We have the inside scoop on Facebook's software engineering internship. Read more about how to get in, how much it pays, and how to get a return offer.
It's no secret that the Facebook Internship program is incredibly prestigious. It pays double what other internships do and it's 10x as hard to get into. Securing a full-time offer after that is a whole different story!
The competitive nature of this program is evident around every corner. By looking through the LinkedIn profiles of those accepted, you'll quickly see what I mean.
With the incredible appeal of the Facebook Internship, everyone wants the inside scoop on the interview process, the program, and the possibility of a return offer. We asked 15 interns to describe their experience. Here's what they told us.
There are 2 to 3 interviews:
It takes 5 days to two weeks afterward to hear back with an offer decision. So altogether, the application process can take about a month.
Once you receive an offer, you will be paired with a team to work with for the summer, like Oculus or Messenger. Usually, the match will be based on your skills. Whether you're a front-end engineer or into machine learning, you will get a team that can use your skills for the summer.
Your offer will also include a salary for the summer. Is that salary negotiable? The short answer is no. It already pays pretty much double compared to other internships, based on Vox reporting. Yes, even more than Google.
Most of the internships are in San Francisco/Menlo Park (MPK, Bay Area, Main Campus), Seattle, and New York. However, all interns travel to MPK for orientation.
The Facebook internship is super-well organized. Software Engineering Interns have a well thought-out plan for their stay and get a ton of support and activities planned out for their summer internship.
This support comes in many forms. Each intern has a direct manager and a team manager. You can expect daily 1:1 meetings with your direct manager and less frequent (3 times or less/ week) meetings with your team manager.
Timeline. Your internship will be broken into 5 sections/ checkpoints. Here's the timeline:
Let's break it down...
Everyone is expected to come to the main campus (also known as MPK) to participate in the first week. Orientation includes introductions to the company, culture, and other interns, and about 1.5 days of boot camp (engineering, data science, design, etc). Usually, on Wednesday, your group will be introduced to your mentor.
Your manager will put together a project plan for the summer, so your work experience might differ from that of other interns, depending on the project you're asked to contribute to.
These projects will actually be used by the team after you complete them, so the bar for quality is very high. You might be an "intern" by title, but you will be expected to contribute as any other software developer. Some interns get one large project for the duration of the summer, but more commonly, you'll work on 3-4 smaller projects with the team you're assigned to.
An important thing to remember: if you want a return offer, you must complete your project before the calibration deadline, usually in the 10th week. While your manager may have some flexibility to help you with last-minute code changes, you should not rely on that. Some projects are cross-functional, meaning you will need to work with several teams, and that will also delay how fast you can ship. Be especially mindful of managing these timelines.
At the end of your 5th week, you will write a midterm review for yourself, intern manager, team manager, and peers. It will be reviewed the following week. This will culminate in a sit-down with your manager to talk about your experience so far and get feedback on your performance. Some interns get a return offer at this stage and your recruiter will also be involved in this conversation.
By this time, you should have implemented the feedback from your midterm and completed a review with your manager. This timeline often coincides with quarterly reviews at Facebook, so you will need to put extra effort into syncing with your manager and getting feedback.
Calibration involves your intern manager and, optionally, the team manager. Your peer feedback also has some weight, but realistically, your manager makes a final decision on your return offer.
Facebook offers housing close to campus for interns, usually at the Mariott suites. It's a studio with a small kitchen and a combined living/bedroom space that's furnished. There are events and happy hours several times per week in the building, which interns are encouraged to drop into. You can also choose not to take the accommodation and get a cash subsidy to find your own housing instead.
Full-time employees have PTO & can work from home, but Interns do not.
There are 3 main campuses in Menlo Park. The "Classic" campus is the oldest and largest, and Buildings 20 and 21 are the newest. The newer offices are also more spacious and have sit-stand desks with large monitors. Between all the buildings, there are a ton of meeting rooms, but it can still be hard to find a meeting space.
You can use the free shuttle to go to and from work every day. If you choose to live in San Francisco, the commute can be long. However, since the shuttles are equipped with WiFi, most folks will use the journey to catch up on work.
On campus, getting around is easy - campus bikes are everywhere and, of course, they're free. There are a variety of bikes to borrow, even road and hybrid ones. As an intern, you'll have to complete a biking safety class.
They are complimentary three times/day and Facebook has multiple restaurant options on campus. Most restaurants don't have dinner on weekdays (except Friday). Every restaurant is themed and publishes their menu ahead of time- there's a BBQ joint, an ice cream shop, a salad bar, a buffet, etc.
Other than that, every floor has micro kitchens with regularly rotating snacks and drinks. Every week, there's a different fresh fruit available as well.
Once you're done with work, you can use one of Facebook's onsite gyms. Building 17, 64, and 27 each have one. Classes book very fast in the evening and most folks book way ahead of time to get in.
In addition to what you can do on campus, there are a ton of other activities you can participate in. Every weekend, there is a Choose Your Own Activity - you need to sign up to participate. You'll get Lyft credits to get to/ from the event. For interns, there are also several collective activities that take you all around silicon valley, such as Intern Night Out, Summer Party, Santa Cruz BoardWalk, Giants' Game (Baseball), etc.
The Facebook summer internship is insanely competitive, but comes with a ton of perks and world-class work experience. Intern jobs at Facebook are a real opportunity to accelerate your career, so if you get a chance to be a software engineer intern, take it!
If you're thinking of applying this year, spend a ton of time on your application development. Speak with other interns to get a leg up early. If you want a full-time offer at the end, prepare for the experience, not just the application. Getting hired here is much harder than at Microsoft, Apple, and even Google.
Learn more about the program here:
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