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My passage from student to working life

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I’m back! Remember me? It’s Nitzan!

You may remember me from my previously mentioned successful modeling career, or my post on being a software intern . Since that time, I've given up on the lettuce-only diet and chosen a more sensible career path as a Software Engineer in the same group I was working for as a student intern (my parents were so relieved!). I've also moved from working on Pin to working on Intel® Parallel Studio Inspector , and then got an offer to move to a part-time engineering job while I studied away the last remaining vestiges of my degree. (I sometimes felt like studying for the last few academic points was harder than studying for all of the rest of my degree put together!)

I'd like to use this blog post to talk about what happens after you get the job and start working. Personally, my transition from being a student into working fulltime was very gradual, but this isn't always the case. The transition doesn’t always come smoothly, because there are wide differences in the way the working world and academia work. Here are a few differences that I experienced that I’d like to share with you.

One thing that I felt was a rise in the amount of responsibility I had to take over my actions. When I was a student, whatever I did usually only affected me or, at most, one more person. Now, my actions inherently affect an entire product. There are many processes in place at Intel to minimize the risks (code reviews are a life saver!), but the responsibility is still yours.

Another thing that's very different from college is the working hours. During my studies I could wake up at 2 pm (damn you, internet for keeping me up so late!) and nothing too bad would happen as attendance usually wasn't mandatory in my classes . Here, it's important to work with other people, and this means being at work, or at least working, at the same time. Luckily, Intel is very flexible about working hours (there are flexible working hour programs and telecommuting programs --Sejal blogged about that here!), as a policy, so it's less of a problem. Just remember that you're working with other people who value their time as well.

The last change I want to discuss today is the sudden shift in social setting. This didn't happen to me since I just moved from being an intern to being an engineer, but when you first come to work, it may sometimes be a little weird, leaving the friends from college/university behind and suddenly not knowing anyone. Intel helps with that too by assigning new employees a buddy from their team. Besides helping with the operational side of becoming an employee (getting your picture taken, getting a computer from IT, etc), your buddy can also help you get to know your coworkers-- and potential future friends-- better.

There are quite a few more differences between studies and work, naturally. Every person finds another aspect challenging, but I feel that Intel took steps to make the transition easier. Every person will find different things to be harder or easier, so just tell someone if you have a problem. Usually there's a solution just waiting to be used somewhere.

What difficulties did you encounter when you got your first job?