MLH Fellowship

MLH Fellowship

My MLH Fellowship Experience

Feb 23, 2023ยท

7 min read

How it all started

Back in March 2022, I was searching for some remote internships. After multiple rejections, I got selected for an unpaid internship. It was even worse. Within two days I realized that I am simply wasting my time. I left it. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

That's when Google Summer of Code came to my mind. I watched a few videos about it in my first year. I knew that it was completely remote (something that I was looking for). When I started researching it, only two days were left to submit proposals. But as expected neither the proposal nor the codebases made any sense to me. Hence, I left it and started researching open source and what are other opportunities there. ๐Ÿ˜•

I started to research more about open-source by watching YouTube videos and reading articles and blogs. That's when I came across this video on YouTube about various other open-source programs.

This is where I got to know about MLH Fellowship and the application process was simple enough. So I decided to apply for it. When I applied for the first time, I reached the final interview and it gave me a lot of confidence. Also, along with the rejection they mentioned the reason which gave me guidance on where to improve.

MLH Prep Fellowship - July '22

What Helped me get selected

  • Watched all the MLH Fellowship info sessions on YouTube

  • Read every line of the application form to understand what they are looking for. The application form is well explained and they have clearly said what they are looking for.

  • I got rejected 3 times for the main fellowship. 2 times I reached the final interview. In the last rejection email, they mentioned the Prep program. That's how I got to know about it and applied for it.

  • With every rejection, they also mentioned why I got rejected and how can I improve. I noted them down and worked on them.

  • I got my application reviewed by past fellows and worked on the feedback given

  • After every interview, I noted down the questions and prepared them well for the next interview.

  • Many students posted their rejection emails on Twitter and LinkedIn. I referred to them as well to get an idea of what mistakes to avoid.

๐Ÿ”ต If you have doubts regarding which project to submit and how to write the answers in the application form then watch the MLH Fellowship info sessions on YouTube.

Tips for interview

  • Be honest in the application form. Share your story, experiences and why you are passionate about the program. Avoid copying.

  • Save a copy of the application form before submitting it.

  • Make sure you have a good internet connection.

  • Practice well if you are not fluent in English. Since it is a global program and also remote, they expect you to have good communication skills.

1st interview

  • It is a behavioural interview where questions are generally asked from the application submitted.

  • The interviewer also clarifies the basic eligibility criteria.

  • Highlight your achievements in the interview and why are you passionate about it.

  • MLH Fellowship website: Go through it properly to understand what the program is all about.

  • Read about MLH and their community values. This will help in giving better answers.

  • Prepare some good questions to ask the interviewer

There is no luck. Preparation is the key.

Luck favours the brave.

2nd interview

  • This is a technical interview where you will take the lead. You will share your screen and do a code walkthrough of the project you submitted.

Technical questions mainly depend on the tech stack and the project you are submitting. But here are some common questions that are asked regarding the project:

  • How you built it? Explain the steps

  • What is unique about your project?

  • What real-world problem does your project solve?

  • If given a chance to do the project from the start, what would you do differently?

  • What were the challenges you faced while doing the project and how did you overcome them?

  • While doing any project what are the steps you follow?

  • What are the future plans for the project?

  • Is there some existing solution for the problem you are trying to solve? How is your project different?

  • Why you used these tech stacks? Is there any other way to do it?

  • Prepare some good questions to ask the interviewer

And finally... ๐Ÿคฉ

The Fellowship Journey

Good times + awesome friends + amazing memories ๐Ÿคฉ

  • The 3 weeks were full of fun and learning.

  • I made some amazing friends from all around the world ๐ŸŒ

  • We collaborated on solving issues and adding different features. Each of us shared our ideas and approaches to problem-solving and we learnt from each other. Some of the participants also helped others complete their tasks.

  • As a part of the fellowship, we were supposed to book a 1:1 meeting with each one from the POD and have a chat with them and know each other.

  • We also had our POD leader who guided us at every step.

  • We had daily stand-ups where we shared our progress so far and discussed if we were facing any blockers

  • Every Friday we played some cool games

  • Every Wednesday a few fellows also gave lightening talks

  • These activities not only improved our development skills but also helped us in improving other soft skills like presentation and communication.

  • Finally, we completed building a weather app and a portfolio website and the 3 weeks came to an end

Just a few months back I had nothing in my resume. But I got selected. So even you can. ๐Ÿคฉ

Wanna grab this amazing opportunity? Go ahead and apply for it! ๐Ÿ”ฅ
MLH Fellowship Prep Proogram

MLH Fellowship - Fall '22

What Helped me get selected

  • I applied to the main fellowship after completing the Prep

  • Hence, my application got fast-tracked and I got a direct call for a technical interview.

  • I had given 3 interviews before this. Every time I noted down what questions they asked on the projects. Hence, I was well prepared and performed well in the interview.

  • I highlighted my past open-source and volunteering experience with various communities in the interviews.

๐Ÿ”ต If you have doubts regarding which project to submit and how to write the answers in the application form then watch the MLH Fellowship info sessions on YouTube.

I remember rechecking this email, again and again, to make sure it is the selection one. ๐Ÿ˜

The Fellowship Experience

What we learn with fun and collaboration, we never forget.

I was one among the 94 fellows selected for the MLH Fellowship Fall cohort from 4000 applicants. This is something I could have never imagined a few months back. This was possible only because of open source. I was a Software Engineering Fellow and worked with Solana labs for 12 weeks.

I had no idea about Blockchain when the program started. When I looked at the repository for the first time and the tasks that we were supposed to do, I doubted whether I will be able to complete them or not. I started looking at the minimum graduation requirements for the fellowship.๐Ÿฅบ

But finally, we were able to build a Python SDK for the decentralized finance platform Zeta from scratch. โœจ

This was only possible because of the amazing support that MLH gives to the fellows. We had sessions where we got introduced to Solana Blockchain through live sessions of building projects. We had mentors and POD leaders who guided us at every step. Pair programming, brainstorming, and learning from each others' problem-solving approaches are something that helped all of us grow our skills and enjoy the journey.

Finally, I successfully graduated from the fellowship. I also won some extra swags for attending the maximum number of sessions during the fellowship. ๐Ÿคฉ๐Ÿฅณ

Here are a few resources that I used to get started with building on the Solana Blockchain:

Wanna grab it? Go ahead and apply for it!
MLH Fellowship


MLH Fellowship was an amazing experience for me. I made some amazing friends while working on real-world projects under the guidance of experienced mentors. It gave me the guidance to get hands-on experience and improve my skills while building connections and networking with other developers from different parts of the world. What I appreciated the most about the MLH Fellowship was the sense of community that it fostered. Despite being a remote program, I felt connected to my peers and mentors through regular meetings and discussions. This community was supportive and inclusive, and I felt comfortable sharing my ideas and seeking feedback.

Overall, I would highly recommend the MLH Fellowship to anyone looking for a challenging and rewarding experience in software development. The program's focus on mentorship, learning, and community-building makes it an excellent choice for anyone seeking to build their skills and launch their career in tech.

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