Pace Computing Society Spring Semester In Review

Thanks for joining Pace Computing Society for our meetings, workshops, and events. A special shout out goes out to our wonderful speakers for talking to us about your company’s and educating us on the amazing opportunities in tech and our awesome members for attending. We hope you guys have a wonderful summer and look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, September 2nd, for Pace Computing Society’s first meeting of the new school year! 

Sincerely,

Pace Computing Society’s Executive Board

P.S: Here’s a summary of Spring 2015’s speakers!

January

  • 28th – Jesse Middleton from WeWork
    • WeWork is a company that is revolutionizing co-working space for small companies.
    • Jesse the Director of Business Development talked about WeWork and his technical and business background. He’s from a small town in Pennsylvania and studies and business and information systems at Drexel University.

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      Jesse Middleton from WeWork

February

  • 4th – Mercedes Bent from General Assembly
    • General Assembly was established in 2011 and started out with only 2 locations. Now there are locations in 14 cities around the world with 250,000 students. 40,000 users are become alumni.
    • Mercedes started out in operations in GA where she created courses for the company. Soon she started to do global programming and now she’s a director for General Assembly.

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      Mercedes Bent from General Assembly

  • 11th – Noah Fisher from Hatch
    • To shed some light on what Hatch actually is, it’s a website/marketplace that allows people to put up their goods, made by another person, and sell them.
    • After graduating from the University of Colorado in Boulder with a degree in Mechanical Engineer, Noah worked as an Air Quality Engineer. Noah didn’t hesitate to be honest and noted that Hatch was the first job in NYC to hire him and he would take any job as an engineer offered to him in NYC.
  • 18th – Brian Shoicket from Uncubed 
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    PCS members with Brian Shoicket from Uncubed

    • Uncubed is not your average job fair. This is a more interactive experience that has been having events for over 150 universities around the country, since 2011. See for yourself with this short video:  https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dZh1I_dYggQ.
    • Brian Soicket  from Uncubed visited The Seidenberg School of Computer Science at Pace University. Uncubed is a company that hosts job fairs every year across the country.
  • 25th – Norah Maki from UNCIEF
    • UNICEF is dedicated to improving the lives of children all around the world through innovative technology.
    • Norah Maki, project manager, at UNCIEF told us of some ways we can get involved in UNICEF tech projects.

March 

  • 4th – Abraham Guerra from IBM
    • Abraham was a very down-to-earth professor who just wanted to give back to the school by letting us in on his experiences in the tech field. Instead of standing up to speak to us he sat on the table and just had a talk with us. The informality was great and allowed him to open up to us.
    • Pace University was one of the few schools at the time the offered this type of degree. After getting his Doctoral degree he got offered a teaching position at Pace University which he gladly accepted.  Now, he is also a software engineer at IBM.
  • 11th – AJ Smith and Chris Sakai from Jozii
    • Jozii helps students connect with companies and helps them gain experience while they are still in school. It is easy to sign up on Jozii.com. Jozii matches students with jobs based on their personalities and what they are interested in with less emphasis on what school they graduated from. image1.jpg (335×240)
    • Chris Sakai graduated from Pace University in May. He met AJ Smith at a job fair and got a job when he graduated and has been working there for a little over half a year. Sakai, learned a lot of what he knows about computer science through outside sources and while working on the job.
  • 18th – Clarence Wardell and Christopher Wong from PIF
    • Clarence Wardell and Christopher Wong work in the Presidential Innovation Fellowship. These fellows work with actual agents in the U.S government to think of new projects that improve the economy and the lives of citizens.
    • A current project they are working on is called Open Data. The Blue Button Initiative is a part of this. The Blue Button Initiative is a project where the Heath care industry and the federal government have come together to make it easier for veterans to access their medical records when
      they need them. Now over a million veterans and non veterans use it.
  • 25th – Beth Rosenberg from Tech Kids Unlimited
    • While in school, these children, as well as other children with learning disabilities, are not usually taught skills that will be applicable later in life with finding a job and supporting themselves. Beth Rosenberg saw that this was a problem. With experience from her own son who has autism, Beth came up with the idea for Tech Kids Unlimited.

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      Beth Rosenberg from Tech Kids Unlimited

    • This is a program that teaches kids who learn differently, technology. These children are able to learn coding HTML, Java, Python and learning Photoshop. These are only a few of the things that the kids learn to do. The teachers involved, take very professional based programs and break it down to train these kids to do some amazing things. If you want to see for yourself Check it out! https://vimeo.com/100240904.

April

  • 8th – Amaury Moulron from Buzzfeed
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    Amaury Moulron from BuzzFeed with PCS members

    • Buzzfeed.com is a news media website. On Buzzfeed.com you can get informed on serious news, be entertained with comedy skits and discussions, or gain insite to your true self with some quizzes.
    • Amaury is one of the people behind it all. He works at the company responsible for “black and blue or white and gold.”

May

  • 6th – Svetlana from Pace University’s Career Services
    • We invited Svetlana from Pace University’s Career Services to give us some helpful tips on perfecting our 30 second interview pitch and going the extra mile for Uncubed.
    • One great point Svetlana brought up is to start researching the companies that are attending that job fair beforehand. Apply for those companies and follow up with an email to the recruiter. Make a spreadsheet, listing good talking points relevant to the company and the position you’re applying for, your experiences and how that applies to the specific position, and the contact information of the recruiter.

30 Second Interview Pitch with Svetlana!

With Pace Computing Society’s last meeting of the semester we’ve decided to end things on a strong note. We invited Svetlana from Pace University’s Career Services to give us some helpful tips on perfecting our 30 second interview pitch and going the extra mile for Uncubed.

Svetlana advised us on great ways to be assertive when talking to a recruiter at Uncubed.  One great point Svetlana brought up is to start researching the companies that are attending that job fair beforehand. Apply for those companies and follow up with an email to the recruiter. Make a spreadsheet, listing good talking points relevant to the company and the position you’re applying for, your experiences and how that applies to the specific position, and the contact information of the recruiter. This is a succinct way to organize information for each company. Daniel Rings was there to relay his method of discovering each recruiter’s email. One way was the practice perfecting your 30 second Interview. In your 30 second interview pitch it’s important to include your name, major, year, which experiences that you have that qualifies you the position, and why you want to job. We had a chance to practice and share our 30 second pitches. I say with confidence that I failed. Svetlana noted that it’s important not to be “awkward”. To minimize this you can wait until the end to hand your resume to the recruiter. Also, according to Svetlana squeezing the recruiter’s hand won’t make a good impression. Having a good firm handshake that’s not weak is a great way to start. It’s also a great idea to end the pitch on an open ended question about the company to make the pitch more conversational and smooth. Furthermore, don’t forget to add your own personal flair to the pitch. Remember, the recruiters have probably heard hundreds of pitches before you so make sure yours stand out.

At the job fair dressing and acting professional is key. There will be tons of start-up companies at Uncubed so Svetlana recommends that a business casual attire would be best. You don’t want to come in a suit and tie but don’t dress in a hoodie and t-shirt.

After the job fair it’s crucial to follow up with recruiters you met with a personalized thank you letter stating that you would like to meet with the company within 5 business days. In the thank you letter include a summary of what you talked about with the recruiter and state that you look forward to seeing them.

Daniel Rings, Seidenberg Alumni!

Guess who came by Seidenberg on a Monday morning? Daniel Rings, Seidenberg alumni stopped by to reunite with his old friends and talk to us about his successful career. He also shared some stories working as a SpaceX intern, writing code for flight simulators for rockets. He doesn’t work there anymore but will soon be doing an internship and later full employment at Microsoft.

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How did Daniel accomplish an internship at SpaceX and Microsoft? He gave us a step by step comical procedure on how it did it. One successful tip from Daniel: Don’t play too much video games. Daniel learned the hard way and found himself being unproductive. Daniel, however, turned his unproductivity to an effective way to land internships at big companies. The first step is doing your research. When trying to get internships, researching the company can go a long way. Okay, you may need to creep a bit. Daniel was able to discover the email of one recruiter by guessing the domain for the company. He states that most corporate companies follow 3 basic domain schemes: firstname.lastname@company.com, firstinitiallastname@company.com, or firstname@company.com. Daniel has claimed an 80 percent success rate using this method. Daniel also advises to send emails out to multiple people in the same company to increase your response rate.  Another great advice from Daniel is to make a cover letter. “Making a cover letter for 10 companies should take you about 40 minutes” said Daniel. In your cover letter make sure to add generic information as well as individual reasons for wanting to work at that company. According to Daniel, “the easiest way to stand out a career fair is to bring a cover letter”. Daniel remembers being to only one to give his cover letter to one the recruiters at a career fair at the University of Michigan. Giving job recruiters your cover letter not only allows the recruiters to remember you but will be a major factor in narrowing down to pile of resumes to find the ideal candidate. Cover letters are a great way to get your foot in the door.
One way to keep your foot there is to make sure you list projects on your resume. Daniel recommends working on independent projects that can build your portfolio. These projects display your skills and can make for a great discussion point during the interview.

Next comes the dreaded technical interview. Daniel describes the step from the interview to the technical tests as “the big gap”. At this point Daniel went from competing with 20,000 for the same position to 100. Definitely brush up on your skills before the technical interview. Daniel recalls being asked a technical question on something he learned in sophomore year of his undergraduate degree. Daniel states that in the technical interview it’s more about what you know rather than in the initial interview where it’s about who you know. He suggests one way to prepare for the technical test is to do more projects and to read “Cracking the Coding Interview” by Gayle Laakmann McDowell. Daniel’s procedure to success might not be for everyone but this is definitely a helpful way to land your dream job at a company. I will definitely apply some of his skills when navigating the Uncubed job fair. I’ll also make sure to email the job recruiter beforehand!