International Students - Alumni Success Stories
Bachelor's, Computer Science, December 2012
Current Position: Software Engineer, Twitter Inc., San Francisco, CA
Previous Position(s): Software Engineering Intern, Omicia Inc. Emeryville, CA ; Software Engineering Intern, Facebook, Palo Alto, CA ; Software Engineering Intern, Twitter, San Francisco, CA
Please describe what you do in your current position.
At Twitter I work on the Platform Intelligence team. My team is chartered with processing and understanding the vast body of data that is generated by the operation of the Twitter platform. Our technologies are used to provide insights both to platform engineering and to other teams throughout the company. We build a range of cutting-edge services that can process petabytes of data per month in real time for insights into the usage patterns of the Twitter platform, and to build high-performance infrastructure to deliver those insights to ourselves and our partners.
What strategies and resources did you use to find your current position?
I would definitely recommend going above and beyond what is expected of you in class. Employers love to see students taking initiative. As a Berkeley student, I would often take part in hackathons (all-night programming competitions during which the goal is to try and build something cool). In my sophomore year, my team of 4 won the Facebook hackathon hosted @Cal. I believe this was a huge breakthrough for my career. It also meant that I was invited to the FB HQ to present to Mark Zuckerberg!
Secondly, make friends! Berkeley is filled with smart and enthusiastic people. You learn the most from your peers. Join some clubs, network with alumni and try and meet different people.
Lastly, the Career Center has a fantastic jobs posting website (Callisto [now replaced with Handshake]). Look for openings there that pique your interest and apply!
What was your approach in discussing your student visa status with your employer?
When I was given a return offer by Twitter at the end of my internship, I confirmed with the Human Resources department that Twitter would indeed sponsor my H-1B visa and they answered in the affirmative. Twitter has been extremely supportive of me in the entire visa application process. They have immigration specialists who work at Twitter to whom I can turn to for help and they hired immigration lawyers to help me with my H-1B visa process. However, to be honest, from speaking to people ahead of me who were either working at Twitter (or any other technology company), I was nearly certain that Twitter would sponsor my visa for me.
What are your top tips for international students looking for a full time job?
As an international student, you have taken a huge leap of faith leaving your home and family, and employers respect that. You provide a global perspective to any company you go and work for. Keep persevering! Eventually it will all work out :)
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