A year ago, Aaron Roe organized HackRice 2015 six months after interning with Indeed.com and only a few months before returning to Indeed as a full-time software engineer. In January 2016, he returned to HackRice representing Indeed as one of the event sponsors. Why is Indeed sponsoring the event?
Roe responds quickly, “Indeed sponsors events like HackRice expecting to gain more exposure for potential interns and employees. A lot of students don’t know there is a strong engineering culture at Indeed, and that it is a really cool place to work. They don’t know that we have internships.” And because he interned at several companies, Roe understands the importance of these short-term positions from the student and the employer perspective.
He explains, “It is so important to get really high quality interns and engineers. Events like HackRice provide opportunities to get people to consider applying for our future openings. If someone does hand us a resume tonight, we’ll definitely take it back to the appropriate people.” Roe says HackRice is an especially great place to meet people from schools their recruiters might not have visited. “Tonight, we’ve met people from Cornell, Berkeley, Yale, even Texas A&M, UT-San Antonio and UT-Dallas. And that is just out of the first 20 or so people we’ve been chatting with.”
Roe finds it easy to represent his employer because he is passionate about the organization. “I interned with Indeed the summer after my junior year,” he said, “and I had a job offer at end of internship. I had a couple of other offers from my previous internships, but Indeed’s engineering culture was what I really liked.” What impacted him most during his summer work experience? Roe thought a moment and then answered, “Everyone really cared a lot about the specific product they were developing. And even though I was an intern that summer, people trusted me not to mess up. I was actually doing real work I could be proud of and that they would be using. Plus I was paired with a mentor, and I learned so much through that mentoring process. I thought if I could stay there even longer, I would learn so much more.”
After joining Indeed in 2015, Roe is still enamored of his company. “The product is so important,” he stresses. “The culture, beginning at the top level — the ownership — everyone instills these great values –like taking pride in what you’re working on. People really do prioritize the quality of the product over getting something out the door. That so impressed me, as an intern, I wanted to be part of that. Plus, when you come on board as an employee, they put you on a team that is working on a product that you are interested in.”
Asked about the biggest change from being a full-time student to full-time employee, Roe talks about work-life balance. “Now, I have a bit of a work/life separation. When you are at school, you are always thinking about the next deadline, the next thing that is due and it is exhausting. It isn’t over until the end of the semester and then it starts up again. But then again in college, your time is more flexible. Working, you can more cleanly separate the different spheres in your life, so when I get home I’m not stressed out about the work I have to do that night, or the work I have to do later in the week.”
Roe also talks about differences in motivation. “As a person, I’m really motivated by other people. For a group project, it is harder to be motivated by an arbitrary deadline (like for a class), but when I’m on a team and people are depending on me, that is the sort of thing that motivates me. Being part of something bigger and part of something that everyone is contributing to, that brings out my best work.”
For more information about internship and employment opportunities at Indeed.com, visit http://www.indeed.jobs/.
For more information on the largest academic department at Rice University, visit the Computer Science Department web site: http://cs.rice.edu.