 2023.
  • Johnson and Johnson: J&J offers 10-12 week summer internships in many different areas including engineering, marketing, research and development and technology.
  • Vertex Data and Computer Science Intern: Vertex is a global biotechnology company that invests in scientific innovation. They have various positions within functional areas such as clinical biomarkers, data strategy, scientific computing.

Government and Public Service

Capitol Building in D.C.

The federal government and the underlying technology it uses to deliver benefits and services directly impacts our daily lives. Students who are interested in serving their communities and finding a way to influence policy are often attracted to these opportunities.

  • Coding it Forward: The Civic Digital Fellowship and Civic Innovation Corps are 10-week internship opportunities for early-career technologists to explore careers in public service.
  • White House Internship Program: For the first time in recent history, these internships are paid! While there are a few different offices that participate in this program, for those interested in tech, you may consider the Office of Science and Technology Policy.


Book on Entrepreneurship and technical equipment including: keyboard, laptop, headphones

Startups vary in size, funding stage and area of focus. They are often defined by their high growth, destabilized nature. We see lots of students who are entrepreneurs, starting their own companies, clubs and projects, and the innovation community at Harvard definitely welcomes “joiners” who want to work at these early-stage companies. Check out the I-lab for more information on their Student Membership. Also, see below a few opportunities to intern at a statup this summer.

  • DISCO: Emerging Leader Intern Programlaunch your career at a high-growth company whose mission is to use technology to strengthen the rule of law. Or for SWE, try the Emerging Engineering Internship– eight-week program with structured learning, an opportunity to apply software engineering principles to solve complex problems, a capstone project, and ongoing learning and career development.
  • Whatnot: is a livestream shopping platform and marketplace (and YC 20 alum 😊). They have a software engineering internship for 12-16 weeks where you are paired with a manager and a mentor to lead mission critical projects that support our exponential growth and influence the long term evolution of Whatnot’s technology.
  • Y Combinator: Y Combinator (YC) is a technology startup accelerator that launched in 2005 and has funded 3000+ companies. The YC Internship Program brings together a cohort of startup-minded students for community and learning from YC partners, founders and experts. They host virtual & in-person talks and events, giving you more insight into industry and what it takes to build a startup. Currently, only winter opportunities are posted, but check back in the spring for summer opportunities.

Special Note: Startups tend to do more “just in time” hiring, which means the spring might be the optimal time to find opportunities for the summer. We have a career fair in the spring that focuses on startup organizations and would be one to keep on your radar!


Two people working on a white board

Research is another great way to gain experience outside the classroom. If you are considering graduate school, particularly the PhD, research experience is highly recommended prior to applying. Harvard in particular has many opportunities to support your research endeavors, starting with the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (URAF).

  • Harvard Undergraduate Research Villages (HSURV): Facilitated by URAF, these are summer research programs are open to first-years, sophomores and juniors. There are six different villages focused on different research areas. Some have pre-set projects, while others require students to design their own project in collaboration with a Harvard Affiliated Faculty member. Learn more.
    • Interested in data science, consider applying to SPUDS: co-sponsored by Harvard College and the Harvard Data Science Initiative(HDSI) this ten week summer program aims to provide a formative substantive data science research experience and to promote community, creativity, and scholarship amongst Harvard College students.
  • Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU): This program supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation. Whether you are interested in AI, Quantum Computing or Biomedical Research, there are opportunities for you in this program. Learn more.

While this article explores tech opportunities outside of the traditional tech organizations, you may still find opportunities in organizations such as:

How do I find tech internship opportunities?

While the above list is a good place to start, it is by no means an exhaustive list. I always recommend that Harvard students should first consult our Crimson Careers job and internship database, as we often have employers post who are looking for tech talent across industries. To help identify additional resources, SEAS recently surveyed CS students.

See below for the top 3 places to find tech internships:

  1. Github: Pittsburgh CS Internship List:
  2. LinkedIn

Some honorable mentions from the survey: Grace Hopper Celebration, Career Fairs, Ripplematch and HCS/WiCS Mailing Lists

See below for helpful internship search tips from the survey:

  • Subscribe to Industry Newsletters: A bunch of newsletters are great and always post about internships. Recommended Resource:
  • Join Tech Communities:  Recommended Resource: Rewriting the Code
  • Interview Prep: Over the summer get comfortable with the types of questions that might be asked in technical interviews. Recommended Resource: 
  • Start Early! Get started with your search before midterms when school and other priorities ramp up. It is a good idea to start applying in early August.

Let’s Talk About It!

To further explore opportunities, consider networking with alumni at organizations of interest. MCS recommends using a combination of LinkedIn, and the Harvard Alumni Directory. We also have a special tool called Firsthand Advisors that has several alums in various fields who have volunteered to share their insights and offer career advice.

Special Note on Internships: While an internship is a great way to explore your career interests, learn about the culture of a company and expand your network, it is not the only way to gain important skills and connections.  This can happen through many different experiences (e.g. personal projects, summer courses, research, and working on your own startup idea). Consider meeting with an MCS advisor to ideate ways you can make the most of your summer.

By Meaghan Shea
Meaghan Shea Assistant Director, Technology, Data Analytics, Life & Physical Sciences & Entrepreneurship