From Stern College to Silicon Valley

Seniors Brielle Broder and Racheli Moskowitz Hone Coding Skills at Facebook and Google

This summer, two Stern College for Women seniors flew off to Silicon Valley, California, to work at their dream internships. Computer science majors Brielle Broder ’19S and Racheli Moskowitz ’19S are working at Google and Facebook, respectively.

“Facebook is a company I have always wanted to work for,” said Moskowitz. She applied to Facebook last summer, but never heard back. This summer, she applied again, and after two phone interviews where Moskowitz proved her coding abilities on a shared document with a top software engineer at the company, a recruiter called her to tell her she had the job. Moskowitz ended up being placed on a team that conducts user experience research for Instagram ads, then coding to implement strategies based on that research.

Broder had a similar experience. She submitted a resume along with five essay questions, and after a few months, received a call to schedule an interview where she would have to code on a shared document. Broder now works on a team that handles technical infrastructure.

Brielle Broder ’19S

Other than the coding experience and the pure excitement of working with big names like Google and Facebook, Moskowitz and Broder are gaining additional perks. “Google really encourages us to use the benefits,” said Broder. “They made sure we knew that they know interns want to impress, but they do want us taking advantage of the fitness centers, gym memberships, massages, laundry services, and obviously there is a ton of food.”

The computer science major at Stern College is growing every year. Students who choose to study computer science have the opportunity to learn from professionals who have been working in the field in the types of jobs the students want to have. Broder specifically cites adjunct professor and fulltime Google employee Ari Shamash as having been a big help in preparing her for the internship. “He will actually even be flying out over the summer, since he can work from any Google office, to come check up on me and Racheli,” she said.

Shamash also reached out to his Orthodox contacts at Google, affectionately known as the “Jewglers,” to let them know that Broder was coming. “A bunch of the Jewglers have already reached out to me. They are being super helpful, particularly in arranging kosher meals and things like that—I’m excited to know there are people who will be looking out for me.”

Moskowitz adds that her classes were instrumental in getting her the position. “In my data structures class, we kept being told ‘These are the kinds of things you will be asked in interviews’ and we all nodded and smiled, but since I’ve started doing technical interviews with multiple companies, they’ve always asked me questions that my classes really prepared me for, from the information to the type of question to just being familiar with what they wanted. I am really impressed with how well the class got me ready for it.”

Moskowitz believes that studying at YU put her ahead of other applicants and helped her get the job. “Being at YU doesn’t mean that you’re only focusing on Judaics and sacrificing on any other opportunities. I really can have it all. I can have the environment I want, I can have the classes I want and get the internships and opportunities for my career that I want too.”

Half way through their internships, Broder and Moskowitz couldn’t be happier with how their summer has turned out. “I’m learning so much and getting a real taste of the full time engineering culture. Instagram is an amazing environment to work in— people really care about what they do. This has been an amazing adventure for me,” Moskowitz said. “Plus, they have a kosher food truck! What more could I ever want?”