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Office Visit: C/I goes to Facebook

October 31, 2014 by

On Wednesday, October 29th, C/I students from Fordham High School for the Arts took a field trip to Facebook’s NYC office at 770 Broadway. Students signed the NYC Facebook Wall before heading out on a tour of the beautiful Frank Gehry-designed space.

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Selena Ma, a veteran recruiter at Facebook, lead the students through the office with some entertaining stops along the way, including a stocked micro kitchen, an enviable coffee bar, meeting rooms named after coding puns, and a free vending machine with commonly replaced computer accessories. Students couldn’t stop saying “why don’t we have this at school?”

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After the immersive tour, a panel of seven Facebook software engineers explained how they became interested in coding and shared some valuable advice with our students.

Dave, Facebook Software Engineer: “Think of cool, smaller achievable projects that will keep you excited and keep you wanting to build things.  Each time you build things, it will be a serious confidence boost and it’ll get you exposed to different types of coding.”

Ellora, Facebook Software Engineer: “Programmers have a really bad habit of using abbreviations and jargon and assuming that everyone knows what it means. Chances are, if you have a question, other people have that question, too. Other people aren’t smarter than you just because they use abbreviations.”

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Our software engineer hosts talked with students in small groups, exchanging valuable knowledge about what it is like to work at a company like Facebook. Students also shared their experiences with coding so far and received a lot of praise and encouragement from their new Facebook mentors.

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After 30 minutes of great conversations, students shared what they gleaned from their one-on-one time.

Jessica, 10th grade: “I’d like to acknowledge Michael and Dave because they made me see how they work every day, and it’s very interesting how they work on different things and that working in this office is pretty awesome.”

Even, 10th grade: “I want to acknowledge Dave and Allora because you made me want this job so badly.  Passion for this somehow went in me and I just want to work harder on learning how to code.  And thank you for the tips that you gave us!”

Richard, 11th grade: “I really enjoyed my conversation with Felix and Orin, they gave me a lot of advice about how to pursue a career in this field and basically how to get better in coding.”

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Selena, who recruited most of the engineers in the room, shared that she really cherishes the opportunity to encourage students while building a diverse community at Facebook. The social media giant recruits students and young professionals from all backgrounds to apply to jobs and internships through programs like Facebook U.

Selena can definitely expect applications from all of our C/I students. As Jordy, a Fordham Arts Junior, reiterated to all of our hosts, “If I get a job offer from here, yes, I will take it.”

Thanks so much for all of our Facebook panelists and hosts, especially Adam Isserlis, Mark Tortora, and Selena Ma. Hopefully we’ll see you all again soon!

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