I’m entering my senior year at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, where I’m studying to earn my BS and MS in computer science.
I started my internship at Bloomberg during my senior year of high school. This is my fourth summer in a row working as an intern in the engineering department.
Bloomberg has over 6,000 engineers and processes 120 billion pieces of financial market data each day. The interns in this department work on real-world technologies and challenging projects that touch on areas such as AI, open source, and software design.
It’s crazy to think that my internship journey began in January 2017.
At the time, I’d completed all of the computer-science courses offered at my school and was eager to finally get some real-world experiences where I could apply my knowledge toward a larger purpose.
I remember walking to my in-person interview, tired from cramming LeetCode problems the night before, but confident that, whether I knew the answers or not, I would be able to walk away with no regrets.
Have confidence in your ability and don’t have any regrets over the outcome of the interview. Trust yourself in the work that you put in and acknowledge that there’s always more that could have been done — but regardless, you’re putting your best foot forward.
My interview was a series of one behavioral interview and 2 technical interviews.
The first interview was primarily going over my resume and talking about past projects. I remember seeing my resume pique my interviewer’s interest because of the strong focus on volunteer work.
Know the company that you’re applying to. It’s very easy to copy and paste your resume to every company that has an opening. While this may work, there’s still value in tailoring your resume to show how you’re the best fit for the specific company you’re applying to, as well as to demonstrate that you’ve done your research.
Outside of its tech infrastructure and applications, Bloomberg is a company that puts a very strong value on service.
Philanthropy is ingrained in almost every facet of the company’s culture, and I strongly believe that my knowing this information prior to applying to Bloomberg — and being able to tailor my resume to show that my values aligned with that — really set me apart from other candidates.
The happiness I felt leaving my behavioral interview was quickly replaced with anxiety thinking about the technical questions that I would soon be asked.
I used to hear from YouTube videos and anecdotes from friends with more career experience than me that companies are not always just looking for the person with the best technical skills. I’m the first to say that I’ve met so many people who are better than me in technical areas. So, for a long time, I thought that top-tier tech companies were out of my reach.
Before even applying to these companies, I put so much pressure on myself to be in an incredibly knowledgeable state that I really got down on myself when I would get a practice question wrong. You can imagine how I felt during the interview when I was asked about a concept that I’d never even heard of in school. I recall panicking and assuming that my chances of working at Bloomberg were over.
I found that being able to figure out a solution with limited knowledge is sometimes even more impressive than already having the information. This is the perfect opportunity to show your interviewer that you can still figure it out.
At the end of the day, companies are looking for problem solvers. Do not assume that the interview is automatically over when you stumble.
I truly believe that the way I responded to my interview question made all the difference in my eventually getting an offer. I said, "I haven’t learned about that concept yet. Can you please explain it to me and I’ll see if I can figure it out." After hearing their simple explanation, I was able to figure out the desired answer.
Interviewers are looking to see who you are and what you bring to the company as much as they’re seeing if you’re capable of holding the position you’re applying for. Being well-rounded and authentic is an invaluable piece of advice.
Robin Madell July 20, 2021 at 08:16PM