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Podcast

Simran Mhatre - How to land an internship at a FAANG company

Highlights

Simran Mhatre shares her advice on getting a plan in place early to set up a strong network that can be leaned into when you are ready for your portfolio, resume and interview prep. She also shares specific actions she took to get the right jobs in front of her to get a streamlined portfolio and resume in front of the hiring manager.

This episode includes many tips to help you find the right internship or job for you and inspire you to make bold steps towards a career at some of the biggest names in tech. Read the article below and listen to more of Simran's great advice in the full episode!

🔥 Don’t be afraid of rejection.

Whether you are trying to extend your network, ask for feedback, or apply for an internship or job. Do not let the fear of rejection stop you along your way. Get out there, and collect those rejections - it just means that you are improving your chances of getting the "yes" you want!

⏰ Start early!

Long before you are ready to apply for an internship, reach out and connect with people that work for the companies you are interested in working for in the future. The earlier you begin reaching out to build meaningful relationships, the better you will establish credibility with them before you ask them to refer you for a role.

💡 Create a plan.

Knowing that networking, portfolio building, and resume writing take a lot of time on top of school, work, and other responsibilities, it is important to create a plan to manage it all. Be flexible in the plan when you begin a job search, understand that it all can't happen at once, and make strides forward each day to work on your plan!

How to land an internship at a FAANG company

In episode 29 of The Product Design Podcast, Seth Coelen interviews Simran Mhatre, a Product Design Intern at Meta. Simran is originally from India and moved to the United States in 2021 to further her education. She is a graduate student at Indiana University Bloomington, studying Human-Computer Interaction.

Simran worked long and hard to land her internship at a FAANG company and shares all the tips and advice she put into action to get where she is today. If you are trying to break into UX or looking to change jobs in UX, listen to her fantastic advice on portfolios, resumes, and networking!

How Simran found UX Design and landed in the United States

When Simran finished high school, she was unsure about what she wanted to study but decided on computer science due to her interest in computers and technology. During her time in college, where she pursued a bachelor's in engineering and information technology, Simran came across UX. She found it interesting that so many people find technology difficult to use. As she dug further into UX, Simran realized this would be a way she could help solve problems for many people who struggle with technology.

After Simran earned her bachelor's degree, she decided that she wanted to make the switch to UX but knew she had a long learning road ahead. Simran chose to move to the United States to further her education in Human-Computer Interaction. She is currently a graduate student at Indiana University Bloomington and is just getting started in her internship at Meta!

Work to do before you are ready to start your official job search

Before Simran was ready to begin her job search, she stepped back and thought through the work ahead. She was able to take small actions as she moved along that ultimately set her up for success when she was ready to begin her job search. By putting this advice into action, you can do the same!

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💡 Network with intention.

Getting an internship at a large company is not easy. Reach out and build meaningful relationships online with people who work for the companies you are interested in working for in the future. The more you extend your network and ask individuals in the industry how they made it to where they are, the more you will learn, and you will also start to build relationships that could eventually lead you to your big break!

➡️ Pro Tip!

Use platforms like ADP List to find potential mentors. Study their work and journey to see if they are someone you would want to work with down the road. Reach out, let them know you admire their work and start building meaningful relationships with these individuals. Get feedback on your portfolio and resume while establishing a strong rapport with them.

“It's always very nice to build meaningful relationships with people because getting into big companies is so difficult.”

📢 Prioritize with a plan.

As a student, you have classes, projects, and exams. Adding a job search can become stressful and overwhelming. Before you begin your job search, think through your responsibilities and frame out a plan. Once you are ready to begin your job search, prioritize based on what you need to do day-to-day. You can't accomplish everything you want at once, so create a prioritized plan and start working on it.

🔥 Prepare yourself for rejection.

Searching for a job can be mentally challenging because there can be many rejections. The more you apply, the more you may get rejected. Be prepared for the rejections, and then when you receive them, you will be better able to move past them. Do not take rejections too seriously. Keep applying, and you will have more chances to receive offers for the opportunities you want!

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Three actions to take when you are ready to start applying for a job in UX

Simran was able to get several interviews and offers for high-profile internships. Getting to this point took a lot of focus and dedication to the job search process. Here are some actions she took when she was ready for her job search that could help you narrow your focus and land an internship or job you want.

🚨 Set yourself up to receive job alerts.

Simran set herself up to receive job alerts from LinkedIn and Indeed for the companies she was interested in working for, so she could determine her next steps. Each morning she would have new job postings arrive in her email to review and decide if she wanted to apply.

⏰ Start applying early!

Most companies start their internship opportunities in August. Be prepared with your portfolio and resume and then apply right away to get a jump on the students who are waiting until October and November.

🎯 Don’t blind apply; ask for referrals.

Now that you have spent several months building meaningful relationships with people who work at the large companies you want to work for, ask them for a referral for the position you received through an alert. A warm introduction will give you an edge that not all candidates will have and set you in front of the crowd.

“I've seen a lot of people spending so much time on their portfolio that they sometimes miss the application deadline, or they just don't apply for the job because they think that their portfolio isn't good enough. Just go ahead and apply.”

Thank you so much, Simran!

We had a blast talking with Simran on her incredible journey into UX. Simran's story is inspirational, and her hard work and dedication have paid off. She brought so much valuable advice and tips that our listeners are sure to find so much value. We are so grateful that she shared the insight and wisdom she has gained on her path to landing her exciting internship at Meta!

Listen to the complete episode on The Product Design Podcast, where Simran shares more of her unique journey into UX and lots of tips on perfecting your portfolio and resume! Don't forget to follow Simran on LinkedIn, Instagram, and dribbble. Also, check out her website for portfolio inspiration and her resume for a great example of formatting it correctly and getting through the system and over to the hiring manager!

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Where to find Simran

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