Shangwen Li, a USC graduate, recently obtained an internship offer from Facebook. Congratulations!

Shangwen Li received the B.S. and M.S. degrees, both in electrical engineering, from the Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China in 2008 and 2011 respectively. Since August 2012, he has been been with Media Communications Lab at University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles. His research interests include computer vision, machine learning and video coding. Let us hear what he said about the internship in the coming summer.

1.  How does the study in USC and MCL help you? (technically and psychologically)

First, the research experience at MCL definitely strengthens my skills in finding relevant jobs. Specifically, the research projects not only enable me to think problem thoroughly but also sharpen my coding skill. It helps me to build up the solid domain knowledge in computer vision, particularly image search. Second, the presentation skills training at MCL is very valuable for me to express my thought clearly during interview process, which is a key factor in communication.

2. What makes you stand out among other candidates applying for the same position?
I think I earned the opportunity mainly due to 3 reasons: 1) good coding skills, 2) solid domain knowledge and research experience, and 3) good communication skills. The study at MCL definitely helps me sharpen these 3 skills.

3. Do you have any suggestions to current graduate students? (e.g. interview strategy and preparation, etc.)

First, I would suggest them to develop a good coding habit during research. Research project is actually a very good way of improving your coding skills. Second, try to be a real expert in your research, which means you have to know the state-of-the-art technologies and also have insight about them. Third, you should seize the opportunity of group seminar presentation as this is a valuable chance for you to hone your communication skills.