Exclusive interview with Derrick from the Department of Computer Science at Waterloo, getting an interview with Google, Top 1% in the Waterloo Mathematics Competition, the secrets are all here~

This issue brings you an exclusive interview with Derrick Guo, one of the British Lion planners . If you are interested in this senior’s sharing or experience, you are more than welcome to make an appointment with a Derrick planner for a one-on-one interview. I believe you will definitely gain a lot~

British Lion Planner: Derrick

Double major in Computer Science and Statistics at the University of Waterloo

Entrance scholarship of $7,000 for Computer Science major at the University of Waterloo. Long-term ranking in the top 10% of majors in college

Among the top 1% winners in the Waterloo Mathematics Competition, and ranked first in the school in the Euclid Mathematics Competition

Teaching Assistant, Calculus Course MATH 137, Department of Mathematics, Waterloo

Instructor of C language and Python introductory computer course of Yingshi Education Group. His humorous teaching is well received by students.

A member of the Waterloo Computer Society. He has participated in the 2017 Equithon and the 2018 Unity Game Jam and won awards. He has rich experience in game development and front-end development.

Worked as a software development intern at SAP, the world's third largest software company, and is good at full-stack development

Planning style: humorous, lively and especially funny

Planning characteristics: friendly and meticulous, has common topics with students, very popular with students



Editor: Can you tell us about your work internship experience during your undergraduate studies ?

Derrick: My first four-month internship was in a company with multiple wheels and urban centers. It was a medium-sized company with about 200 people. The second internship was a software development internship at SAP, the world's third largest software company , and I was good at full-stack development.


Editor: Can you share your interview experience ?

Derrick: Come one at a time, don’t rush. The main reason is that our interviews are different from those of most students in other majors. We mainly do test questions , so after the interview we will know whether we can do it. If we can't do it, we will be disappointed. For example, I just finished the interview yesterday, and I couldn’t solve a question that took me 40 minutes. In fact, if you don’t know how to do it, the interviewer will prompt you, but you still can’t do it, you just can’t do it, hahaha, there’s no way. I remember giving me a glass of water to commemorate this rare 45 minutes.


Editor: How many rounds of interviews are there usually?
Derrick: Intern is usually one round. Particularly good companies will be added to the two rounds.


Editor: So are you looking for an internship in Winter Term?
Derrick: Yes, I recently started looking for ones from January to April. I received an interview with Google, but it seemed like I didn’t get the job haha. Although I have finished the topic. Maybe the score requirements are too high, and Google is really not just for anyone who wants to go. For this Co-op, I prefer a company in the north of Toronto, so that I can also come to Yingshi to teach~

In fact, I applied to quite a few companies in the United States , but so far Google has ignored me and sent me a round of questions online. But in fact, Co-op is quite good in Canada. The government provides subsidies, but there is no subsidy in the United States.


Editor: Do you have any stories to share about when you were applying to college?
Derrick: Actually, it was pretty good. Except for the difficulty of writing the college application form, everything else went smoothly. However, our school is quite good, and the teachers also help with corrections. I remember being criticized by the teacher at that time, just to remind everyone to be patient and careful when applying. If necessary, you can also seek help from Yingshi. Yingshi’s teachers are all Very responsible and reliable~


Editor: Do you regret that you chose the University of Waterloo instead of the University of Toronto?

Derrick: Not at all haha, co-op is really good. I think it would be quite miserable without co-op experience, but I can take a vacation. For example, I have never had a holiday since my freshman year in September 2016. I have been working, studying, and looking for a job in an endless cycle. The only vacation I have is the 18-day vacation in the summer vacation of 2017.


Editor: It seems that you have been very busy?
Derrick: Yes, I was very busy during my sophomore year. I think CS major sophomores are really the busiest. I remember that the second semester of my sophomore year was extremely miserable. At that time, there were 5 courses in one semester, and then there were three CS sections with 11 homeworks in one semester, two math sections, and 12 homeworks in one semester. Every day is waking up, doing homework, going to class, interviewing, and sleeping. This lasted for a whole semester. But going to work is actually not particularly tiring. It can be quite busy sometimes, and you can take off right after get off work. However, going to school is different. If you don’t understand in class, you still have to study after class, which is really painful.

Editor: I would like to ask, is everyone around you like this?

Derrick: Mainly because I chose courses myself. If I wanted to major in statistics, I would need to supplement calculus and linear algebra. So I took several really bad courses together. When I was in the Toronto co-op, I would teach in the dt office of British Lions. I quite enjoyed my time as a teacher~


Editor: So what did this painful experience in your sophomore year bring to you?

Derrick: After all the hard work, the joy comes. After the misery, I feel very happy now, haha. Now, although I also take 5 major courses, three CS and two STA. But then again, if I had such a workload in my freshman year, I would definitely feel tired and panicked, but I have been through it once and now I feel happy.


Editor: Is there any mental journey you can share with you?

Derrick: Oh, speaking of my mental journey, I think the worst time for me was when I first started looking for a job .


I was also busy with studies at that time, so I didn't write my resume well, and it was very difficult to find a job when I started. A lot of people who I thought were better than me got a lot of good interviews, but I just didn't. I still remember that the job fair lasted for 3 weeks, with a reading week in between. I remember that we all had hot pot together. The four of us, except me, all got interview invitations from a good company. Everyone was eating hot pot while chatting about the interview, and they all looked high-spirited. Only I kept my head down and ate the hot pot.

Then for some reason, SAP gave me two rounds of interviews. In fact, I only got 4 interviews in total at that time, which was really very few compared to others. Although I rarely have interviews, I have been preparing interview questions. At that time, I felt that someone should pay attention to me. I don’t know why many companies that I thought I would have didn’t give me interviews, but I really didn’t expect companies like SAP to invite me for interviews. So looking back now I still think it’s quite amazing. I felt miserable at the time, but I had been working hard to prepare, so I was given a chance and I took it.


Editor: Now there are many students who want to major in CS . What do you want to say to them?

Derrick: I think this major is good and I like it very much. But you have to be mentally prepared . This major is quite hard, but certainly not as hard as Engineering. Every school is different. For example, the CS major in Waterloo does not have a lab, and many courses do not have a tutorial. Many of them are learned on their own and they figure out their own solutions. But it is really easier than Engineering . They have a lot of classes, from 8:30 to 5:30, with no breaks in between. If you have an interview, you have to skip class to go to the interview.


Editor: I would like to ask about the difference between ECE and CS ? Is it almost time to get into work ?

Derrick: The CS major I studied is more theoretical. It will be difficult to find a job in the beginning, but it will be better in the last two years because you will start to learn some practical knowledge. ECE is more practical. Simply put, you can start working directly after studying it in school. The first two terms will make it easier to find a job.


I personally think that ECE still has weaker theoretical knowledge than CS, and particularly good jobs will still require a deep theoretical foundation. Therefore, I personally think that ECE can find good jobs, but not particularly good ones. Therefore, most people in ECE are working on circuits and hardware in the back, and there are many needs. Like us, CS still prefers software and theory. CS graduates don’t need to go to graduate school and can work directly. Students who graduate from ECE sometimes have this problem: they don’t have enough knowledge about hardware and software, so many of them choose to study in another direction. research.

Editor: I know that you have also served as a teacher of Euclid courses at British Lions. So what experience do you have for those who want to participate in the Euclid competition?

I did all the questions from 1998 to 2016 many times . Because in fact, the Euclid competition still has certain routines, and the questions are all approved by students. So to be honest, the professors at the University of Waterloo don’t pay special attention to it, and the questions are not particularly tricky. Preparation time varies from person to person. In terms of preparation time, I would say 1-2 months. Especially for students who have attended high school in China, it is not difficult. The last two questions will cover a wider range of knowledge points. I highly recommend everyone to take the exam . I still clearly remember that I took the analytic geometry exam, haha.


Editor: Do your parents have any special support in your choice of major or job?

Derrick: They don't care about me, hahaha, they don't care about me at all, just do whatever you want.


Editor: Do you have any words of encouragement for current high school students?

Derrick: Actually, it’s okay. There’s nothing special to say. I’m very happy in high school. Just enjoy it. Oh yes, one more thing worth mentioning is that I did 120 hours of volunteer work!


I had a friend at that time who found a church in DT. At that time, the volunteer job was to cook, and I went there just to make up for the 40 hours. The people in the church are also very friendly. They chat with us often and don't force us to believe in religion or anything. They kept asking us to cook, and when we learned to cook, we started by cutting vegetables and salting meat. I really wait for people to come and help with serving rice and pouring coffee. I remember my English was not good at the beginning and I didn’t know the names of many dishes haha...


Editor: It’s an exaggeration to be able to do it for 120 hours. You can really persevere~

Derrick: Mainly because I got to know them later. I remember the owner of a hotel, the owner of Dollarama. At that time, they would give us food if they couldn’t sell it, so we could often take pasta home. At that time, I thought it was still good. Very delicious. In terms of volunteer time, I went almost 10 hours at a time for more than ten weeks. Then I stopped for a whole day when it was very cold in winter. Later, when the weather got warmer, I started going again. I didn’t ask for any volunteer hours, I just wanted to have fun. I also brought two junior students with me, and everyone thought it was a great experience. One of the most important things about volunteering is that it greatly helps improve your English. In fact, when I first came here, I took the IELTS test, and my English was still very poor. Later, I think my English improved basically because I went to church to volunteer.

Editor: Yes, Yingshi also provides many volunteer opportunities for students on a regular basis. Thank you for accepting my interview today, and I wish you good luck in finding a job~



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