Sripathi Raj: Leaders Giving Back - Mentoring New College Grads (Ep. #17)

Published on
April 30, 2020
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Building Better Managers Podcast Episode #17: Leaders Giving Back: Mentoring New College Grads

Massive change in the workforce is a challenge for college grads looking for jobs in engineering. Raj Sripathi shares how to help others, show your value, gives LinkedIn tips & more. He is a great example of how to give back during this difficult time.

(These lessons are not just for engineers!)

In this episode:

Meet Sripathi Raj

  • Bio & Background
  • The Current Recruiting Situation

Giving Back

  • Turning frustration into something positive.
  • Asking "What can I do to help the situation?" when your are in a leadership situation.
  • Financial/charity help can be easy to do at the click of a button, but you may feel like you could do more.
  • Making time to help people can be more valuable and rewarding.
  • Help others with projects, preparing for interviews, etc.
  • Please visit Raj's LinkedIn post for his weekend office hours!

How New Grads Can Expand Their Network

  • If the company that you're interested in has open source code, go look at the code.
  • Fix a bug that had bug fix, or add documentation, or add a tutorial on how to use the product.
  • This way, you will get more visibility amongst the engineers and managers in that company.
  • Even if they might not have a job for you now, as soon as something opens up, they're going to remember you.
  • Give people a reason to remember you!

Using LinkedIn

  • It's getting more and more challenging to have face to face conversations with people like your network career fairs or meetups.
  • Connection Request Fatigue: too many connection requests on LinkedIn don't have any context on why this person is reaching out.
  • How students can set themselves apart by being a giver, and having a call-to-action in your connection request.
  • Sharing a tutorial or a blog about some technical topic.

What Recruiters Are Looking For

  • Raj looks for passion. Are they passionate about technology and computer science and programming In general?
  • What have they done besides their coursework?
  • Have they taken initiative? Are they self driven to improve their skills.
  • GitHub contributions, blogs or tutorials, and their own set of portfolio projects

Important Tips for Working Remotely

  • Over communicate.
  • All communication does not have to be about work. The watercooler chats are now lost.
  • It's okay to feel vulnerable and talk about the things that you're doing to handle things - you never know how someone else could benefit.
  • Write you know, pick up pick a problem that you love and you know, on a system and write a design document for how your your peers like, even if you're a student, like how your fellow students tribute and giving as given does not just apply to someone who might give you a chop my be someone you know, like your roommate or, you know, help them if they have an interview, don't feel jealous, help them prepare for the interview by being a little you're going over topics with them.

Downloads & Resources

Please visit Raj's LinkedIn post for his weekend office hours!

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Check out our blog articles on Leadership here.

Sripathi Raj

Sripathi Raj is an engineering leader with 16 years experience at companies like Yahoo, Shutterfly, Twitter, and most recently at Cloudera, where he leads the Spark and data engineering teams. He loves working with people and helping them reach their career goals.

Raj is a carnatic music lover, beer connoisseur, poker player, cook, runner, punner and a dad.

View the episode transcript

The future of work has arrived. It's time to thrive.