> as well as a double dose of imposter syndrome
I feel like most (if not all) people in STEM encounter imposter syndrome at some point. It's totally normal, and you just need to keep trudging on! Dr. Christine Alvarado at UCSD made an excellent video on the subject for her online course series
> "there are too many bioinformatics PhD graduates are the number of positions"
I'm not sure about this. I'm in UCSD's Bioinformatics and Systems Biology Ph.D. program, and every person I personally know who graduated had a nice job lined up immediately upon exiting
> "you'll be overworked and the pay sucks, get used to it"
This has some truth to it, but I don't fully agree. I think, on average, Bioinformatics jobs don't pay as much with regard to how much knowledge you need to have in comparison to jobs like pure software development, but that's not to say that the pay "sucks"
> I've been applying for internships at Illumina, Monsanto, etc. and I still haven't received a single interview, whereas all of my friends applying to Microsoft, Google, Facebook, etc. all have 2-3 interviews lined up
Bioinformatics internships are typically rare for undergrads, especially an undergrad so early in the game. For success in a bioinformatics job, especially at these big-name companies, you need a solid background in programming, data structures, algorithms, molecular biology, genetics, chemistry, statistics, etc., and it's unlikely that you have expertise in all of these so early in your undergraduate career. I'd recommend focusing your first 2-3 years of undergrad on research, and once you have explicit concrete bioinformatics skills, you'll have a better shot at those internships
> I have 4 years of bioinformatics research, an active GitHub, and a publication on which I am a middle author in a reputable journal, but I'm concerned that I seem to be missing something
This is a pretty solid resume for someone so early in their academic career. Just keep it going!
> am I wasting my time? If I'm not, how do I land that first internship?
If you feel like you genuinely want to do work in bioinformatics, I don't think you're wasting your time. You're on the right track, and I think your primary issue right now is that you're still pretty early in your academic career, something a lot more important for bioinformatics than it is for a lot of software engineering internships. If you don't get an internship for this summer, try to focus purely on research, and maybe try to see if you can lead your own (small) project? A middle authorship is nice to have, but if you have 4 years of experience in bioinformatics research, I think you should have the ability to get a first authorship under your PI's guidance