IC Boosting future careers in computer science
As the IC School celebrates its 20th anniversary, its Faculty and student association, CLIC, have hosted the first full edition of IC Boost Day, dedicated to guiding students on their future career path.
Computer science is an incredibly broad field and for some students it can be difficult to know the career path they would like to pursue after university. Enter CLIC and the IC Faculty that jointly organize the IC Boost Day, an event that sees EPFL alumni share their expertise and experience with current students.
“Careers in computer science and communication systems are so diverse and the job interview process is often different to other fields. Candidates are often required to undertake more technical interviews and actually code things. We wanted to give students the opportunity to geared towards their specialization,” said Manon Michel, President of CLIC.
“Having this opportunity where alumni can come and share their experience on what it’s like to work in cyber security or to work as a data scientist build computer networks is amazing. But students can also ask more specific questions on how to secure a successful internship, for example, how to get familiar with a large codebase for coding interviews,” she continued.
For the 2022 IC Boost Day, the first full and in person edition to be held since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, 26 alumni from organizations as diverse as Logitech, NexThink SA, Women at the Table, Accenture and the International Committee for the Red Cross participated in mock coding interviews and CV reviews, meetup sessions and gave various talks.
François Farquet is a Principal Performance Engineer at Oracle who participated in the IC Boost Day. After completing an internship and his Master thesis at the company he remained there, working in both the United States and Zurich.
“When I was finishing my master’s, I did some classes on the industry and the job process and I found it super helpful. I think the IC Boost Day is very valuable for students to help them find their career pathways. I’m also the coordinator for the Oracle EPFL internship program and so keeping this link strong is very important to me. I don’t think there’s any one secret that is key to share but the sum of many things may help them as they go into industry.”
In addition to the larger talks and networking opportunities, this year organizers have included a poster session and one on one discussions between students and alumni.
“We wanted to showcase various IC Labs both for current students who may be looking for a semester or master project and for visiting alumni to highlight what is happening in their old School. With the new individual meet-up sessions we wanted to give students the chance to really explore topics important to them. Should I choose between research or industry? What is it like to work in big tech or a start-up? What is it like for women in the field or how can we make sure we work for a sustainable or ethical company? These are important, emerging topics and we want to be at the leading edge for IC students,” concluded Michel.