Sharing the Power of Networking in Software Engineering Systems

Simiao Wang, MS’24, software engineering systems, has mastered the art of the interview, helping her secure a competitive co-op at Costco and an internship offer from Goldman Sachs. On the Seattle campus she has been provided many resources to connect with industry experts.

Simiao Wang, MS’24, software engineering systems, has been able to fully take part in the traditional Northeastern experience even while living on the Seattle campus.

“I have plenty of resources to connect with industry experts, and on the Seattle campus, they have invited many industry experts to come over and have their experience and points of view shared,” Wang says.

She’s currently on co-op at Costco Wholesale as an IT Intern, an exceptionally competitive position. Over 10,000 applicants hoped to secure one of the 30 intern positions, and Wang was one of the lucky few. She found the application through LinkedIn, but it was also promoted by Kathy Wong, her co-op advisor. Wang had worked for her during a previous semester, and this close relationship with her advisor gave her a better shot at securing a Costco co-op.

“She was impressed by my work, so after that, she actually referred me to Costco,” Wang says. “[Northeastern] has a connection with Costco, and that makes them maybe value me more as a candidate.”

At Costco, Wang’s department’s role is to monitor the company’s identity and access management to ensure that the right people gain necessary access to the right systems. She also helps with automation by writing scripts to make company files easier to access. Completing tasks that make things easier for the company has helped her engage with the work culture.

“More of my current experience [is] more like learning the work environment and the culture of Costco,” Wang says.

Across classes and co-op, she has found that the secret to success is proactivity. While she appreciates having the guidance of her mentors, she learns most effectively when she seeks out solutions to problems on her own. Especially on co-op, taking on different perspectives can also be immensely helpful from a business standpoint.

“If you want to serve the customer well, you need to stand in the customer’s shoes so you can design this product better,” Wang says. “I think this mindset is very important for this co-op.”

Beyond Costco, Wang has worked closely with Northeastern’s co-op team on a number of other projects, including the team’s LeetCode practice sessions. These sessions gave students the opportunity to boost and refine their coding skills prior to interviews, and they proved to be quite the success.

“I think students should have gained a lot of experience from that, because I really benefit from these mock interview sessions,” Wang says.

She has also received a pre-OPT internship offer from Goldman Sachs. The interview process has multiple stages across several types of interviews, but her LeetCode practice sessions have served her well.

“In my Goldman Sachs interviews, I think I have been performing better because I have been able to communicate and explain my thoughts while I am coding,” Wang says.

For now, she plans to accept the offer but adds that using her unique skills to her advantage helped her figure out her approach.

“You need to find your advantage over other applicants,” Wang says. “I have an accounting background, so I combined these things, and I can gain an edge when it comes to fintech companies.”

Post-grad, Wang hopes to work as a software engineer. For her, work that makes the lives of others easier and more efficient is deeply rewarding.

“I can do a lot of things for my customers [to] make their lives easier, like what I am doing now,” Wang says.

No matter what work she is doing, her perspective remains optimistic, and she sees infinite value in networking.

“It is very important to reach out to other people and show your passion,” Wang says. “When people reach out to me, I share my experience to inspire them, to keep being positive and networking with other people.”

Related Faculty: Kathy Wong

Related Departments:Multidisciplinary Masters (IT Areas)