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My First Day at Mozilla

Mozilla Mountain ViewHave you ever eaten so much food that you feel like you are going to explode, yet at the same time you really wish you could eat more because it was so delicious? That is how my brain felt today.

This morning my roommates and I departed from our provided apartment (more like resort), walking around 1.5 miles to the office. Upon entering the building we were welcomed by Firefox artwork, fancy beanbag chairs, and an assortment of other hip office features. After receiving our badges and catching a quick breakfast in the kitchen, we were off to the room where our meeting would be held. We found our assigned seats which each sat a new top of the line 15″ Macbook Pro and a headset. We spent about an hour installing software and connecting to various internal systems. It wasn’t even 9 AM and I was already in love with the place.

After IT on boarding, I met up with my mentor Chris who got me up to speed on all the awesome things the Growth Team has been doing. It was really exciting to access metrics across the user base of over three hundred million users! Projects executed by this team are having a real impact on user acquisition and retention for Firefox and I am super pumped to see what quantifiable impact I can make. We sat in on the weekly update meeting where all interns (including myself) were introduced to all joining the meeting live and on AirMozilla (Check it out here! I am introduced at 16:00).

Mozilla Mountain View LunchMidway through the day we all took a break to devour the most delicious office food that mankind has ever been afforded. No, seriously, have you ever eaten Roasted Free Range Chicken, Mac and Cheese Topped with Bacon, and Rosemary Scented Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes at work? Neither had I before today. Oh, and I forgot to mention, the food is catered every. single. day. Alongside the unlimited (free) snack and drink options, I don’t think I will ever be hungry again.

Over the course of the rest of the day, the interns were able to explore the rest of the office building. Alongside three fully stocked kitchens, the Mountain View office hosts a video game room, ping pong table, small library (with a massage chair), and a newly formed “intern jungle” where the interns hang out. All of the people that we met were extremely nice and open to discussing their role within the organization. Even the Chief Executive staff sat at normal desks, just like any other Mozillian!

The cool thing about working at Mozilla is that 99% of everything worked on is completely open to the public. I would encourage all of you to sit in on a meeting on AirMozilla or check out some previous meetings; a lot of interesting stuff is going on here. Additionally, if you care about privacy on the web you can learn more about how to contributing at https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/contribute/. /End growth pitch

With less than 12 hours as a Mozillian under my belt, I can already tell that I will be surrounded by a diverse group of brilliant minds, and I could not be any more excited for what I might learn.

Until next time.

This article was originally posted on Medium.

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Updates

A Summer in Silicon Valley

Things have changed since December.

Instead of living and working in San Francisco as stated in my previous blog post, I will be living in Mountain View and working at Mozilla’s headquarters there. I’ve been told it is a 45 minute train ride from downtown SF. I am embracing the change, as it will put me in the heart of Silicon Valley where companies like Google, Linkedin, and Inuit are headquartered and tech culture reigns supreme!

So here’s what happened:

Shortly after beginning the onboarding process I received communication from a team leader about a change. Although the job posting listed that I would be living and working in San Francisco, the team knew I would need to split time between the headquarters in Mountain View and the SF office. This left me with a decision to make: live in San Francisco where I would only work 1-2 days and commute to MTV 3-4 days per week or live in Mountain View where I would work 3-4 days and only commute to SF 1-2 days per week. I took a day to consider my options, however, my decision was fairly concrete. The opportunity to stay closer to tech culture, combined with the accessibility to the beautiful nature surrounding the Santa Clara mountains led me to choose Mountain View. San Francisco also has a lot to offer as a city, and with only a 45 minute commute between there and Mountain View, I plan to take full advantage of it.


Bonus Update:

After my first blog post, I have had a lot of people ask further questions about my interview preparation used for Mozilla and other companies I’ve had internships. If you too are wanting to learn more about personal branding on social media, resumes, interview prep, and interview strategy, fear not! I am hosting a Career workshop for my Fraternity (Delta Tau Delta) where I will cover these topics and more. It will be held on Tuesday, February 10th from 5:00-7:00 PM in Dunseth Auditorium (Harmon Hall) on Lindenwood University’s St. Charles Campus.

Everyone is free to attend, just make sure you RSVP on Facebook!

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Interview

Internship Interview at Mozilla

This past week I received and accepted an offer to work as an intern on the Growth Team at Mozilla. It was my dream to spend a summer interning in the Bay area. It seems as though my dream has come true, Huzzah! I’ll be working in Mozilla’s San Francisco office for 12 weeks, helping drive growth for Firefox Desktop.

I’ve decided that I will catalog my journey, from the interview process to my final presentation, in a series of blog posts. I am hoping that this blog may provide more information to those looking to land an internship at Mozilla, allow my family/friends to track my adventures, and to further aide anyone who may currently be stalking me (kidding).


Applying

I stumbled upon the job posting for this internship through Mozilla’s Job Listings in late November. (I believe that they hire for their summer sessions from September to April, so there is still time for those of you looking to apply for a position for summer of 2015!)

The application was fairly simple. They have some basic information for you to fill out, a portion for you to upload your resume, and in my case, a writing submission. It was requested that candidates applying answer the question “Why do you want this job” in the Cover Letter portion of the application.

Within two weeks of my application submission, I was contacted by a recruiter in order to set up my initial phone screen. At this point, I began my interview preparation.


Interview 1

After being contacted via email by a University Recruiter, we scheduled a phone screen to take place within the week.

Pressed for time, I utilized the web in order to get as much information as I could on the position and who I would be interviewing with. Mozilla handles all interviewing through the Jobivite recruiting platform. For this reason, I didn’t have direct access to my recruiters contact info, save for a name and position title. That didn’t stop me, however, from finding a Linkedin profile in order to pull information from. It was important for me to understand exactly who I was talking to so that I could shape my answers in a way that they would best understand.

I gathered the following in a binder in preparation:

  • My past projects and experience
  • Information on my Interviewer
  • Position specific information
    1. The definition of a “Growth Hacker”
    2. Growth Team’s info from their wiki page
    3. Projects they are currently working on (found on wiki page)
  • Company specific information
    1. Recent news
  • The resume and writing submission that I applied with (for reference)
  • Possible questions I may be asked
  • Questions I had for the Interviewer

Interview prep was vital to my success. By the day my phone screen rolled around, I could recite most of this information by memory.

In the phone screen, I was asked 3 questions relating to how I may fit at Mozilla and the application question of “why I want the position.” I had prepared a good deal for the questions I was asked, and for that reason I was able to connect with the recruiter well. Two hours after my initial phone screen, I had an email asking to set up a second round of interviews.


Interview 2, 3, and 4

These three interviews were originally scheduled to be back to back on the same day. A few hours prior to my first interview, one of my interviewers contacted me in order to reschedule due to sickness. For this reason, the order was switched around with the first two interviews that day and the final interview the next.

My first interview was with the team leader and was primarily personality based. I was asked questions very similar to what the phone screen encompassed.

The second interview was with a team member and Senior Product Manager. He was interested in my background with marketing and asked me additional based personality questions. It seemed as though he was tasked with testing if I had a basic knowledge of how marketing (specifically internet marketing) works.

My final interview was with another team leader who asked the only technical questions throughout the interview process. Without delving into specifics, I was asked a couple questions about Google Analytics and Internet Marketing. My answers were fairly vague, but I think he more focused on my thinking process rather than my specific knowledge. In the end, I didn’t bomb either question and got close to a solution that he seemed satisfied with.

I was informed that they would be finishing the interview process with other candidates within the week, and I would know if I got the position by the week after. Later that evening I got the news from my recruiter that I landed the position!


Tips for Others

  • Prep, prep, prep.
    • Interview preparation put me ahead of the game. I can’t stress enough how important it is to research into the position, company, and interviewers.
  • Be able to speak about previous experiences and projects
    • A good amount of questions that interviewers have will be about your past projects, big issues you faced, and how you remedied those issues
  • Have a good understanding of the company and their culture
    • Each company has it’s own culture. Mozilla is open source, non-profit, and is committed to an accessible web. What does that mean to you?

I would like to thank all of those who helped me prepare. I’ve learned a great deal from peers and mentors throughout the years, and I wouldn’t have landed this opportunity without you all. I will be flying to San Francisco in May to begin my 12 week adventure.

Here’s to hoping that you chose to keep up with me as often as America keeps up with the Kardashians!

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