A failed new years resolution
For me academic years are like calendar years for regular people. Each new term comes with the promise to myself that I am going to do better; I’m going to work harder, complete those projects I’m always starting, be more sociable and, most crucially for this post, blog more.
And, as with most people, I fail. Not totally of course, I have been working hard, I’ve imposed myself on those too polite to turn me away but, as you can tell from the dwindling trickle of posts, I’ve not been blogging much more than I was before. Certainly not as much as I’d intended. Perhaps if I actually worked more on those projects I’d have more to blog about.
If I am permitted an excuse other than absent mindedness this term has somewhat been dominated with sorting out my year in industry. The third year of my course is a sandwich year, in which I get to go work with a real company earning real money working on real projects, all very exciting. The big trouble at the moment is finding somewhere to go.
Those of us on this particular course are very lucky to have Gus on our side, a slightly intimidating but genuinely nice chap with many industry contacts who arranges interviews for us on what is called the “Fast Track” process. Thus my time between lectures is largely filled with running back and forth between home and campus changing in and out of my suit, researching companies, responding to Gus’s pleas for prompt responses and otherwise feeling slightly exhausted.
I’ve had a few interviews so far and even this early on in the process I feel like I’ve benefited from it and learnt a great deal. I don’t have the most extensive of CVs, so I’ve not been through the interview process much before. After each interview I’ve learnt a little more about the different interview styles of the various companies and their contrasting requirements, each time kicking myself for not pitching my responses just right. Of course I try to adjust it next time only to find I’ve not quite understood this companies motivation and all my preparation is moot.
The moral of all this, of course, is the old cliche of just being yourself. The interviews are a two way process, as much a chance for you to see whether you will fit in with the company as it is for them to see whether you will be able to fulfil their job requirements. If they don’t appreciate your passion for HCI and language design because they’re looking for a hardware person then it’s not the job for you. If they seem too uptight and business like, or conversely too relaxed for you, then you’re probably not going to get on great. However, if you liked them then chances are they liked you, so you’ll be just peachy.
Like I say, I’m only at the begriming of the process at the moment, so I’ll probably become cynical and jaded about it by the end. But until then there’s a fun ride awaiting for me. Wish me luck.