How these people made it to Google, Facebook & Booking

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Success stories seem to be imaginary, far away from real life and this is an expected perception as we think a miracle should happen to bring happiness, success, money and reputation, but let me tell you this is wrong! Success is not that far from you, me or anyone else. You plan to succeed, you work hard focusing on your goals to lead you to success. These short stories are proof of that we -when we do the effort- can all fit in success suit.

Ramy Kandil

“After graduating from university, I moved to India for a year and worked as an SEO analyst (Search Engine Optimization) for a startup in Hyderabad. After returning back home to Egypt, I applied to the position of Public Relations Executive in Google Egypt in early 2012. I worked in a team of three people overseeing the MENA region for Google in terms of communications and events, working closely alongside other departments such as marketing and policy to ensure the Google brand name was in good standing.

Be a sponge. Learn everything about your industry, company, and your competitors. Do everything you can to be the most knowledgeable person in the room. Never say ‘no’. Take on any project that will progress your knowledge and experience; better yet, seek them out. Be proactive. Be positive. And most of all, be a team player. Find a mentor. Seek out someone who sees potential in you and can help you navigate your career. Be organized and thoughtful with this person; your mentor is not your therapist. Don’t waste this relationship” – Ramy Kandil.

Hader Hesham

“I have always wanted to be an engineer, I just didn’t know which fields of engineering. I decided to be a nuclear engineer, then an electromechanical engineer, then a computer engineer. During my search of the field I wanted to work in, I learnt that being good at something isn’t enough for you to study it. I was always good at everything I studied and everything I did, just good. But when I did something I loved, I excelled at it. Since 2007, my first year in highschool, I participated in programming competitions on the Egyptian and International scales. Then when I was in college, we won the Egyptian programming competition. Those competitions make your resume brighter than the light of the sun. A couple of Egyptian companies offered me jobs right out of college with out no experience or even an interview just because of those competitions on my resume. I was recruited by Booking.com when I was coaching my university’s teams in the Arab competition. It’s a great experience working in one of the biggest e-commerce companies in the world, and the biggest Online Travel Agency” – Hader Hesham.

Islam El-Tayar

“My journey started with programming 12 years ago when my family bought me my first desktop computer as a birthday gift. At that time, I decided not to use computers like many others in playing video games, watching movies ..etc. I started taking programming courses in my summer vacation. I started with simple languages like Visual Basic. Fast forward in 2006, I attended a C++ programming course through my school. It wasn’t like the other courses as it qualifies to a prestigious programming competition all over Egypt called EOI (Egyptian Olympiad in Informatics). I attended my first programming competition in the summer of 2006 and got a silver medal. From that time, my journey with programming competitions was just starting. I attended the EOI two times after that and also represented Egypt in the IOI (International Olympiad in Informatics) two times. After finishing the high school, I joined the CS department at the American University in Cairo. I started participated in the ACM ICPC competitions. Beside that, I also started learning and practicing things other than programming competitions like Machine Learning. I started applying to summer internships at Google, Facebook and other companies in the first summer of my college. I got rejected several times until I started gaining a good experience in doing the technical interviews. I landed my first internship at Facebook in summer 2014 and I really enjoyed working there very much. I graduated last June and currently doing an Internship at Google and planing to return to Facebook as a full time engineer next December.

For those who currently are or interested in Computer Science, my most important advice is programming competitions. Doing programming competitions like EOI/IOI at school or ACM-ICPC in the university was like the magic recipe to everything I have done so far.

In general, I advice everybody not to depend solely on the stuff we learn at school or university. You can easily self-learn many skills that will distinguish you from anybody else by the time you graduate” – Islam El-Tayar.

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