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!

BuzzFeed

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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. Just last week Pace University was visited by Buzzfeed engineer Amauri Moulron. He is one of the people behind it all. He works at the company responsible for “black and blue or white and gold.”image

Within the past two years Buzzfeed has had a towering and impressive increase in the number of visitors. Most visitors do so on their mobile devices. With videos showing President Obama as a regular person, it’s no wonder why they have so many. http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewgauthier/the-president-uses-a-selfie-stick#.gk1m9qLQw

Originally created as a tech company, Buzzfeed keeps technology as their main focus. They use stats and data to help their editors make decisions on what content gets published. This is info that you can get too if you publish content on Buzzfeed. You would just need to create an account. Aside from their website, Buzzfeed engineers work on mobile apps. One of them is called “cute or not.” Users can share photos of their pets and other users can vote whether they are cute or not. “Basically tinder for pets” (Moulron)

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Buzzfeed is like a Jack of all trades. With funny content http://www.buzzfeed.com/keelyflaherty/we-are-all-squidward#.ewYmO5y1R, serious news http://www.bkuzzfeed.com/claudiakoerner/google-expected-to-face-anitrust-charges-from-european-union#.mi108m9Y4, and apps, there is something for everyone.

Tech Kids Unlimited

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Beth Rosenberg at Pace University

                 Did you know that 1 in every 68 kids is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder? Many of these kids may fall behind later in life because there are little opportunities for them. Children with autism usually have problems with communication skills. Because of this, and other factors with autism, they need extra and individualized attention. This support is available at many schools. However, once the child is an adult, it becomes harder for them to find support and to support themselves.
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.
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. With these programs, these kids can take their skills and knoimagewledge and turn them into careers later. Not only that, but it is a fun and safe environment, where the kids can interact with each other, do activities, make new friends, and reach their full potential.
They have programs in the summer and are currently hiring undergraduate and graduate students as counselors and teachers. The locations for the programs are at NYU-Poly MAGNET, JCC in Manhattan, and here at Pace University! For more information on the programs you can go to the Tech Kids Unlimited website http://www.techkidsunlimited.org/programs/. For more information on jobs or if you just want to volunteer and get experience with working with these amazing kids you can email Beth Rosenberg at Beth@TechKidsUnlimited.org.

Presidential Innovation Fellowship

When thinking about a future career, whether they are a students or a graduates, many people want to work in something that helps others. Many people want to make a difference in their community or in their country. The men who visited pace university on March 25th do just that. 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 imagethey need them. Now over a million veterans and non veterans use it. Another part of Open Data, is OpenFDA. This allows the public to have access to data from the Food and Drug Association, including medication error reports.

Anyone who wants to make a difference in their country, should consider a position in the government. Taking part in the Presidential Innovation Fellowship is a great way to take part in making changes within the government and a great way to help people in the country. Clarence Wardell and Christopher Wong are in the third round of fellows. Each round lasts only one year. So, these talented people are working hard to make things better while they can, and have done so much already!

For more information on these fellows and the things they’re doing:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/innovationfellows

Jozii

imageThis past Wednesday AJ Smith and Chris Sakai visited pace university to talk about Jozii. Jozii is a company that helps College kids find jobs. After college many graduates may have dozens of opportunities to meet with big companies. However, these companies are not likely to give a graduate a good job because the student lacks experience. Jozii helps students connect with companies and helps them gain experience while they are still in school. It is easy to sign up on Jozzi.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.

Jozii is a small company with little members and in some ways that is better. A small group of people makes for easier communication. All members have easy access to each other. Jozii currently has over 1500 users since December, have recently expanded to Los Angeles and They are very optimistic about the progress. Before AJ Smith started Jozii, he worked for several jobs involving Bitcoin and we design. When they fell through or ended up not working out, he decided to create his own start up. In a start up company, communication between members is very important. They use bitbucket, htichhack, Skype, and GChat, helps them with that. “Even in a small team it becomes very easy to get off topic and for nobody to know what’s going on”(Smith)

Choosing to build a startup now (while still in school) is a good choice. You still have access to loans to cover your housing and other expenses. Building a startup is a learning experience. Even if a startup fails, it will not have been a wast of time because you were able to gain experience in creating something. You will also learn the process of running a business. This is also great experience you can take to companies when trying to look for a job later. Being able to say that you took part in a startup makes you more attractive as an employee. A college student (if living in a dorm) would not have to worry about deciding if they should pay their rent or fund their business. With doing this, it is important to have a balance between your personal life and your business life.

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. Jozii will be at a career fair at Pace on April 9th

Some helpful links

http://www.Jozii.com

https://www.linkedin.com/company/jozii?_mSplash=1

chris@jozii.com

Jozii Twitter @Joziijobs

Chris Sakai Twitter @_csax

Student registration for April 9th career fair bit.ly/careerfairNYC

Uncubed

On February 18 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. However, 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.
Uncubed is a company that helps connect people with all kinds of careers. Working the usual 9-5 job, behind a desk, in a cubical, is not for everyone. This way a person can “escape the cubicle.” Uncubed can help you find a job that fits your passion, so you can make money doing something you actually enjoy. Over 90 companies will be at this job fair. These include Buzzfeed.com, Meetup.com, SoundCloud.com, TechBoost, and Rent the runway. A complete list of the companies can be found on the Uncubed website. You The next Uncubed event is on May 8th 2015. You can buy tickets online on Uncubed.com. If you want to win tickets, you can print out your resumé and enter it in a drawing at the Seidenburg building, 163 Williams street.

Just some advice
1. Do research on the companies you are interested in speaking to. You will most likely not Be able to have a conversation with every single one. Nor would you want to work at every single company.
2. Bring some copies of a résumé . If you do this, a one page résumé is the best choice. Companies love to see evidence of your progress in your field. If you are a musician and you have samples of your work online, you should include links to them on your résumé. If you are good with working with apps, you should include info on where they can see it. You as a person are more important than what is on your résumé. Although some companies may give you a business card and ask you to submit it electronically. In some ways this is better, because now they will be looking forward to it and will be less likely to lose it.
3. This job fair will be more casual than usual job fairs. So, you may not need to wear a suit. You should dress for your field. Dress business casual (more casual than business). You want to feel comfortable in what your wearing.
4. Uncubed also offers classes. This may be a better choice for those who are not as extroverted. For those, this event can be a bit overwhelming.
5. When you talk to the different companies, it is good to show that you know about them and what they do. You should say things like “I love the work you’ve done with…” Or “I had an idea of how you can make things better.”

Events

AJ Smith and Chris Sakai from Jozii @ PCS on March 11th!

Founder and CTO of Jozii, AJ Smith and software engineer at Jozii, Chris Sakai will be here to talk about their experiences working at start-ups. Join us to hear them speak on start-up culture and for free pizza! Check Jozii out at http://www.jozii.com/.
Eventbrite - AJ Smith and Chris Sakai @Jozii

Beth Rosenberg from TechKids Unlimited @ PCS on March 25th!

Director of TechKids Unlimited, Beth Rosenberg will tell us more about TechKids Unlimited and how we can volunteer to help children with disabilities learn tech. Stop by, get some pizza, and listen to her speak. You can find out more about TechKids Unlimited on http://www.techkidsunlimited.org/.
Eventbrite - Beth Rosenberg from TechKids Unlimited

Amaury Moulron from BuzzFeed @ PCS on April 8th!

The Design Technologist from BuzzFeed will give us some insight on how social media and technology is used to promote BuzzFeed. If you’re interested make sure to stop by for some pizza and to hear him speak. Their website is at http://www.buzzfeed.com/.
Eventbrite - Amaury Moulron from BuzzFeed

Playtest Thurdays

Bring a game and play with other students, no sign-up needed. FREE PIZZA. It’s every Thursday staring January 8th.

http://gamecenter.nyu.edu/events/playtest-thursdays/