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Don't Overlook This Job Search Strategy: Hard Work

May 29, 2012

Many INI students who sought jobs and internships for the summer were prepared to work hard in the searching and interviewing process. For "Gaurav," one INI graduate who wished to remain anonymous, his drive to research and explore many employment opportunities definitely played a part in deciding his new career path—as a program manager for Microsoft in Seattle, Wash.

Gaurav made a strong effort to gain professional experience before his job search began, which included two major internships during his college career. His internship in finance at a large bank in New York City led to a tempting job offer upon graduation as well.

Summer internships are learning experiences that can position students to be as successful as Gaurav in their post-graduation job search. For Amol Jain, a first-year INI student in the Master of Science in Information Technology- Mobility (MSIT-MOB) program, his early and active searching ended up working to his great advantage. This summer Amol will be working as a software engineering intern for Facebook.

Amol attracted the attention of many companies that he could add to his interviewing repertoire. From first pursuing a position with a start-up company, and then with Zynga and VMware, and finally with Google, Amol gained valuable interview experience and steadily built up his confidence. Eventually he earned an interview with Facebook, which was no walk in the park.

"It was certainly the toughest of interviews I've ever attended," Amol said. "Apart from the usual data-structures and algorithm questions, it had a host of mathematical concepts involved."

Amol is particularly excited to put these skills to use working on the social networking tool that "everyone uses" day in and day out. "Super smart people. Hack and ship philosophy. Challenging problems that scale 900 million people. And awesome food," he boasted. "I can't wait to join them!"

Amol credited the flexibility offered by the MSIT-MOB program in preparing him for his internship position, which he described as bringing together the best parts of both front-end and back-end engineering to support the development of new user-facing features.

Gaurav, now a new Microsoft employee, also gave credit to the INI's flexible curriculum for giving him a better perspective on his future career. He praised the INI's career services and specifically its Director of Career Services and External Relations. "The INI had extremely good support for career services. It's unmatched,” he said. "Jennifer Burkett helps you get your resume in front of as many recruiters as possible and connects you with professionals."

His tip for job and internship seekers is to research a company, and what the position entails, and then to pitch yourself based on exactly what that company is looking for. Instead of putting out generic resumes or work samples, he recommended, customization is key. He also stated the importance of networking through contacts or alumni and attending employer information sessions on campus.

As Gaurav and Amol head west to pursue amazing summer opportunities, it is important to remember that these opportunities presented themselves thanks to the students' perseverance and dedication.