History makersHistory makers,
we change the world
#10 The story of Cogitater Sigauke, a future engineer at GoogleHistory makersㅣ2021-02-16 10:01
Cogitater Sigauke, a CS student at SUNY Korea who came from Zimbabwe recently accepted a full-time job offer from Google. After studying at SUNY Korea for 3 years, he is currently spending his final year at the New York campus of Stony Brook University, and preparing to graduate in May.
Cogitater said, "[applying] to SUNY Korea was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my entire life. If I were to go back again, I would make the same decision."
[SUNY Korea, as a stepping stone for his career]
Q. Why did you choose to attend SUNY Korea?
When I was a high school student in Zimbabwe, I wanted to study abroad at an American University. One day at the Education USA Centre in Harare, I picked up a small SUNY Korea booklet and found out about this great American University in Korea. I liked the fact that I would get an American education while having a Korean experience. The fact that I would also spend a year studying in New York was a big motivation for me to apply. The other reason that motivated me to apply was the availability of scholarships.
Then, I became a member of Education USA, which helped me in the application process.
After making up my mind, I applied in Spring 2017 but didn't make it. I then reapplied for the fall semester of 2017 and by God’s grace I made it in. This was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my entire life. If I were to go back again, I would make the same decision.
Q. What are some valuable achievements during university?
The educational experience was the best. Obviously, it is tough, but in the right way. I was trained really well to become a software engineer in the real world. I was equipped with the knowledge to make it as an engineer.
Q. What is the most memorable experience at SUNY Korea?
I will pick two for this one. First, I will never forget eating Korean food with chopsticks in the cafeteria. I became a chopstick master. The other one was the four-kilometer race, in which I came in fourth. The 4K race was organized by SUNY Korea to support the Seung-Il Hope Foundation by raising money to build the first Korean specialty hospital for ALS patients. It was a memorable experience.
[Cogitater’s journey to a career at Google]
Q. I heard that you got a full-time job at Google and will be starting next fall. Congratulations! What was your motivation for applying to Google?
Google is a leading technology company, and hence the dream workplace of every software engineer. As someone who’s starting a career in this field, I needed to work for a company that really opens doors for me. I believe that Google is that company. There are a lot of opportunities to grow and explore. You also get to work on big projects that have an impact on a lot of people. We can go on and on.
Q. How has SUNY Korea prepared you for a career at Google?
That’s a difficult question because I didn’t even know anything before joining SUNY Korea. It would be difficult to say everything I learned in four years. So just to mention a few things, I really got help from a career class I took because that’s when I learned to write my first meaningful resume.
I also got a lot of motivation from my professors who work in some top tech companies. One of them invited his friends who work for big companies to talk to us in class and help us prepare for the job search ahead. I really thank my professors who believed in me and always told me it was possible to get these types of jobs.
Q. Google has a reputation for asking difficult interview questions. How did you prepare for the job interview?
I really don’t give myself the glory on this one.That was a difficult time indeed, but God was really on my side on this one. I was advised by my friends to use Leetcode to practice coding questions. I also had a Google recruiter helping me along the way, she gave me a lot of questions to practice. I would say the best thing is to talk to the recruiter, do as much Leetcode as you can, and pray that God will help you through.
Q. What will your job responsibility be at Google?
I’ll be working in the Google Cloud. I’ll be a cloud technical resident for the first year, which means I will be rotated and trained in several roles and get a fixed role at the end of the first year. I plan to just work as a software engineer in Google Cloud from my second year.
[A glimpse of his future and a message for other students]
Q. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself as a Software Engineering Manager in Google, a successful entrepreneur, a husband, and a dad.
Q. Do you have a message for SUNY Korea students?
I just want to tell them to know that all things are possible. They can achieve anything they set their hearts on. But they have to start thinking about getting jobs early because it gives you time to prepare. I personally waited until my final year to start preparing and it was tough. I suggest people start preparing in their junior year.
Editor: Judy Lim (SUNY Korea ER / firstname.lastname@example.org)