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.
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: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.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!