Clark University students recently had an opportunity to explore the worlds of software engineering, information technology, product management, data science, game design and more as part of a Career Exploration Week hosted by the Career Connections Center and Department of Computer Science. And one particular journey into those worlds was led by their fellow students.
During a Sept. 22 panel, “Tech at Work: Explore Opportunities in Tech” Evelyn Diaz ’22, MS IT ’23, who completed a summer program with Project Cody; Jack Rogerson ’23, a global technology intern at Nasdaq; Caleb Sacks ’23, a software engineering intern at YouTube; Phoenix Pagan ’23, a software engineering intern at Google; Ethan Doyle ’24, a technical intern at Northrop Grumman; Josh Ofosu-Amoani ’23, a software engineering intern at Google; and Larriyah Graham ’25, an intern at Amazon, offered tips and tricks to make the job application process less intimidating.
Doyle shared his go-to first step to finding a position: making a document listing desired companies to help you keep track of your applications and generate inspiration. Other panelists expanded on this tip, adding that applicants should remain open-minded throughout the hiring process.
In a discussion about application strategy, panelists encouraged their peers to send as many applications as possible, while noting the importance of the quality of one’s applications — for instance, whether they are presented in a professional manner — rather than the quantity that get sent out.
Students also gave suggestions for gaining more technical experience, such as becoming a computer science teaching assistant, joining computer science clubs on campus, attending Clark’s annual hackathons, working in Open-source, and perhaps most useful, creating a portfolio using class projects and practicing coding.
“If you find that there is software you want, but it doesn’t exist, make it yourself,” Sacks advised.
While panelists spoke on the importance of prior experience, they stressed that a positive mindset is equally significant. “Grades don’t define you or your potential,” Diaz said.
For young professionals, confidence is a key to success. Reflecting on the application process and her time at Amazon, Graham recalled that she experienced “imposter syndrome,” a sentiment shared by many students. Be more forthright about the good things you’ve done on the job, she recommended.
“If I could change anything, I’d change my viewpoint,” Graham said. “Claim your accomplishments.”
The Internet, Software, and Technology Career Exploration Week (Sept. 19-23) featured a series of virtual and in-person webinars, workshops, and panels, where students met employers, alumni, and tech industry professionals. It was the first of the Career Connections Center’s themed weeks introducing students to a variety of industries and career paths.