As if classes themselves weren’t challenging enough, these final two semesters before gradumacation in August are pressuring in another sense: preparation for life after college.
It creeps up on you (like old age). I know it’s a tired, overused cliché, but it really does feel like I was a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed freshman in Smith hall not too terribly long ago. All I had to focus on was doing well in classes and adjusting to the rigors of computer science at an exceedingly prestigious technical university. Real Life was nary a nebulous void amidst the swirling integrals and for loops right in front of me.
Yet here I am, applying to graduate schools and corporations. I had an interview with RedPrairie yesterday after meeting with one of their representatives at a CoC-sponsored Career Fair a few weeks ago (those things are fantastic, take advantage of them). The interview lasted two and a half hours and included questions from two marketing managers and two lead developers. By the end, I was drained, and the rainy weather certainly didn’t do anything to deter my festering desire to sleep.
Oh, and there was the hour and a half drive home in the pouring rain and bumper-to-bumper traffic down GA 400. Let’s just say I understand a little better the plight of individuals who make that commute every single day. Twice. I tip my proverbial hat to you.
If I ended up working there, I’d get an apartment in Alpharetta. The end.
The interview itself went pretty well, I thought. It’s not so much the specific, technical questions I’m afraid of (“write an SQL query that retrieves all rows in table x,” for example), as GT prepares one very well for this and equips one with the tools to find the answer if it’s not immediately apparent. It’s the open-ended questions that keep me on edge. You know, the “if you were a fruit, what fruit would you be” type interrogatives.
This time around, it was one I’ve heard before but still didn’t have a good answer to: If you could have dinner with three people (dead or alive! but they have to be real), who would they be and why?
Can I have a hint, please?
Of course, there are the safe answers for a CS major: Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Linus Torvalds, among many, many others. But no, I just had to try and be different.
So I said Tom Hanks. And George Washington (I’ve said Abraham Lincoln before…come on, wouldn’t you be interested in knowing what the early political pioneers had in mind for our country? …). And…yeah I couldn’t think of a third one before the developer got a phone call about another obligation he had to be moving off to.
Nevertheless, he made sure to note that “Those were the wrong answers” before he left. He was joking. I think. I hope.
Going back to the Career Fair, though, I had an opportunity to meet with Facebook representatives. That is what I’m really crossing my fingers for in the hope of being granted an interview opportunity. Seriously. That would be incredible.
Meanwhile, I’m waiting to hear back from Carnegie Mellon, Georgia Tech, Rensselaer, and NYU…