P says “talk about your job search and eventual success”.
As I had mentioned briefly in previous posts, I had been searching for a job since Fall of my last year of school. I went to the career fairs and sent my resume out everywhere. I even got a couple of phone calls from recruiters to help me in my job search. After dozens of phone screenings and interviews, nothing turned in my favor. I am pretty certain it boiled down to two things. The first is that my GPA is was pretty bad, which is understandable considering I applied to a lot of big corporate entities (Yelp, Twitter, Amazon, Raytheon, Boeing, etc.). The second is that I went to Cal Poly Pomona. Although it shouldn’t matter too much where one gets their degree, I am 99% certain that some companies I applied to showed more favor to those hailing from a private university, a UC or Cal Poly SLO. Though I guess you could argue that perhaps their GPAs were more acceptable, but I won’t get into it.
So to my dismay, I had no job lined up for me after graduation. The only lead I had was an unpaid internship I learned about from a friend. The company, Siminsights, is a small start up in Irvine. And when I say small, I really do mean small. At least for the time I was there, they were renting an office space about the size of an average dorm room, where they packed 5 desks in. They were still finding their footing and funding, so they gladly accepted me into their team of 4. Since it was in Irvine, I had to commute about 1.5 hours, one way, each day I was there. The traffic was at such a crawl that I found it most efficient to pack and eat breakfast and dinner while driving to and from home. Thankfully, we struck a deal that I would only need to show up every other day, because of that ridiculous commute. Though I was expected to work from home on my off days (and I did), my mom would always have me run errands all day instead. Not that it mattered to me too much, it’s hard to stay motivated when you’re working for free. Still, it was good work experience.
On one of my off days, a recruiting agency contacted me. After a quick phone screen he had me take an online C# quiz on the spot, which I did okay on. That eventually lead to an interview with a company called Reality Check Systems. And one day while I was in Irvine, I got a call and they gave me a job offer. I said my goodbye’s and thank you’s to the team and to the commute I no longer had to make. RCS is a cool little sports company in Burbank. But when I started there, they were already in the process of switching from startup to corporation. So a lot of the fun things/perks my co workers talked about were spoken about in the past tense. Due to some shady dealings in the past before I got there, the president grew to be stern and strict. Because of these things, the authority figures worked us really hard. I wasn’t sure what to make of it, it was my first real job after all. I just tried to be open and eager. As I reflect on it now, they treated me (and others at or near my level) pretty badly. Working overtime and weekends (with no compensation) was to be expected. Sometimes the producers (or project managers) would frantically rush us to get a task or project done, due to the last minute changes the client wanted. As long as you were in the office, you were to work. Which I found really lame considering I always brought lunch. I was interrupted on occasion because something was needed. There were some upsides though; there was a kitchen stocked with snacks and drink, and I actually got to work on some cool projects. They also flew me out to Auburn and I got to visit NFL Network.
But for the 3-ish months I was there, I pretty much learned everything there was to learn there. Sure, there might have been some TV production related projects that would have been different, but that wouldn’t further my knowledge as a programmer. So, they actually laid me off, and it was a little abrupt. Dejected, I moved into an era of unemployment.
I tried to make the most of it. If I wasn’t in the library applying like crazy with Matt (who was applying like crazy to medical schools), we were hiking, biking and being active. I had a process. After applying to all the jobs I wanted, I hit up job boards and recruiters for jobs that were at least interesting. After that, I did some hunting through connections and networking, mainly through LinkedIn. And of course, my mom had me running errands again. This continued on for about a month, where I had more interviews and phone calls here and there. Through an old classmate’s LinkedIn profile, I stumbled upon a company called Flavorus. Confidently, I went through the interview processes, and for the first time in forever I thought to myself, “there is no way they aren’t going to hire me.” So they gave me the job offer and that’s where I’m at now. Lunch provided on Fridays, massages, a pool table and cool people. Though work is tough sometimes, it’s still a great place at the end of the day. It was definitely a blessing in disguise when RCS let me go. Praise God for His perfect timing and plans.