Story by Angie Macedo, EWU Career Services
It isn’t every day that a tech giant invites Eastern Washington University onto its work campus, but that’s exactly what happened on September 30th, when 20 students from the computer science department were selected to participate in Passport to Google. EWU was one of 7 schools chosen to participate, and the only school East of the Cascades to be invited. This was an achievement not only for career services but also for the computer science department. Nate Bryant, Employer Relations Manager for Career Services, put it best, “After more than a year of coordination with Google recruiters, this point is a real testament to the effective collaboration between EWU faculty and staff to coordinate new recruitment opportunities for their students.”
The program, designed as a day of workshops and networking at the Seattle Google campus, provided students with the opportunity to pick the brains of Google recruiters and developers on various topics, including but not limited to mock interviews and the future of the tech industry. Students were able to see an interview demonstration between two software engineers that covered all bases from presenting yourself properly to, perhaps the most daunting aspect of a computer science interview, a live demo of the technical skills portion of interviewing. Stan Pichinevskiy, Career Advisor for STEM, accompanied the group and was able to share a few tips that the engineers gave to students who are thinking about applying to Google or any other major tech firm: (1) Have projects outside of the classroom, personal or academic (2) Practice technical problems on a white board or a laptop (3) Do online samples for the skills portion of interviewing (4) 2-3 prior internships look good on your resume (5) Do a mock interview (6) And, last but not least, do not let Google be your first interview.
Overall, the experience served as an eye-opener for the students. They learned that the stereotype of an overworked, anti-social coder simply isn’t true. Their interpersonal communication skills are just as important as their coding skills.
Career Services is currently planning more PROvisits; visits in which students are given the invaluable opportunity to meet and learn from industry professionals at their place of operation, to take place during the Fall quarter with Etailz, Odom, and Providence Sacred Heart. More information for these events can be found at ewu.edu/EagleAXIS, but remember space is limited so stay in touch with EWU Career Services social media for information on the latest events.