Interview – How Facebook Intern spent her first year in Grad School

Today we are profiling Shivani Singla who studies Computer Science at Stonybrook and joined as a Facebook Intern in Summer of 2018.


Undergrad: CS at Thapar University
GRE: 317
GPA: 8.65
Work Experience: 2 years at Sandisk before joining MS

I took Asynchronous Systems, Artifical Intelligence, Network Security and Algorithms in first semester. I really enjoyed Asynchronous Systems. It was really amazing. I developed Byzantine China Replication Protocol research paper written by research Professor from Cornell University.

Full Interview

We discuss the courses she took and activities she participated in first year at SBU, how much does the GPA matter, what was the Facebook internship hunt timeline and process.


Shivani again shows that it is possible to crack dream companies like Facebook and Google even if you hail from non-IIT schools in India. Even though Shivani started preparing late, she quickly realized what she needs to do in Grad School. Of course, you can learn from her hindsight and be more prepared for internship even before heading for MS!

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If you are committed to get into a TOP school, we will do our best to help you. Plus, our Mastermind package is designed to prepare you for internship and job hunt much in advance. Join our counseling and let us build happy careers together.

How to start preparing for your dream career from day one in grad school?

First things first, I wanted to provide an overview of how Scholar Strategy students fared in our first year and I feel both proud and ecstatic. 90% of our students received great/satisfactory admits and are joining grad school in US in 2014. Some of the schools we will be having our presence in are-

UIUC, UCSD, UT Austin, Columbia, TAMU, CMU, Cornell, Duke, WPI, NYU Poly, UTD, USF…

But the picture will be incomplete without mentioning that our students also got admits to these incredible schools-

UIUC, CWRU, TAMU, Syracuse, U of Arizona, Utah, UT Arlington etc. (wait, no USC!!)

We started small and did great. More importantly, we have full faith that our students are heading to brighter and happier phases of their lives. I like to measure my success by happiness created in the process and by that scale, we have done done wonders 🙂

Among our readers who were not officially working with us, I’m sure that many are heading abroad as well. If you would like to share your success story, we would love to publish it here!

And now, a very important announcement for all readers who are headed to USA this Fall-

We are conducting an online talk on ‘How to work towards your dream career when you start grad school‘. This will cover innovative strategies for landing great internships and full-time jobs. Remember that if you don’t land your dream jobs upon graduation, what is the point of having worked your a$$ off so far and getting into these great schools in the first place? We will also be covering some fantastic advice given by students who have successfully found their way into different industries (who we interviewed for our book).

The session will be conducted online on one of the upcoming weekends. We will mail you the date and time as soon as it is decided.

Speaker Profile: (yours truly)

Profile of Grads/Professionals who have contributed advice:
1. PhD from UIUC, CS from IITK, now working at National Research Lab in US
2. MS from UIUC, Mech from IITK, now working as core engineer at Motorola
3. MBA from Chicago Booth, MS CS from RPI, now working in London
4. MS CS from Iowa State U, now working at Amazon

Update: If you missed the event, you can watch a replay here-

The slides were stuck in the first part of the video, so I uploaded the ppt separately here-

Do you want to craft a perfect career for yourself by studying abroad? Join our guidance and let’s create success stories together. Pick which counseling program fits your needs and contact us.

How to utilize your summer to improve your admission chances

Are you planning to apply for MS this year? Then, don’t let your summer go waste!

If you are studying in final year or have just graduated (applies to BE, BPharm etc), then this is last chance to improve your profile. Many students spend summer in enjoying and traveling but if you are serious about your applications, then gear up and make the most of this summer. Here are some ways you can utilize it to get ahead of your competition-

1. Intern somewhere and do effective projects – Interning is the best way to add some meaningful experience in your resume. If you didn’t plan ahead, try to find last minute internships using These can give you 3-4 solid lines for your SOP. For e.g.-

While interning as a data analyst at Flipkart this summer, I was exposed to upcoming technologies such as Big Data. One of my projects went live that added the capability to track the duration for which a product was looked at before being added to the cart which in turn helped determine the sales probability of products. This has only piqued my interest in the field of data analytics that I shall focus on during my Masters program.

As you can see, talking about internship projects is a great way to tell the school that you are capable of job hunting on your own (which is always nice to improve placement statistics of any school) and that you have some work experience in the field of your interest. It ALWAYS helps to do internships.

2. Hands-on training – Not able to manage a good internship? No worries, look around for what help you can offer among family and friends businesses. May be you can learn a new software to help manage accounts at your friend’s Dad’s shop? Any kind of real experience will give you something to talk about!

3. Skill development – You can also look at improving some skills that might be helpful in your further studies. You can self-learn or look at some courses online too (check out Developing good projects in these classes can be a great way to show you are a pro-active learner! Few skills that are helpful to be learned are web development (helpful in getting assistantships), excel modeling etc.

4. Community projects – Engage in any community help projects to add that human element to your profile. Working with a non-profit, tutoring kids or teach for India kind of organizations can show that you believe in contributing to positive causes. Take leadership roles if possible. Teaching subjects in your fields may be better than teaching generic ones.

5. Miscellaneous – If nothing else, go and meet people in your stream and get insights into what path you are trying to pursue. Meet Profs at IITs with insightful questions and who know you might get some interesting lead for a project. Use your imagination, the only thing that limits you is YOU. So, think what can you do in next few weeks!

Need more ideas or advice? Contact us.