It’s not every day you can get advice from the biggest social networking company in the world.
But a large group of students in the Arts & Science Co-op program at U of T Scarborough did just that – with a chance to sharpen their resume, experience what a job interview with Facebook is like and even test out their coding skills.
In its first of two North American stops, Facebook Day at Arts & Science Co-op event took place on September 25, with representatives from the company holding all-day workshops on recruitment preparation for students.
“The mission is to help students be better prepared for technical coding interviews,” says Paul Floussov, a software engineer with Facebook at the event. “We want to polish their resume and get into technical aspects like phone screenings and go through example problems that they might be asked on interviews.”
The curriculum aims to prepare co-op students for an interview with a software company by highlighting their individual skills as well as understanding Facebook’s interviewing process and how to prepare for it.
Activities include workshops on building a resume, a ‘Crash Your Coding Interview’ session, and even a mini-coding challenge – an aspect of the interviewing process where recruits answer questions by writing them in code.
“Facebook choosing us to debut its North American curriculum speaks to the quality of the Arts & Science Co-op program here at U of T Scarborough,” says Susan Soikie, director of Arts & Science Co-op.
“It really reflects the high-calibre students that we have in the co-op program and the successful employer relationships built by our team.”
Frederic Pun, a third-year computer science student, came to the event to get a glimpse of what a job interview with Facebook would be like. He hopes to be a web developer in the future and working with representatives from Facebook was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“I really enjoy the technologies Facebook has made, like React,” says Pun. “Those are some of the things I want to get into.”
While he feels more confident in what he’s learned, Pun is also walking away personally inspired.
“There was a quote that was used when we were talking about resumes that said, ‘Fortune favours the bold,’” he says. A representative told the story of when he bought a poster with those words after his hire. “It’s a really nice message to take home at the end of all this.”
Representatives from Facebook say it’s the strength of the co-op and computer science programs at U of T Scarborough that drew Facebook to the campus.
“In the past UTSC alumni have made great contributions to Facebook. Our recruiters have seen that, and I think that’s why they keep on coming back every year,” says Gerry Patia, a software engineer with Facebook at the event.