In this series, recent grads share their journey to landing that first professional job out of college. After years of studying and working toward a degree, these Panthers’ hard work paid off. Now they’re paying it forward by letting you know how they did it.
Name: Iskander Caballero
Hometown: Born in Cuba and raised in Hialeah Gardens
Degree/Major: Bachelor’s degree in computer engineering
Where are you working? Title?
I work for Google as an information technology resident, which is a 26-month role designed to jumpstart your career at Google. I basically learn what it takes to support and scale Google’s technology, and I’m helping Googlers, using various support channels, solve any challenges or answer any questions they have.
How did you get this job?
After having acquired experience through a few internships, I decided to set up a LinkedIn profile in order to show my past work and experience. I hoped for recruiters and companies to notice my interest in the field and reach out. A few recruiters would reach out about different positions, but nothing really caught my eye or went past the first interview. When I began to feel somewhat defeated with my job search, seeing that graduation was a month away, a Google recruiter reached out to me with information about my current position. I took the steps to apply through the link he provided and went through the interview process. Two days after graduation, the recruiter contacted me with an offer and the opportunity to join the best company in the world.
What was your greatest fear going into your first job and how did you face it or overcome it?
My greatest fear was not having enough experience or knowledge when a user required my help to solve their computer issues. This fear became my strength because it is what has helped me grow in the field, and I was able to do so by setting goals and learning from my coworkers as much as I could. The best advice I can give to anyone facing any personal fear going into their first job is to approach this head on and use all of the amenities and help provided by your workplace. This will only help you grow and learn more about your work. It is okay to feel uncomfortable when starting something new, but the knowledge and growth that will be gained from the experience is the most important part of the process.
What surprised you most about your first job?
What surprised me most about Google was the culture – it is very diverse. Here, you can contact anyone with questions, concerns or advice. The ability to interconnect with coworkers/teammates is vital when it comes to problem-solving. Learning from one another is a key factor when providing the best all-around technical support to all of our Googlers.
What advice do you have for those beginning the job search process?
My recommendation is to network with different individuals. Familiarize yourself with the different qualifications and types of job applications. Most importantly, create a LinkedIn profile where you display your present and past achievements for recruiters. Through this LinkedIn profile, you should be your true self and be transparent with your goals and achievements so that recruiters can easily know what type of worker you are.
What does a day on the job look like?
A day-to-day environment consists of helping our Googlers. That is our main priority. We provide support using different sources of communication such as phones, chats, and in-person tickets. While giving solutions to our Googlers is important, so is the teaching behind our support as well. We study our daily flow to provide the best IT operations depending on what major issues are happening across our work environment.
How does your job connect back to your coursework?
As a computer engineer, I studied everything from assembly code to external hardware. I can easily apply to my job the knowledge that I have acquired through the courses I took at FIU. A simple bug on a code that was written by a colleague can be troubleshooted via my prior learning courses in programming languages. I can point out which type of attack was performed on a computer or a vulnerability it might have based on the knowledge I gained from an ethical hacking course I took.
How has your transition from school to work been? How do you balance your time?
Calendars have made my transition from work to school a lot easier. Every day, I follow my schedule with tasks in order to accomplish my goals for the day. I followed this same methodology when I was in school. For example, through calendars, I knew I had a meeting coming up with my supervisor at school and I would make sure I had time to prepare for it beforehand.
What has been the coolest thing about your job so far?
As part of my job, I travel to different Google locations to acknowledge the work flow and assist teams while being in their work environment. The travel is not mandatory, but the ability to visit different parts of the world and speak with multi-cultured individuals that have different perspectives and backgrounds is the coolest thing.