I think I need a mentor. I finished my first book on programming in C++, "Programming -- Principles and Practice Using C++", and now I am reading "The C++ Programming Language" 4th edition. I have applied to a lot of internship programs, got a few interviews, but I haven't started working anywhere. Meanwhile I started learning Qt from "C++ GUI Programming with Qt 4".
After finishing my first book on programming, I decided to e-mail the author, Stroustrup, and ask him what I should do now and he said, ... Ideally, you should write some code together with some good and experienced programmers....
What I would like is for someone experienced to give me small stuff I can work on (preferably from real world projects), at my own leisure, and from him to correct and guide me whenever he is free and in the mood to, that is until I find an internship program.
I second the idea of working on open source projects. If you want to work with a particular programmer on these forums, a lot of us are open and some of us have time, just PM one of us.
If you would like to get started with open source stuff, just learn to use git (it will change your programming life) and start tweaking some stuff.
That's really cool that Stroustrup emailed you back, I hope you know he's the creator of C++. I've found it's way more rewarding to program with others in person, you learn a lot and can work through things really quickly.