Nevertheless, she persisted

My mom used to work at IEEE. She didn’t help me get this position, and no longer works there.

I got an internship at IEEE 🥳.

Lead Up

I applied to ~40 summer positions. This was across the 2020-2021 academic year. I should’ve applied to more places, and I applied to only of handful research positions or co-ops. Stories of needing to apply to 100+ places are common, especially for people who are just starting out. I was rejected or ghosted from everywhere except 2 places: IEEE and Code Ninjas. These last 2 were both places that I applied to relatively late, in April.

Code Ninjas

They were looking for a summer instructor. The big qualification was someone who was good with kids. I think I’m ok, I think I’m patient, but not very peppy.

I got recommendations from {a parent of a code ninjas kid, schoolteacher who used to work at the franchise}. These got my foot in the door and gave me a good chance. My interview went ok (I possessed all the technical skills, but like I said, that’s not what was most important).

I was assumed to roam around, and eventually ended up helping some kids with their assignments. I’m not sure if I was being observed, and this was secretly all a test.

In the end, I turned this offer down after I got the IEEE position.


I applied to a generic IT position (ah, IT the bane of CS students). I assumed I’d be maintaining existing projects. My mom correctly guessed who the interviewers would be, one of them being her old boss 😟. The boss joked that "there could only be 1 Chari" at IEEE.

I though the interviewers would be by HR, but instead it was under the people I would directly work under. That was a pleasant surprise. They asked me to list my experience and skills (so just regurgitate my resume). I talked about my time at uni, high school robotics team, and high school coding club.

They were impressed by the breadth of my experience (thank you robotics 🙏). By now I know several different languages, and have used version control, CI, hardware, etc. (Am I re-regurgitating my resume?). Nothing crazy, just apparently more than the average high schooler.

The job

I’ll be starting in June. It’ll be remote. I hear IEEE’s CEO (or at least, whoever controls the Piscataway office) is itching to bring everyone back in. Ironically, this is one of the reasons my mom left IEEE.

Unless I work on something interesting and generally applicable, I won’t post about my actual duties at IEEE. Trade secrets and all that.

#Job #Diary