By Joseph Mathieu
Photos by Chris Roussakis
Two Facebook employees who graduated from Carleton University were on campus recently to promote a new program looking to hire Bachelor of Information Technology (BIT) graduates from the Network Technology Program (NET) in the Faculty of Engineering and Design.
Coming from Facebook’s San Francisco campus to Canada’s capital university, TJ Trask (BIT/09) and Carl Verge (BIT/13) set up a kiosk at the School of Information Technology’s administration offices in Azrieli Pavilion on Oct. 11 and 12.
A year ago, Facebook didn’t regularly hire new grads. But a new rotational network engineer program was developed last November to hire new graduates to work on different engineering teams at Facebook in three- or four-months rotations over a year.
“We thought, why don’t we come up with a way to onboard network engineers with zero to four years of experience instead of watching them go somewhere else to start their careers?” said Trask. “It’s partly for recruitment, but it’s also a fun way to give information to students. We can explain how we think, what we do, how being curious is probably the one most important thing about doing well at Facebook.”
Students in the NET program are most likely to have all the skills required, but any IT student can apply said Trask.
“Knowing core networking fundamentals, having good scripting skills, and knowing LINUX system administration are the three key things,” he said.
Trask and Verge also held an information session about how Facebook manages its own networking, solves problems and automates issues. Giving graduating students more information to be successful is a way to improve the industry, they said.
Trask worked at Carleton’s Information Technology Services and for Apple as a campus representative before starting at Facebook in 2013. He is now a network infrastructure manager at Facebook’s Menlo Park. Verge worked for Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise before he began at Facebook in 2015 as a network engineer. Both graduated from the NET program, one of four specializations offered under the BIT degree, which is a joint collaboration of Carleton and Algonquin College.
“It is nice to see how well our students are doing once they start working,” said Marc St-Hilaire, co-ordinator of the NET program. “NET students are a perfect fit for their network engineering team as they learn to design, install, configure, operate, and secure advanced IT networks.
“I also believe the combination of hands-on skills from Algonquin and theoretical concepts from Carleton is one of the main strengths of the NET program. It gives them all the tools they need to start working and the ability to adapt as technology evolves.’’
“I never would have applied at Facebook, I never thought I’d have a chance,” said Trask. “But that’s why I’m here now, to let students know.”