Edited By: Maira Zamir, Peer Career Coach
Javier Sorribes graduated from Illinois Tech with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering in May 2018. He has been a Software Engineer at Google since then, first working in Google Hire (an applicant tracking system) and then as a Cloud Resource Manager.
What is the greatest lesson you learned during your time as a student at IIT?
Most opportunities in life will be created by yourself. You have to be proactive, look for the things you want to do and go after them. There are a ton of things you can do: research, student orgs, teaching assistant and other jobs, internships, career fairs, conferences, hackathons, volunteering, sports… All of these will help you develop as a professional and as an individual, but you have to go out there and pursue them.
Did you have an internship in your undergrad? If so, what advice do you have for people who will be interning or doing co-op in the future?
I did a summer internship in Hispasat (a Spanish satellite company) and a co-op in BMW Chicago during the spring semester (while taking classes). Internships are some of the most valuable experiences you’ll get before graduating, so my advice would be to really try to work on interesting projects during your internship. If you notice that you haven’t been doing much, talk to your supervisor and peers to find work you could tackle!
What is one major thing you learned when you stepped into the professional world after graduating?
I realized that there’s a big jump between 0 to 2 to 4 years of experience. After that, the difference isn’t quite that huge. But the first couple years will be a big ramp up and you have to take them humbly and optimistically, knowing that as time goes by, you’ll keep learning and becoming a stronger professional.
How did you land your first job?
Technically, my first job ever was as a referee for IIT’s Intramurals. I had played a couple Intramurals soccer games and realized that the referees were students, so I emailed the organizer directly and asked if they could use one more person. They invited me to a fairly informal interview and a group session.
So as for my first job post-graduation, a recruiter from Google called me and had me do 7 interviews. I had to study quite a lot, and I was applying to other jobs and interviewing with other companies at the same time. In the end I got two offers, and went with Google because I thought it would be the place where I would grow the most.
What advice would you give to graduates of 2020?
There is no question that this is a very tough year, and job search is no different. That is why you really have to work hard and go after your goals. I know from experience that it’s hard to be motivated these days, but the reward will be immense when you achieve it. Don’t lose faith and be consistent.