I recently accepted an offer for a software engineer full time position at my dream company to start in May 2022. This job hunting journey was by no means easy and I am extremely glad it is finally over. My goal has always been to work for a tech company that can impact healthcare, but throughout the application process, I still applied to around 100 companies including non medical related ones. At the end of the day it is still a numbers game, and did not want to risk not getting a job at all. Job hunting was definitely stressful, but at the same time achievable if one prepares well. I would love to share some advice/tips that helped me throughout this journey.
As a student in the OSU postbac program, I had a previous career before switching to computer science. When building my resume, I did not eliminate my previous work history all together right away, instead I slowly removed them as I built more CS projects during this past year in the program. If you do not have enough projects or CS related experiences (such as hackathons, TAing, etc) when applying for internships/jobs, it would completely fine to leave some of your previous work history to fill up the resume. If you are aiming for companies related to your previous field, your past experiences could potentially also help you stand out. Even if they are not related to your desired companies, having work experience of any sort is still a plus.
In terms of technical interviews, I also cannot stress enough the importance of practicing Leetcode style questions while talking out loud, making sure your thought process can be well conveyed to the potential interviewer. Do not wait until you have taken Data Structures/Algorithm courses to start practicing. Classes can only help you so much. The best way to get good at technical questions is just practice, practice and practice until it becomes second nature to you. If you don’t know where to start, you can first check out Leetcode Blind 75.
Lastly, I would like to emphasize the importance of being proactive. I mostly applied through Handshake and LinkedIn; the latter allowed me to reach out to OSU alumni from companies I was interested in for possible referrals. I think that helped me the most. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people, the worst thing they can say is no. Always take the initiative, be well prepared, and your chances of getting your dream job will definitely increase.