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  • New Grad Panel
  • New Grad

    New Grad Panel

    On Nov 5th, we hosted the New Grad Panel where we asked some UTM alumni working at companies like DoorDash, Veeva Systems, and Loopio about the new grad job application process, the best courses to take at UTM, and more!

    Zoom Recording Passcode: *P?$0^1ePG

    Q. What is the application process for new grads like?

    • It can be a numbers game, so just make sure you apply constantly.
    • The bigger the company, the sooner they start recruiting.
    • Job sites: LinkedIn, Google, Glassdoor

    Q. When should I start applying?

    • Realistically: as soon as possible!
    • If you're looking in Canada then postings start going out late September through March.
    • For companies in the US, it can start as early as June, July.

    Q. What is the typical interview process after you've applied?

    • Depends on the size of the company! Bigger companies have a standardized, multi-round process. Startups will tend to have less leetcode.
    • Most common is going through recruiter/OA screening, technical interviews where they do analysis on your technical thinking skills/problem solving, then behaviourals.

    Q. How did you prepare for your interviews, both behavioural and technical?

    • For behavioural, it's really helpful to have friends do mock interviews with you.
    • For technical, just grind leetcode. Make sure you have the fundamentals down
    • Brush up on the programming languages they mention in the job posting, i.e. Java -> refresh on OOPs

    Q. How much experience in certain technologies should I have?

    • Big companies don't expect much, all they care about is that you're good at Leetcode and they expect you can learn as you go
    • Startups can require more technical knowledge, demonstrated through their intensive take-homes

    Q. Are there any courses that you recommend I take?

    Getting the interview:

    • CSC301, CSC309
    • Independent project courses

    Acing the interview:

    • CSC263, CSC373

    Doing the job:

    • CSC301: Lots of concepts very useful to the everyday tasks of being a software engineer, plus you build numerous practical assignments that are impressive to put on your resume.
    • CSC409
    • CSC309: Lots of different languages that you learn (JavaScript, PHP, HTML/CSS), and you get frontend + backend experience. Very relevant as full stack developers since the assignments have you build full stack apps
    • CSC369: Learn about scalable computing early on, and the fundamentals for what goes on in computers, which is important for high performance systems.

    Q. Do you change your resume for each job you apply for? No, it can be a lot of work. You'll want to configure your resume to be more general to apply to all the types of jobs you're applying for.

    Q. What factors should I consider when deciding whether an offer is "good"? What are the red flags?

    These will depend based on what you value/your circumstances but:

    • Is the work enjoyable?
    • Is the culture of the team/manager enjoyable?
    • Salary: be aware of what is a reasonable salary based on the area
    • Bonuses (sign-on, performance)
    • Stock options
    • Vacation time
    • Insurance
    • Cost of living (renting, moving, food)

    Red flags:

    • Job posting asks a breadth of skills, they may want you to wear a lot of hats on the job which may burn you out
    • Lack of mentorship
    • Check Glassdoor

    Q. How do you start negotiation?

    • Have a number in mind
    • Guesstimation: current pay + 50k
    • Don't be afraid to negotiate! Once you have the job offer, you have the power. no competent company would revoke your offer just because you asked
    • Have competing offers to serve as leverage

    Q. Is it possible to get a position without internship/PEY experience?

    • Yes! You can improve your chances by doing projects, hackathons, other relevant experience (work study, TAship)

    Q. How does the application process differ for international students?

    • Doesn't differ too much for Canadian roles, just make sure you take care of your work permits
    • As long as you don't take any breaks during your studies you get a three year work permit and an open work permit
    • Reach out to the IEC for help!

    Q. What is it like for domestic students looking to work in the US (or internationally)?

    • Much easier to work in US as a Canadian citizen
    • Still comparatively difficult to get a job in US since some companies aren't willing to go through visa process
    • Process is the same as Canadian companies, benefit is that compensation is typically better

    Q. Are cs minors/majors at a disadvantage? What 3 courses should minors take?

    • No, most companies don't know the difference between spec/major/minor
    • Only disadvantage is that you wouldn't have taken all the CS courses like specs do
    • Try and find courses related to what you want to work in

    Q. For those who returned to their PEY, what made you come back?

    • Benefits were really good
    • You can get a running start by returning to your previous company, since you know the tech stack + have good connections
    • If other PEY students return, that's a green flag!

    Reasons not to return to your PEY:

    • You want change
    • Tech stack is outdated, no technical growth in that role