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Michael Wang

Michael Wang

Software Engineer

Catalyst Software

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"Finding a job was for sure the most bothering problem I had. I had no idea how to get interviews, how to prepare for interviews, and even what I was really interested in. I’m pretty sure many of the other students were also struggling. Now looking back, I do have a few suggestions:

  1. Go to CCO. They have very good resources and service to help. Services like resume review, resume book, and job postings, can boost your job hunting very well.
  2. Participate in student organizations. You need more activities on your resume. It’s really hard to stand out if the employers can only see your grades from that one piece of paper.
  3. Work on your own projects. Not only it will help build up your resume, but also gain yourself real skills.
  4. Talk to alumni. We probably went through the challenges you have today, and alumni are here to help."

What was your major/minor at Purdue and when did you graduate?

Major in Computer Science. Graduated in 2015.


What was your most compelling class and why?

It has to be OLS 284 Leadership Principles. While I was participating in a student organization, I learned many lessons early on. As a self-motivated member with technical skills, I was able to implement a lot of the ideas. However, working within a team is a challenge to someone who spends more time with code, especially after climbing up the ladder and became a task-oriented leader. I took this Leadership Principle course with all the challenges I have run into, and found the exact answers I was looking for. It is a unique combination of inside and outside the classroom. Even after I graduated, I’m still learning how to work with people, and how to become a good servant leader.


What are you currently working on?

One of the benefits of working in a startup is you get to do all kinds of projects. As one of the early employees, I’ve participated in many interesting projects. Right now, I’m working on a large project that migrates an existing core component to a relatively newer data infrastructure. Since it’s one of the very first components and being used by many other critical features, the migration process requires very good planning and engineering skills.


Did you pursue internships/co-ops, research experiences, volunteer, or join student organizations while you attended Purdue?

I participated in student organizations and also had a summer internship with Professor. I highly recommend exploring different programs on campus. Try something different and gain some real skills. I have never regretted all the time I spent on those activities. The technical skills I learned enriched my resume, and my experiences of working with other people helped me with my behavioral interviews. All the efforts paid off in a certain way eventually.


Are there any special accomplishments you've achieved after college that you might not have been able to do without your college experiences?

I’ve joined two startups, working really really hard. I once worked 100+ hours per week for several months. I’ve seen how we launched and started serving our first customer, how we grew our team to 20 people from just 5, and now raised 15 million dollars from top VCs. It didn’t just happen for no reason, and being brave doesn’t really solve the problem. All the knowledge I gained at Purdue, supported me all the way. I never got scared of all kinds of technical difficulties, because I know what I’ve learned will help me.


What drove you to pursue your current career path?

It didn’t take me long to realize my interests in business. Working to support other companies that impact millions of people is the main reason why I chose the B2B Enterprise SaaS industry. It’s an invaluable opportunity to use my Computer Science skill to build the core pieces of a fantastic product.


What advice would you give to prospective or current Purdue students about how to make the best use of what Purdue offers?

Try to experience more programs on campus. Actively look for what’s out there. The more you try, the more different you can become. You will understand what you learn more deeply when you apply it in real-life projects.

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