Hear graduate school and career advice from GLOBE visiting student program alumnus, Zeyuan Lin’19 who is now a software engineer at Oracle.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was an upcoming 4th year student at Tongji Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) in Shanghai. I wanted to experience American culture and experience what American campus feels like, so I came to GLOBE for a year-long program at the UC Berkeley Civil and Environmental Engineering and really liked my experience here. When I applied for grad school, I felt like being able to have first-hand experience of Berkeley culture before applying was very helpful. I was admitted to the Master Program in Civil and Environmental Degree here at UC Berkeley. Shortly after graduation, I got offered a position at Oracle as a software engineer.
What is some of your advice for grad school applicants?
A good personal statement is crucial and can help your application stand out. Although I don’t have a high GPA, I feel like my personal statement was well-written since it’s from my perspective, and I am able to point out my strengths and weaknesses. So, I suggest writing your personal statement on your own. As for the letter of recommendation, a good letter is as helpful as your personal statement. Go to office hours often and talk about something you’re interested in, even if it’s just about homework. Then at the end of the semester, when you ask for the recommendation, I’m sure they would be happy to help you if they think you’re impressive! For the language test and GRE, don’t be too worried about that. You don’t have to score too high, you simply need to reach a threshold.
What is some of your advice for job hunting?
Job hunting is pretty tough, especially during the pandemic season. Apply early! The summer is a good time. The recruiting season begins in September. Having career connections is also essential for referrals. If you know someone, you can reach out to that person and see if he/she can help you. Just get prepared, get to know the company culture. My roommate and I applied for the same company but different positions: I was applying for a software job, she was applying for human resources, but our interview questions were somehow similar. Get prepared for the 5-Whys questions like “why did you choose this company”. You can always google some common job interview questions and prepare for them beforehand because they are likely to be asked.
Software Engineer at Oracle
Zeyuan Lin is a GLOBE and UC Berkeley alumnus, and he is currently working at Oracle as a software engineer. You are welcome to connect with Zeyuan on LinkedIn!