Help me apply to Google! (post-postdoc version)
August 28, 2013 10:12 PM Subscribe
I'm leaving academia (math), and I want to apply to work at Google and some other companies in the SF bay area. This will be my first job that isn't teaching/research, and the MANY potential opportunities are overwhelming me me a bit. Can you help me figure out which vaguely described jobs are likely good for me?
posted by ktkt to work & money (5 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Likely relevant facts:
+ I have a PhD in math from a top ten university, and I completed a 3yr postdoc at an even "better" one. I want to leave academia despite doing very well in my position. I'm a strong problem solver, writer, teacher, and public speaker, and I have experience organizing small conferences and weekly seminars. I'm good at finding patterns and figuring out how to turn rough ideas into workable things.
I have done many bits of math-related programming, using Mathematica, Maple, Matlab, Gap, CoCoA, Macauley, etc. I am not an expert in any of these, but I've never had much trouble finding the right tool and writing sensible bits of code to generate examples I needed for math projects.
+ I'm pretty good with spreadsheets. I haven't learned about macros, but I can definitely deal with complicated formulas and things like vlookup tables.
+ I would want to be based in the bay area, though I am open to a job involving travel.
+ I can start as early as October, but I would prefer to wait until November or even a bit later if possible.
+ Things that are important to me: smart+personable coworkers, interesting projects that have practical applications, somewhat flexible hours (i.e. not starting at 8am every day), and an easy commute from Berkeley (for me, "easy" means public or company-provided transportation, ideally with just one leg, no connections; long is fine).
+ How do I navigate the sea of Google's posted positions? Besides analyst positions (which jumped out when searching for "math"), what else should I be considering?
+ Do I try to pick say, 3-5 jobs which sound reasonable? Do I need to choose just one position to apply for? Apply for anything that seems a good fit?
Many of the postings sound very similar, so winnowing down the list feels very arbitrary. Besides, I'm ready for a change and open to many possibilities. I don't have my heart on doing any particular job at this point. I do want to work on something that feels practical/useful and that will use my intelligence.
+ Assuming I get an interview, will I have a chance to talk to a recruiter about my strengths vs. their needs and how to best place me? Is there a way to discuss various positions with such a person before explicitly applying?
+ How in the world do I start to think about salaries? (No ranges are posted with job descriptions.) Of course, if I could do well and enjoy a higher paid position basically as much as a lower paid one, I'd like more money. How do I figure out even a ballpark salary estimate for a given position?