Kaitai Zhang is currently a fourth year Ph.D. candidate at Multimedia Communication Lab. His research mainly focus on computer vision, machine learning and deep learning. Kaitai received an internship offer and spent the past summer at Facebook. Here is a short interview with Kaitai.


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

I believe my research experience at MCL and my education background from USC are the foundation on which I could get the internship opportunity. From the technical side, all my machine learning-related projects from MCL help a lot to get hiring manger’s attention during the interview process(This is especially important if you want to get into a very popular team). From the psychological side, I found the industrial project I worked on are even more beneficial to me that I expected. It is more like an opportunity to get exposed to real-world problem from industry and learn how things work in companies, which could make our students more well-prepared for the internship.

Beside the above two aspects, I also want to mention another advantage for students from MCL, which is the extraordinary reputation and wide alumni network of our lab. More than one engineers talked to me about our alumni and their awesome works at Facebook.


2. How was it like working at Facebook?

The internship at Facebook was like an amazing journey. Here I will focus on one thing that impressed me most. It is the move-fast working style at Facebook. People at Facebook are moving fast on all aspects. They are very energetic and acute. There is a daily sync meeting and also few ad-hoc meetings to discuss things efficiently. People like asking others for help and also like helping others, and this is how they unblock themselves when meet some problems.


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

First of all, be well-prepared as soon as possible. Start coding practice and networking before you receive interview invitations.  If you are planning to find an internship for next summer, it is time to start. At the same time, try to build good habits in coding while implementing your research idea.