Interview prep

Is the Facebook University Analytics Program right for you?

Everything about FBU analytics + all the other programs you can also apply for.

Data and analytics have become central to technology in recent years-- so much so that our labor force is struggling to keep up. Experts identified an ongoing shortage of data scientists as artificial intelligence and big data become more prominent. More students choosing to study data science and pursue work in the field after graduation could be a start to solving this problem.

One company searching for solutions is the well-known social media platform, Facebook. The Facebook University (FBU) Analytics program aims to lead a group of aspiring data scientists each year by providing training and hands-on project experience with the help of a mentor.

Is this program the right fit for you? We'll explore how it works, how to get in, and more.

What is FBU Analytics?

FBU Analytics is one of five programs in Facebook University, alongside engineering, operations, product design, and sales & marketing. Facebook University is a paid eight-week summer internship for rising sophomores and juniors (class of 2023 and 2024). It runs from June 2021 to August 2021 in Menlo Park, with housing provided.

According to the program website, the FBU Analytics program is catered to students with an interest in data science or data engineering, who will be assigned to work on data-intensive analysis for a particular product or business at Facebook. Interns participate in training courses and work on a team with coaching from a manager to build and present a final project.

👉 Read Next: Data Science Careers-- Does Company Size Matter?

What does the application process look like?

The application

Applications this year are open until November 10. Applicants must submit a resume, college transcripts, and responses to a writing exercise.

Facebook tends to recruit from a variety of non-traditional backgrounds and you don't have to be from a particular set of universities (like Harvard or Stanford) to apply. However, the FB website specifies a few minimum requirements to participate in the program, including exposure to a programming language, development experience in a scripting language, basic math skills, and work authorization.

It's important to note that the program is designed to promote diversity. It strives to give more early career exposure to students who are historically underrepresented in the field, but still accepts students of all backgrounds.

The interview

If you’re selected to move on to the next round, a recruiter will contact you about setting up a virtual call. Matt*, an FBU Analytics intern in the summer of 2019, remembers being tested with critical thinking questions-- for example, looking at a dataset and figuring out what to learn from it.

He says the format was more abstract-- he needed to talk through the solutions with the interviewer, rather than coding them.

“It’s not for people with a lot of experience with data science problems,” he suspected.

Going into the interview, Matt knew that he wasn’t going to be able to do much to study for it-- it’s tailored more heavily to candidates who are good at thinking on their feet. But while some may be able to ace the interview with minimal preparation, a Glassdoor review of the interview recommends studying by reading the data and product questions in the book Cracking the PM Interview.

Increasing your chances of admission

FBU Analytics has a competitive applicant pool with a diverse set of candidates, so it’s important to stand out. The FBU Analytics web page specifies some preferred qualifications that you can emphasize, including prior experience from internships/work/projects in a related field, community leadership experience, and more (fixing up your LinkedIn also doesn't hurt!). Matt* thinks his application was in part chosen because of his demonstrated interest in data, which he showcased by talking about a data-driven project he had completed for a hackathon.

“I would emphasize that I definitely didn’t have a ton of experience working with any data,” he says. “They’re looking for people who have shown a small interest in what they think will be a passion in data.”

👉 Want help preparing? Schedule a mock interview with us today.

How do I know if it's the right fit?

Exploring FBU Analytics

Matt says that the Facebook University program is mostly pretty similar to the traditional Facebook internship in terms of the logistics-- living in intern housing, integrating into the company through your team and training, and getting paid (albeit less than the other Facebook Interns).

However, he also noticed that FBU seemed a little bit more hand-holding, probably because it’s tailored to incoming sophomores and juniors.

FBU interns spend the first four weeks attending workshops about data science and how it’s used at Facebook. Then, they use what they learned during the first half to decide which track to pursue for the next few weeks-- data science or data engineering. Data scientists will take data and use it to make a decision for a product, while data engineers are more focused on organizing data so it can be analyzed. This decision will also guide each intern’s work on their final project.

What are the alternatives?

If this social network doesn't feel like a good fit, you're in luck. There are other prestigious programs to apply to as a CS underclassman. Consider these:

Other Facebook University programs!

FBU offers a ton of programs that provide interesting work and mentorship from Facebook employees!

For example: FBU for Engineering includes three-weeks of mobile development training in either iOS or Android, followed by five-weeks of hands-on project work on small teams of three. Students are paired with a Facebook Engineer who will serve as their mentor and guide you along the way.

Who should apply? First and second years who demonstrated interest in science and technology.

If you're not super technical...
There are still plenty of Facebook careers for you! Look out for the non-tech programs: FBU for Product Design, FBU for Operations, FBU for Global Marketing Solutions + the Rotational Product Manager program.

Google STEP

Google's Student Training in Engineering Program is a 12 week internship. It provides developmental opportunities to URM students in tech to grow technically and gain professional exposure. Throughout this internship, students get to work on a software project alongside other STEP interns and full-time Google employees.

Who should apply? First and second year undergraduates with CS majors.

Amazon Future Engineer

12-week software development internship program. Students partner with a technical mentor, manager, and fellow AFE interns to work on real projects at Amazon.

Who should apply? College freshmen and sophomores with an interest in science and technology.

Palantir Path

Throughout this program, participants are in a Software Engineer role as part of a team. The engineering team will support a specific product or Palantir customer on multi-faceted, open-ended, and complicated problems. Students are paired with an individual mentor who helps them learn to build real-world software.

Who should apply? College sophomores and juniors, especially those from underrepresented communities who may not have had exposure to technical opportunities before college.

UberSTAR Program

10 week internship, during which students build meaningful relationships with other STARS and Uber mentors through a variety of summer activities. This program is also dedicated to giving opportunities to folks from diverse backgrounds.

Who should apply? College freshmen and sophomores, especially those from historically underrepresented backgrounds in this field.

Pinterest Engage Scholar Program

This is an unpaid training opportunity during the month of July that is not technically an internship. Engage Scholars attend 8 evening workshops/events, during which technical and interpersonal skills are developed. These skill sets help prepare students for success in software engineering.

Who should apply? Freshmen and sophomores with an interest in CS or another technical major. Applicants from historically underrepresented communities are especially encouraged.

Microsoft Explore Program

12-week summer internship program. This program is rotational, so students get exposure to different teams and parts of the business.

Who should apply? First and second year college students with interest in Microsoft and a desire to learn about multiple career paths.

Twitter Academy

12-week summer internship program for those interested in gaining hands-on and real-life experience in the tech industry. Participants will participate in bi-weekly workshops and mentorship geared to sharpen technical skills and cultivate professional development.

Who should apply? Second year students from historically underrepresented communities (black, Latinx, and/or Native American). Should also be interested in computer science/engineering, hardware, machine learning, network security, and/or data science.

👉 With all those applications, you'll need to touch up your resume.Learn how here. ​

*Name changed for privacy purposes

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