Today, with a group of other professionals from the industry, I was helping students at Cornell Tech NYC campus to practice real life job interviews. During my mock interviews and following conversation with students I learned quite a lot about Cornell’s Master of Engineering in Computer Science program.
First of all, it’s located in Google building at 111 8th Avenue in Manhattan, in the heart of Chelsea neighborhood. Program itself is short, about one year. Students came here with different backgrounds – some of them have previous working experience, some don’t. Almost all of them have BS in Computer Science, or at least minor in CS. One guy had a bachelor in CS from Stanford, one of the most prestigious engineering school, another guy had Ph.D in bio-engineering, there were bunch of Cornell graduates as well.
I was told to test their Java skills, but some of students assigned to my group did not had Java skills so I transformed it into more general CS interview – data-structures, algorithms, databases. Then we had a practical questions – answers session – what type of skills they have to learn, what technology to follow. I have to note that student were just 2 weeks into the program, they have the whole year ahead of them before they start looking for a job for real. Never less, we covered broad set of topics from SQL to Test-Driven development, from map-reduce to Agile methodologies. I was trying to provide up to date and practical recommendations. I also reviewed student resumes, advised on how to build network in NYC tech scene with the help of meetups, suggested my favorite ones, recommended to start contributing to interesting open-source projects on GitHub. I believe that contributing for open-source have very big benefits for them: one is learning, to get in depth knowledge in some area, and second is to have edge in job hunting process over other candidates with similar experience.
Students were very engaged, asked a lot of questions, took notes. I hope they learn something practical that may help them in job search later on.
I think Cornell NYC Tech school did a good job by inviting engineers from the industry, from NY tech companies to coach their students. I enjoyed my time there and hope student learn something valuable from me. Here is the link to Cornell NY Tech as well as Master of Engineering
in Computer Science program.