Lassonde students land top internships at Uber
“We applied and didn’t expect a reply at all,” is how two humble Lassonde students begin their story of getting one of the most coveted internships in tech.
This May Anton Sitkovets, fourth-year Software Engineering student, and Daman Chhina, a third-year Computer Engineering student, will be going to Uber’s offices in Boulder, Colorado to work with the tech giant’s map team.
Anton and Damon participated in Lassonde’s co-op program, which prepares students for opportunities to dive into real work in industry during flexible 4, 8, 12 and 16-month work terms.
After a rigorous and highly-selective interview process, Anton and Damon were two of only three interns chosen for these spots.
Lassonde caught up with them to take a peak into the process and get insider tips for new Lassonde students and aspiring co-op stars.
What are you most excited about in your internship?
Anton: I’m excited to work at such an influential company. They’re taking over the world.
Daman: Uber is working on some really interesting stuff like machine learning and computer vision, and I want to work with both of these technologies. I also know it’s going to be an amazing experience.
What was the interview process like?
Anton: There were three technical interviews that were all long and arduous. The first one was the hardest because it was the least expected. I had never done a technical interview before. They start with very simple questions and you begin feeling comfortable, then they bombard you with very difficult technical questions.
Daman: There is a lot of math and they ask simple programming questions. Most people would answer incorrectly because often people aren’t used to really thinking through fundamental, basic questions. That’s where they get you. There were lots of algorithms and data structures. You’re asked to link programming to math.
What was Uber really looking for in successful candidates?
Anton: They don’t care about skills and programming languages per se. They want to test their thinking abilities. They want to see sharp critical thinking and the ability to articulate your solutions.
Daman: I didn’t complete the code for most of the interviews, but I was able to give them a working idea of what I was developing. I could give a clear explanation of my reasoning. You need to be able to explain how your solution works. You should know how to think.
What do you want first-year students to know?
Anton: Build an atmosphere around you that helps you get better at whatever you’re working on. Surround yourself with smart people. No, surround yourself with people smarter than you. That encourages you to be better.
Daman: Have your own projects and do things outside of school. Don’t get overwhelmed by the people that seem to be doing better than you. All of the other interns at Uber are your CalTech, Harvard and MIT. And now we are there, from Lassonde. We made it.