Software engineer internship @ Facebook

This is one of the most coveted internships out there- what is it really like?

The program is super-well organized

Software Engineering Interns have a well thought-out plan for their stay and get a ton of support and activities planed out for their summer internship. Then internship program is extremely important to Facebook and the company pays careful attention to see who has the chops to ultimately join their engineering team full time.

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. (Don't worry - if you're in Austin , Los Angeles or San Diego you can still participate, Facebook will fly you out)

🗺️ The setup:

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. Your intenship will be broken into 5 sections/ checkpoints. Here's the timeline you can expect

Week 1 Orientation and Task Assignment
Week 2-11 Projects
Week 6 Midterm Review
Week 11 Calibration
Week 12 Result

Week 1 - Orientation

Everyone is expected to come to the main campus ( also known as MPK) to participate in the first week. Orientation consists of training to introduce Facebook as a company, about 1.5 days of bootcamp (engineering, data science, design, etc). Usually on Wednesday, your group will be introduced to your mentor.

Weeks 2- 11 Projects:

Your manager will put together a project plan for the summer for you so your work experience might differ from those of other interns, depending on the project you're asked to contribute to. These projects will actually be used by the team you're helping 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 if you have 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.

Midterm Review:
At the end of your 5th week, you will write a midterm review for yourself, intern manager, team manager and peers to 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.

Week 11 Calibration

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 and you will need to put extra effort into synching 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.

What is it like to work on the MPK campus?

✈️ Getting there:

Facebook will reimburse your round-trip air ticket + luggage and travel meals, within a certain limit ( in the United States). You will also get some additional commuter benefits to use during your internship. This could include a transit card with about $300 on it( ike the Clipper card in the Bay Area), 250 Lyft credits and ferry tickets you can also use. on tourist attractions.

🏘️ Accommodation:

Facebook offers housing close to campus for interns, usually at the Mariott suites. It's a studio with a small kitchen and combines living/ bedroom space that's furnished. There's events/ happy hours several times per week in the building interns can drop into. You can also choose not to take the accommodation and get a cash subsidy to find your own housing instead.

🌴 Time off:

Full-time employees have PTO & can work from home, but Interns do not.

😎Life on Campus:

There are 3 main campuses in Menlo Park - the "Classic" campus in the oldest and largest and Buildings 20 and 21 are the newest. The newer offices are also more spacious and have sit-stand desks + large monitors. Between all the buildings, there are a ton of meeting rooms but it can still be hard to find a meeting space.

🚴‍♀️Transport : 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 but there's wifi and most folks will use the journey to catch up on work.Getting around is easy - campus bikes are everywhere and of course, they're free. There's a variety of bikes to borrow, even road and hybrid ones. As an intern you'll have to complete a biking safety class.

🍔Meals are complimentary three times/ day and Facebook has multiple restaurants 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. Building 21's Salad Bar is really super delicious! 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 will also be several collective activities, such as Intern Night Out, Summer Party, Santa Cruz BoardWalk, Giants' Game (Baseball) etc.

In conclusion - the Facebook summer internship is insanely competitive but comes with a ton of perks for qualified applicants and real world-class work experience. Intern jobs at FB 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.

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