Apply, Interview, Rank, Repeat

Woah, where did the time go? This term has gone by soo fast! From my experience in university, the term goes by quickly and finals are upon you just like that. *snaps* In no time you’ll have your friends going up to you asking whether you started studying yet for finals, and your confused look will give it away that you hadn’t even though about it yet. Which reminds me, I should be studying instead of procrastinating by writing this blog… : D

When you’re in a co-op program such as Computer or Electrical Engineering like me and Celina, not only will you be spending majority of your time finishing up assignments and trying to catch up on sleep every week, you will also have the responsibility of trying to find a job for the next term. In a co-op program, you will be switching between going to school for four months and working at a company for four months. This involves some planning and work beforehand to actually find a job though. This process is all done on a site called Jobmine, where you do all of the searching, applying, and ranking of jobs in the term before your work term. For me and Celina, this is the time that we are looking for jobs.

So far my experience with Jobmine and looking for jobs has not been terrible at all, as opposed to what some people have experienced. It’s pretty simple, mostly intuitive, and if you get stuck or want some clarification there are always resources to guide you through the process. Basically how it works is that you write a resume and possibly a cover letter (for those jobs that you really want or that require them), you upload it to Jobmine, and choose jobs that you want to apply to. Your resume will be sent to those employers, and from everyone that applied they choose a certain amount of people to interview. Those people then do their interviews, and from that set of people the company ranks those that they would want to hire. For those that got chosen, this is the end of their journey until next term. For those that didn’t get the job, the process repeats. Over and over and over again.

Thankfully I have already found a job for the next term, so I’m out of the job searching loop! What they seemed to love asking me about in interviews though, hint hint, is the extra stuff I did on my own time. All of the people who interviewed me seemed quite interested in a game that me and a couple of friends made with Java back in high school. Don’t underestimate the importance of outside-of-school projects! Spend at least some time practicing skills or creating something, even if it seems silly and worthless at the time. These projects are a great way to show off your skills and may even help you become better at something that you have always wanted.

For those in software or computer, I would recommend writing a program or learning a new language, and then posting an app or program that you made onto Github, which is a code sharing site that enables employers to see your programming style and skill. Don’t worry if it seems confusing at first. You’ll get better, you’ll figure it out. (Also don’t forget about Google – a great research resource where you can find useful tutorials!)

Alright, I’m off to go study/sleep, whichever one seems like the better choice at this hour. I would love to hear about your experiences with looking for jobs guys, whether it’s through Jobmine or outside of the co-op program! What kinds of things did they ask in your interviews? Did they seem more interested in your past experiences, and if you didn’t have any did they seem more interested in your projects and what you do outside of school? Comment below. :)

Marieta
1A Computer Engineering
University of Waterloo

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2 thoughts on “Apply, Interview, Rank, Repeat

  1. SO TRUE! Man I’m still trying to figure out how to use Github and I’m a little nervous about people stealing my code, but I think it’ll be worth it in the long run (always a good idea to get more coding experience when you can). Personally I had 2 interviews this term, one with Telus and one with Ericsson Wireless and I completely agree with you on the fact that they really care more about extra things you do in your own time than marks in school. I got offers from both companies and I’m fairly sure it was from website development, extracurriculars and hobby projects that I had done outside of university/high school. They kept asking me questions like: “How exactly did you go about building the website listed on your resume?” and software questions: “What languages have you coded in during your free time?” Any extra practice you guys can get will do magic in terms of helping you get a job! :)

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