In this video, Andy discusses how to get into top tech companies like Google even with a lower GPA or if you are not in the schools most commonly targeted by their recruiters.
This video content and the ideas therein was produced entirely by Andy. We have adapted this helpful guide in order to make this content accessible to a broader audience of students.
Many Computer Science students are attending schools that are not in the “traditional target list” for recruiters at top companies like Google, Apple, or Facebook. In addition, many students may think that without a top GPA, that they would have a very hard time getting a role at a top tech company. This guide is focused on providing specific tips and guidelines to help CS students find the role of their dreams.
Challenging with a low GPA or non-target school to get your foot in the door.
Recruiters may not look past your GPA, and quickly skip by your resume or application.
This issue can be especially challenging if you are not from a target school such as CMU or MIT.
The more interviews you have, the more practice you get, and so even if unprepared, those from target schools often get more chances
There’s a huge delta between Computer Science education and actual technical interviewing for top roles
What’s been taught and what is being interviewed on create a big disparity leaving many students unprepared for interviews
This presents an opportunity though; if you have a low GPA and/or at a non-target school, you can still prep in-depth for tech interviews on your own time via online resources and focus your attention on getting good at the technical interviewing process and the associated coding interviews
This self-practice will allow you to compete with the students at any other university for top tech jobs once you get the interview
Do anything to get a “big name company” on your resume somewhere
Doesn’t have to be an internship, could be anything you do with a name brand company
For example, Freshman year Andy applied to become a “Microsoft Student Partner” at his school
He hosted a workshop once a month, and gave away swag and promoted Microsoft on campus
Having this on the resume, helps your resume get by certain early screening processes
This led to Andy getting an internship at Amazon his Junior summer, which unlocked interviews at other big tech companies
Grinding on Interview Coding Problems
Grinding on LeetCode and solving lots of problems there, but doing so the right way
“The Wrong Way”
Many students don’t study and solve problems in the right way
Students stare at the problem for a few mins, look at the solution and move on
By not implementing, you are just memorizing how to do that specific question
Instead, you need to focus on learning how to solve an entire “class” of problems
“The Right Way”
After you start a problem, if you are stuck, look at the solution and then continue to implement that solution
Make sure to review the solution, then try to complete the problem yourself again before moving on
Focus on understanding as you solve it, why you are doing what you are doing at each step
Any CS student can get roles at top tech companies regardless of GPA or school
Aim to have at least one internship before Senior year (Junior summer)
Try to get a top brand name company on your resume any way that you can, doesn’t have to be an internship
Instead of reading a solution to a single coding problem, make sure to implement each time, and focus on how to solve an entire class of problems
CodePath.org started as a technical training company for senior engineers that ran training and onboarding programs for the world’s top technology companies including Facebook, Google, Dropbox, Airbnb, and Netflix. Over 5 years, CodePath created 30+ courses and taught over 2,000 programmers. At the time, the founders’ singular focus was to create a better, faster way for engineers to learn new technologies.
Through redesigning Facebook University, the founders learned that the programming courses they developed to teach professional engineers provided the missing curriculum and support to make college students more likely to persist and succeed in C.S. education. In 2017, the team behind our professional programs founded CodePath.org to eliminate educational inequity in technical education starting with college C.S. education.
If you are a student in college, sign up for CodePath classes to join our network of student alumni, complete our practical courses, build out your portfolio, and ace your next interview. We also host virtual career fairs twice a year for students to help directly connect them to companies all across the United States.
If you are curious how to learn more about the interview process at top tech companies, check out our student’s guide to interviewing at top tech companies. We have many other resources made available through our career fair for CodePath alumni.