Daily Blog of My 2nd Internship Hunt
When I was searching for my 2nd internship, I really wanted to work in California for personal and professional reasons. Throughout the process, I documented my daily thoughts regarding the internship hunt.
If you’re a Waterloo student reading this, you’ll notice that WaterlooWorks didn’t exist back then! It was called “Jobmine”.
Saturday September 26: Jobmine applications opened up today, and so far I like what I see. I will wait until Tuesday night to apply.
Sunday September 27: I finally perfected my resume. So far, it has been well received by the upper years and alumni. In addition, I applied to several jobs outside of Jobmine to improve my chances. When you apply to jobs externally, the majority of places don’t offer internships specifically, so I actually applied to full time jobs with a simple paragraph explaining I was seeking a 4 month co-op.
Monday September 28: I began shortlisting the jobs I really liked on Jobmine. I heard back from some external places who declined my application for any of the following reasons: lack of experience (I’m only in 2A), they don’t offer internships, not hiring right now, etc. It sucks getting rejected, but that’s life. On the bright side, one Senior Director at a large company was really impressed and thought I’d be a great fit. He forwarded my resume to the recruiter, so I guess I will find out what happens.
Tuesday September 29: After much deliberation, I ended up applying to 27 jobs on Jobmine. Most of them are in the USA, with a few in Toronto. #CaliOrBust? I also wrote one cover letter for a company which required it. Although it took some time, I thought I wrote a fantastic response at the end of the day. If you can’t tell through my writing, I really want this job! Finally, I emailed some recruiters whom I’ve met in the past and forwarded them my resume. I only applied to 27 jobs because these were the only ones I really liked and it would also give me some extra flexibility.
Wednesday September 30: Jobmine closed last night, so the employers received our applications this morning. Some employers are really fast with their interview decisions, some not so much. I would expect the majority of decisions coming out the following week. Nothing really happened today, other than the fact that my friends and I were refreshing Jobmine very frequently!
Thursday October 1: I got my first rejection this morning on Jobmine. I’m not going to lie, but it was actually exciting seeing something change, even if it was a rejection. Later in the day, I received my first interview for a job in Toronto! It’s scheduled 3 weeks from now, which is quite unusual, since most interviews happen within a few days of getting notified. Other interesting news: some of my closest friends got interviews to a very large tech company today.
Friday October 2: The day started off with a rejection to the company that I wrote my sole cover letter for. I was pretty upset at first, but got over it fairly quickly. My upper year friends advised me to be patient, since good things will come sooner or later. A few hours later, I received my second interview for a job in California! It’s in less than a week from today, so I’ll probably spend my weekend preparing for the interview. Got rejected by another two US companies afterwards. :(
Saturday October 3: Nothing happened today. Jobmine and waiting for decisions is actually super stressful. Time to prepare for my interview! Oh, I also reached out to someone who previously interned for general interview tips and advice.
Sunday October 4: No update. Pro tip: CECA recommends you to use 25 applications for first round and 25 applications for second round. Do not follow this advice. The jobs in the second round are inferior to the first round. I found nothing that interested me. Some friends only found 1~5 interesting jobs that they applied to. I would recommend to use 45~50 applications for first round. You get applications back when you get rejected in the first round, so you don’t have to worry about not having enough applications to apply.
Monday October 5: Back to constant refreshing on Jobmine. Woke up to a rejection from a company. Just when I started to feel a bit inpatient, I got another interview for a Toronto job. Now, I have 3 interviews and 6 rejections, which is pretty good. Hopefully, it scales. Got two more rejections later in the night.
Tuesday October 6: Only one rejection today. From my 27 applications, I applied to about 10ish jobs, which I was completely unqualified for or unrelated to my resume. I thought they were interesting jobs, so I just took a shot and applied. Today, I heard back from a recruiter outside of Jobmine, so I’ll be arranging for a phone interview soon. Tomorrow is my first interview! Let’s see how it goes.
Wednesday October 7: I had my first interview on Skype today, and I think I did really well. Skype interviews aren’t my favorite because there’s so much background distraction and it just doesn’t have the same feel as in-person one. Hopefully, I’ll move on to the second round interview!
Thursday October 8: Heard back from the external job I mentioned in my September 28 post. Unfortunately, their internship program is very rigid and only runs over the summer. Oh well, maybe next time. I had a quick 15 minute phone interview today for the job I talked about on October 6. The next interview for this external application is next Monday!
Friday October 9: Jobmine finally changed for the first time in the past 72 hours. I received my 4th interview on Jobmine for a pretty nice place in Toronto. I now have 4 interviews: 12 rejections, and 11 active applications left. I heard back from my interview on Wednesday, and moved on to the second round. This interview also happens to be next Monday. Looking forward to a fantastic Thanksgiving Monday.
Saturday October 10: Pro tip #2: the number of openings for a job can be misleading. There are some companies which have 40 openings. Don’t apply for this job thinking that the employer will hire 40 Waterloo co-op students. On the other hand, if a job only has one opening, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the employer will only hire a single person. Employers can choose to extend offers to any number of students after the interview rounds, so the number of openings stated on Jobmine is irrelevant. When you apply to jobs, don’t worry about the number of openings or applicants, worry about yourself and how you can maximize your own chances.
Sunday October 11: Pro tip #3: a lot of big companies do their recruitment process outside of Jobmine. If you apply through Jobmine, they’ll send you an email about interviews, rather than through Jobmine. They use Jobmine to simply hand out offers and rejections. What this means is that if you still have active applications to big companies after two weeks, it may mean you’ve been rejected already. Obviously, this doesn’t apply to all companies, since some companies are quite busy and review the applications a bit later.
Monday October 12: I had my two interviews today and I’d say they both went really well. Hopefully, I move on to the third round of interviews. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! By the end of this week, I think I’ll have a pretty good idea of where I’m headed next term. Oh, another random thought: if you get an ‘Alternate’ interview on Jobmine in the first round, it’s basically equivalent to a ‘Not Selected’ since people rarely miss their interviews.
Tuesday October 13: Pretty uneventful day, a few rejections on Jobmine. Waiting for emails.
Wednesday October 14: Nothing happened today. In-person interview tomorrow, let’s see how it goes.
Thursday October 15: Had my first in-person interview today, I think it went pretty well. Hard to judge, but hopefully I get the offer.
Friday October 16: Sigh, no change today. And once again, just when hope was almost lost, something good happens to me. I moved on to round three for a job I interviewed for outside of Jobmine. Going to spend tomorrow preparing and working on the challenge they provided me with.
Saturday October 17: Pro tip #4: Don’t apply to jobs that you don’t want. Here’s a scenario which happens fairly often (it has happened to my friends). You received one offer or rank, but you don’t want the job. You’re forced to rank the company a 1 to 9. Most of the times, employers will only rank the top few students they like. If the other students who received an offer/rank get matched to another job, then it’s very likely you’ll get matched to this job.
Sunday October 18: Midterms + the last two weeks of Jobmine is going to be pretty stressful. It’s also quite exciting to know that this will end in two weeks time (hopefully).
Monday October 19: Only one more application on my Jobmine which hasn’t been responded to. Today, a few companies that I thought were interesting cancelled their posting on Jobmine. A bit unfortunate, but that’s Jobmine for you.
Tuesday October 20: Began preparing for the round 3 interview on Friday night. I have another in-person interview tomorrow, though I didn’t prepare for it.
Wednesday October 21: Interview got rescheduled to Friday afternoon. It’s going to be a tough next few days, assignments, midterms, and interviews.
Thursday October 22: Tomorrow is going to be a huge day, hopefully it goes well!
Friday October 23: Today was a crazy day. A test, a midterm, bunch of assignments due and more. My in-person interview for a company I didn’t want went pretty well. The round 3 interview for the job I really want went great, hopefully, I move on to the final round of interviews with them!
Saturday October 24: Pro tip #5: If you don’t have any interviews or didn’t do well on your interviews, it’s a good idea to start preparing for the continuous round. There’s tons of great jobs there. Some are newly posted jobs and some are jobs which were reposted from the first round.
Sunday October 25: Pro tip #6: Don’t be afraid to ask about salary during the interview. It is a legitimate factor for choosing (and not choosing) jobs. Though, for your first few co-op terms, I would recommend choosing the job that provides the best experience rather than the best salary.
Monday October 26: There are four more possible days of interviews in the first round. A few of my friends got new interviews scheduled for later this week. It’s pretty bad timing because it’s right during our midterm week. I moved on to round 4 for the job I really want and the interview is tomorrow! So much pressure!
Tuesday October 27: Had my round 4 interview today, it went well. Time to be patient and await results. Update: Got an email for a round 5 interview tomorrow, yay! This will be the last step in the process, and then it’s either offer or no offer.
Wednesday October 28: In the morning, I checked Jobmine and noticed I did not get ranked for a Toronto interview I had last Friday. I’m very happy because this was a job I did not particularly want. This removes the possibility I can get matched to it. I had an in-person interview today with another company in Toronto. It went well, though the type of work didn’t match what I wanted, so the interviewer and I talked about it. I ended up getting a ‘Rank’ from this company, which means they were interested, but I wasn’t their top choice. Later, I had my round 5 interview and it went very well. The only step left is to await their decision.
Thursday October 29: No updates for today. Tomorrow should be an interesting day (Jobmine closes).
Friday October 30: It’s all over now. I am pleased to announce that I will be working at Addepar in Mountain View, California next term. I was quite nervous throughout the day. I received the offer call when I was playing Settlers of Catan with my friends in Velocity!