Name: Calvin Mark
Hometown: Miami, Florida
Degree/major: Bachelor of Science in computer science with a minor in physics
Where are you working? Title? Oracle/Oracle Cloud, software engineer
How did you get your job? I met a recruiter at the FIU career fair this fall, and she invited me to interview with Oracle Cloud. A few weeks later, I was thrilled to receive a job offer to join the Oracle Cloud team as a software engineer. I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity and look forward to working with and learning from everyone on this team. I am also grateful to my recruiter, who made the process so easy.
What was your greatest fear going into your first job, and how did you face it or overcome it? Initially, I was concerned about feeling overwhelmed. Despite being such a large company, however, Oracle has been incredibly intentional in creating a welcoming and inclusive environment. I have thoroughly enjoyed the onboarding process. I am now focused on the work and all I am learning. I am very grateful for this opportunity.
What surprised you the most about your first job? I am in awe of the work culture Oracle has created for its employees during a global pandemic. Before joining the team, I wondered how they would go about successfully onboarding someone like me in this role. I found it hard to even imagine doing what I do from a remote setting, but the Oracle team stepped up and did a remarkable job during some very challenging times to ensure an engaging and productive work environment for all its employees—new and tenured.
What advice do you have for those beginning the job search process? I believe companies want to hire well-rounded individuals. Excelling at your coursework is important, but it is just as important to get involved outside of the classroom. Networking is also incredibly important. I would advise students to join a club, volunteer or get involved in research opportunities in their respective fields, especially STEM students. There are plenty of opportunities to network and build relationships. Focus on making industry connections and create a strong resume. Seek out internships as soon as possible. Aim to get as many real-world experiences outside of the classroom as you can. Internships look amazing on your resume. Finally, leverage FIU’s career services. They helped me land my first job.
What does a day on the job look like? Presently, I am focused on onboarding at Oracle. Once I have fully transitioned into my role as a software engineer, I will be working within AI services, facilitating the deployment of ML models to be used throughout Oracle’s enterprise cloud.
How does your job connect back to your coursework? The courses I took that covered applications and theory in databases and data structures provided me with a solid foundation in computer science. I also took a cloud computing course during my last semester, which helped me understand not only how cloud computing works but the immense business aspect behind it. Finally, my coursework in linear algebra and experience in physics labs taught me how to best approach research and mathematical modeling.
How was your transition from school to work?How do you balance your time? Given most of us are still working remotely, I was able to accept this position while remaining in my hometown of Miami. There are challenges related to working with others in different time zones. Since I am still in Miami, my workdays do start a little later, but it has been very manageable. The transition from school to work has been very easy for me. I am still able to do all the things I enjoy while diving into my career headfirst.
What’s been the coolest thing about your job so far? The coolest aspect of working at Oracle so far has been the people. Although we are working remotely and primarily communicating online, Oracle hosts online employee events and activities, which are a blast. It makes us feel less spread out geographically, and it has helped me build a community of peers.
Mark joined the Sustainability, Optimization and Learning for Interdependent networks laboratory (solid lab) at the FIU College of Engineering and Computing as an undergraduate research assistant supported by an Opportunities for Undergraduate Research and Scholarships (OURS) Program scholarship. M. Hadi Amini was his mentor, and his research focused on the theory of social dynamics, data analytics and resilient networks.
Mark contributed to multiple research projects while at FIU, including a recent study that explored the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the economy. He also contributed to a project on distributed decision-making algorithms for large-scale critical infrastructures.