Student Success Story: Freddie Pengfei Li

At the W. Scott Amey Career Center, it’s our mission to empower students to be major contributors to their local and global community. We aim to do this by providing access to holistic personal and professional development. Today, meet Freddie Pengfei Li, a 2020 alum with a master’s degree in Computer Science from GW’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, who landed a position at MilliporeSigma – Merck KGaA.

  • What is something you learned about the job/internship search process that you didn’t know before?
    • The job searching process will definitely take longer than you expected, not only because of the fact that we as newly grads, lack enough working experience, but also, our career goal is changing constantly. So it is important to reflect on your academic and career goal as early as possible, try to intern at SEAS labs and companies which you are interested in, that way, you would be able to obtain numerous experiences, and also to make sure of what your next step will be.
  • How was the SEAS Careers Team useful during your job search process?
    • I reached out to SEAS Careers Team for resume & interview preparation, special thanks to Amber who helped me to polish my resume and to conduct a mock interview, which was very helpful, we covered a lot of typical non-technical interview questions that were bing asked in my actual interview process. Besides that, I fully browsed the “Resources” page on SEAS Careers website, there are loads of practical general job searching tips and resources, including resume writing guide and general interview guide for SEAS students. The website itself is a comprehensive “wiki page” for SEAS career development.
  • Was there anyone else at SEAS (e.g., staff, faculty, etc.) who was helpful during your search? If so, who are they and how were they helpful?
    • I spoke with my classmates, alumni and faculties in the lab I used to work at. It would be ill-advised for you to reach out to people solely for the purpose of landing a position, instead, be open-mined and confident, a daily conversion over a cup of coffee may lead to something you can never imagine.
  • What advice would you give to current SEAS students?
    • Getting used to and be prepared for a fully-virtual interview and even a working environment. With Covid-19 pandemic still being savaging the world and its long-term effects, some companies(Twitter, for instance) have announced that employees will be allowed to work from home permanently. Based on my past working experience, even though we’ll be missing some in-person human interaction, working remotely does have its benefits — saving some commute time, and it’s easier to share a screen (especially when you work in tech), etc. So treat teleworking the same as working on-site is an advice I would share.
By Amber Samuels
Amber Samuels Career Services Fellow