Nov 7th, 2022
This past year, I participated in the Uber Career Prep Fellowship, a seven-month program with five virtual workshops ranging in content from technical interview prep to learning about different careers in computing. In addition, the program has mock interviews and homework assignments to help expand your technical knowledge. I was also paired 1x1 with an Uber Engineer who guided me throughout the program. You’ll also have ample opportunities to meet with members of Uber’s employee resource groups, who will also be a considerable part of your Success in this one-of-a-kind experience!
All Uber Career Prep Fellows were allowed to interview for a paid summer 2023 internship position assuming all program requirements were met.
I’m not an Uber Recruiter, I can’t get you hired or selected for the program, and none of this advice is official (unless otherwise stated). These are reflections based on the personal experience of past participants and me.
CS/Computing adjacent students who have at least two interning summers left before they graduate. (for this year’s program, you are graduating in 2025 or 2026)
Comments on Diversity
Another fellow, Elias mentioned that he was the “the only Mexican in the 2022 cohort, with only 2 Latins total” (see his full article here).
I think Uber has a two pronged goal for this program; (1) Increase access to quality CS education and (2) Increase diversity in the recruiting pipeline. I feel like these goals are a little conflicting since recruiting priorities are to get the brightest minds from the top schools. Reaching genuinely marginalized people means reaching out to non-target schools and to folks in schools outside the US. The people who would genuinely benefit the most from the program are not overcommitted top students at Stanford, UIUC, Berkeley, Georgia Tech, Duke, Princeton and Columbia but actually folks in community college or no-name universities outside US who are still very smart but don’t get opportunities.
- Interview Availability
Essay Questions General tips: I pay attention to the italicized parts of the prompt since they give you precisely what they’re looking for. Choose your most impactful experiences and try to be genuine.
- How have you demonstrated a commitment to the Career Prep Prep Program’s mission?
The Career Prep Program aims to raise transparency around the steps necessary for embarking on a stem career for traditionally underrepresented groups in tech and increase their representation in the industry. Share the actions you have taken, initiatives you have started, and programs you have participated in that demonstrate your commitment to this mission. 500 character maximum.
- I talked about guide writing and past mentorship experiences.
- What matters most to you, and why?
Share the insights and experiences that shaped your perspective. This is an opportunity for you to illustrate who you are and how you came to be that person, rather than discussing what you’ve done or accomplished. 500 character maximum.
- I talked about navigating Disability Resources at my university and how that has inspired me to be an advocate.
- What are your immediate career goals following the completion of this program?
- I talked about being better at navigating interviews with performance anxiety.
- Please share a story about a time when you demonstrated perseverance.
- I talked about navigating technical difficulties holding a virtual event for the first time.
- In 140 characters or less, create a tweet to describe who you are.
- (my actual response) Wholesome cs girl who likes r&b music, hoarding and sharing guides, eating pesto, and playing pokemon.
- How have you demonstrated a commitment to the Career Prep Prep Program’s mission? The Career Prep Program aims to raise transparency around the steps necessary for embarking on a stem career for traditionally underrepresented groups in tech and increase their representation in the industry. Share the actions you have taken, initiatives you have started, and programs you have participated in that demonstrate your commitment to this mission. 500 character maximum.
Here is my timeline with the program:
Application Window: sometime Dec - Jan 16
Invite to interview: Feb 1
Preliminary Interview: Feb 15
- They asked me 2 LC easy
- Mostly, they were looking to see if I could talk through my code
Accepted to UCP! Feb 23
- Only 5% of candidates were accepted into the program during my year
I’m including a brief overview of each workshop and my notes. Hopefully, you can get a vague idea of what happened and my takeaways. There were also some role play and interactive sessions, but it’s harder to take notes on that, so they are mostly not included.
- Workshop 1: March 3-4, 2022
Main Sessions: Engineering in School vs. Industry, Inclusive Design, Interview Best Practices/Technical Roleplay (+breakout sessions)
- How to prepare during school
- do lots of projects/courses/internships
- develop writing skills/communications
- build your peer network, solicit mentors
- practice negotiation skills
- How to select the first job
- Find supportive teammates/manager
- Align your career goal with your manager’s goal
- Three dimensions of new grad role: company, manager/team, scope/role/impact
- can use a weighted matrix to help decide between offers
- Learn best practices on the job (system design, code documentation)
- Deliver the right thing at the right time for the right customer
- What to do in an FT job
- Manage yourself
- Develop for the long term (readable, well-documented)
- How to do that
- Solicit feedback from mentors/peers
- Learn best practices (be proactive)
- Quantify your impact
- make demos/presentations and teach
- present your work based on what your audience thinks is valuable
- How to SHIP!
- collect project reqs
- do bg research
- cover all the edge cases
- document findings and proposed solutions
- take into account future system load increase, scale
- ask for feedback
- test our code!
- launch your thing, continuously monitor for breaking changes
- multiple interviews blocks w/diff interviewers
- block contains
- a brief discussion of tech background
- coding/design/technical deep dive content
- interviewer debrief (possibly days later)
- feedback from the recruiter
- what they look for
- problem-solving skills
- clean, concise code
- focus on getting a working solution
- what not to do
- not communicating
- not knowing Resumes + projects
- making assumptions without clarifying questions
- jumping straight into coding without communicating a plan
- choosing a language you’re bad at
- debugging inside your head
- spending time on the wrong parts of the problem
- the interviewer wants you to succeed
- breathe, think, respond
- communicate, and collaborate with the interviewer
- prep: experiences, about the company, technical fundamentals
- consider the broader scope of the question (how would it be used in an irl system)
- try to stay positive
- practice a timed mock interview with a stranger or a mentor
- ask a lot of questions
- test cases
- think out loud
- take the interviewer’s hints
- How to prepare during school
- Workshop 2: May 14-15, 2022
Main Sessions: Resume/Linkedin Advice, Job Search Tips, Elevator Pitches, Navigating start of intern/job, Breakdown of what engineers earn
- education on top
- no frills
- use LinkedIn as a framework
- events, code jams, hackathons, etc
- teaching/research assistant positions
- relevant coursework
- GPA over 3.5+
- awards and accomplishments
- leadership roles
- use action verbs to portray your exps
- write in 1st person
- quantify accomplishments
- link GitHub, portfolio, Resume
- make a tagline
- make sure you have keywords
- open to: specify location and relo preferences
- personal branding
- what do you want to work on?
- enterprise software, operating systems, cloud/servers, productivity stuff, trading…
- what do you want to learn?
- mobile apps, big data, cloud computing…
- what industries interest u? what products/services do you like using/want to improve?
- what do you want to work on?
- startups vs. established
- startups: self-management, open ended problems, creating tech from scratch, doing a little bit of everything
- bigger: building on existing stuff, improving processes, more mentorship and room to grow, specialize
- small vs. large
- bigger: understand businesses of scale, you could develop more
- smaller: make a more significant impact in a small team setting
- what they do
- what are the products
- what is the company mission
- startups vs. established
- leverage peers, past speakers you have attended, old recruiters, etc.
- stay in touch with recruiters if stuff doesn’t align
- show a cool project, have a good elevator pitch
- tips for a new grad role
- build relationships with mentors and peers
- ask a lot of questions
- sign-on bonus
- new hire equity grant
- annual perf bonus
- annual stock refresh
- equity vesting schedule
- typically over 4 yrs, 25% at 1-year cliff, 1/48 monthly
- if diff from above, ask a lot of questions and be cautious!
- how to compare
- where do you see yourself being more successful?
- having a higher impact?
- learning more? Growing professionally?
- who has the better manager?
- who do you align with more?
- ask friends/family abt their exp
- can you get off the train if necessary?
- what’s the plan after this job?
- calculate total comp
- check levels.FYI
- negotiate!!! read never split the difference
- commit to your decision
- elevator pitch
- intro: greeting, who are you?
- future: where do you want to be and why?
- past + present: what have you done in the past, what have you been doing lately and where do you wanna be in the future
- wrap up (if necessary) - what do you wanna do and why?
- story toolbox
- interview competencies
- interpersonal skills
- work ethic
- think of a couple of examples for these ahead of time
- Workshop 3: July 2022
Main Sessions: Ideation to shipping, Interview Best Practices, PM/Designers/Data Scientists, Offer Negotiation Day 1
- Product Ideation
- What is the high-level vision?
- Identify subproblems; who does this affect (customer profiles)?
- Key guiding principles for the solution
- Define Success: what does it look like? How can we measure it?
- Research: User research, competitive research, historical research
- Document: make a PRD/Spec to kick off the project
- problem statement
- projected impact
- context and research
- summary of changes (in priority order)
- measuring Success
- go to market plan
- engineers build features and revisit PRD
- How to Measure Success: user feedback surveys, churn metrics, eng/pm time, launch time, user engagement, revenue, support tickets, etc
- Can use A/B testing to try out diff versions of things
- use levels.FYI, glassdoor, LinkedIn salary insights, angel list, leetcode comp section to estimate salary
- research school offer deadline guidelines, reach out to career center for guidance on exploding offers
- reach out to peer mentors, Reddit etc for advice
- know your worth
- combo of UX, tech, and business
- PMs are responsible for delivering value to the customer and the company’s bottom line
- be ruthless about priorities
- product lifecycle: Ideation, scope/build, release, collect feedback, iterate
- product roadmap: create it to map out future goals
- day to day? write prds, show new products to stakeholders, attend standups, plan metrics for new user segments, and user research studies
- u can come from many diff background
- Data Science
- data modeling and analysis
- research of diff types (based on team focus)
- experimentation (and making data-driven decisions)
- evaluation of product performance and other decisions
- a collaboration with stakeholders on partner teams
- u can work on the product, policy market research, ML, etc.
- skillset: programming, math/stats knowledge, domain knowledge, ML, analytics…
- day 2 day: team meetings with other DS, cross-functional meetings with stakeholders, debugging queries, running statistical analysis, building ETLs, putting together presentations
- 1:1 work sessions
- Product Ideation
- Workshop 4: Sept 2022
Main Sessions: Global Law, More interview tips and networking
- Tech privacy
- anonymize sensitive user data
- store only what you need
- allow users to control how much data they disclose
- allow users to export data
- Doing the right thing
- Product Counsel: cultivates relationships, knows the business and the issues, provides and coordinates legal advice
- concerns: field of use, privacy/data protection, IP, consumer protection, reputation
- legal saves u money and helps keep the company’s reputation good
- make and keep promises
- DSAR: A Data Subject Access Request (DSAR) is a legal right for individuals to access the data being processed by a business.
- CCPA (2019), GDPR (2018), LGPD in Brazil (2020)…
- product eval categories
- speed to market of product
- approach to meeting legal requirements
- overall presentation
- Tech privacy
- Workshop 5: Nov 2022
Main Sessions: Graduation + Farewell Remarks!
// nothing here lol
I cannot actually share the homework or the questions but make sure you can implement the following in your language of choice and use them to solve LC problems.
- Arrays, Strings, Linked Lists, Stacks & Queues, and Recursion
- Graphs and Trees
- Sorting and Searching
- Recursion and Dynamic Programming
I got paired with a mentor at Uber, and we mostly spent sessions talking about homework assignments and mock interview feedback, and he connected me to a PM who works in accessibility since that’s something I am interested in.
Two 1 hr interviews:
- 5 min introduction
- 5 min behavioral
- 45 min coding
- The actual coding aspect of the technical interview will occur in a shared editor or on the whiteboard (discretion of the interviewer).
- All the questions should be short enough to explain in a few minutes and solvable in the time given.
- Interviewers are looking for coding skills, problem-solving, and communication skills. General Algorithmic/Coding Questions
- Data structures: Trees, Heaps, LinkedList, HashMaps
- Concepts: Big-O notation, Recursion, Sorting algos etc Architecture Questions
- How would you build a URL shortener service?
- Design Facebook Newsfeed
- Need to think about trade-offs, APIs, scalability Behavioral Question
- “Tell me about a time you had to work closely with someone whose personality was diﬀerent from your own…”
- GOAL: get to the optimal solution
- 5 min Q+A
- In the remaining time, you’ll have an opportunity to ask any questions related to Uber, speciﬁcally engineering, internships, or general career advice that you have.
My first interview was on Jul 25, and my second was on Jul 27. From what I heard, some fellows didn’t get second rounds. The decisions were sent to us around Aug 18.
Offers and Compensation
I’m including this for transparency.
- Compensation: $52/hour (Juniors), $47/hr (Sophomores)
- Housing Stipend: $1,700/month
- Travel: We will book your flights to/from your internship location (US/Canada/Mexico)
- Start dates: TBD (We will do our best to align closely with your preferred timeline)
- Benefits/Perks: 17% discount and $295/month (if in NY) in Uber credits (can be used on rides and Eats!), health insurance (if needed), $50 monthly cell phone stipend
The original offer deadline they gave me was 9/2.
Other Details I moved my internship to Winter 2023 (Jan-May) in SF. I am an incoming intern on the Eats team.<- back to Writing