To What Extent Does the Prestige or Brand Name Affect an Aspiring engineer Looking For a Position At a Fortune 500 Company?
I've heard over and over again on how there are certain target schools such as Stanford, Waterloo, Harvard, Berkeley and others that are really beneficial in obtaining an internship quite efficiently. What I haven't heard many talks about is how this brand name would affect you when applying for a job as a junior developer or someone's first job position at a big company (mainly FAANG). I aspire to get into computer science at the university of waterloo, but the competition is very fierce, and doing so would require every ounce of energy to secure a decent chance. While I would love to study at this university, my ultimate goal would be a job at silicon valley (while I'm young), so any route to get there would work. I do realize this requires effort as well. As always, any input from professionals would be appreciated, as it would be beneficial to many other students with similar questions as well. #college #career #job #computer-science #technology #job-search
Do your best to have good GPA, strong volunteer and work experience, and show persistence and follow through.
Many companies have found that interview at only a select few schools leads to a lack of variety, diversity, and inclusion.
Most companies are casting a broader net - take advantage of it!
Also, search LinkedIn for engineers at your company of interest that went to your college and try to connect with them.
Working in Silicon Valley for the last 15 years, I have always been amazed by how I and my fellow managers struggle to find qualified candidates. If any of them take any special note of a school, it is because they went there themselves and you can hardly control for that.
On the other hand, if someone's resume is full of interesting and relevant experience and they "wow!" at the interview, they go to the top of the list.
I agree with other recommendations: develop very good verbal and written communication skills, gain direct experience in your desired field, learn coding languages that you expect to use (personally, I have hired 3 college grads that learned coding languages through places like CodeAcademy), and make it easy for the manager to hire you. If you are great at following directions, understand difficult concepts, are easy to train, and work hard, then a manager is going to jump at the opportunity to hire you. Learn about "the other 80% of the job": time management, how to take notes so your superior does not have to repeat themselves often, when/how to ask questions, etc. Project humble confidence, reliability, competence, and a hunger to learn. If you show all these things, then the right hiring manager will be very eager to train and mentor and have you on a team. The best way to learn all of these intangibles is to go after internships that will give you real-world experience.
There are a lot of factors to getting your first job out of college but I would say that the name of your school falls fairly far down on the list compared to a lot of skills, personality, and experience that you can bring to the table.
Statistics show that not everyone that gets into top school succeeds. It is also true that many successful people do come from really ordinary schools! There are probably many you can search and find on internet.
Not everyone at FAANG companies are from Big Brand schools.
FAANG may be replaced by something else down the road. Some of these companies did not exist 30 years ago. Some may not be the leaders in the future. Technology is extremely disruptive. There is always something new and someone new that changes the view at the top. It could very well be you.
My recommendation is:
Work hard, study well, learn things! Be the best you can be in everything you learn.
Learn how to market yourself. Create a brand for yourself. All successful people have successfully marketed themselves.
Learn good communication - both written and spoken skills.
Network with people, via LinkedIn or other forums in your field and in the companies you want to work in.
Volunteering and leadership development programs and clubs in your school will be good way to network as well and promote yourself.
If you get into school of your dreams, do not forget the above. You would still need all those things to succeed.
If you do not get into school of your dreams, do not feel bad, as where you want to go still is in your hand. You can still make it to your dream job.