3-Feb-2004

Feeling: uncertain
Digesting:  Reese’s miniature peanut butter cups
Listening to: “Explode” by The Cardigans
Wanting:  too much? everything?

It’s 8:43am and I’ve been up all night studying for a midterm and doing a problem set, which of course makes now the perfect time to update my Xanga.

Last week Microsoft asked me to do a second-round interview with them.  My response was “Hell no, I already signed with Intuit!”  It was really easy to say because I don’t want to work for Microsoft anyways.  But yesterday Google asked me to interview for the position of Associate Product Manager, and now part of me is questioning whether it’s too good of an chance to pass up.  First of all, Google is like my dream company.  Well, so is Intuit, but I like them for different reasons — I  grew to like Intuit because of the people and corporate culture, whereas I’ve always liked Google for its product (haven’t met the people yet).  Secondly, the position would be the perfect opportunity for me to avoid becoming a code monkey, since APMs develop new product lines and although they’re required to have strong technical backgrounds, they don’t actually have to program.  It would be a different career path. 

So I have 2 choices.  A) Go to the Google interview and fully disclose my actions to the Intuit people, which might cause them to withdraw their offer.  And then I could end up unemployed if Google doesn’t take me, which is highly likely since the APM program is notoriously difficult to get into and some of the smartest kids I know didn’t get into it.  Or B) Don’t go to the Google interview, stick with Intuit, and possibly end up a bitter, regretful, unhappy code monkey.  I mean, I don’t hate programming or anything, but I don’t exactly LOVE it, nor do I want to do it forever.  But then again, Intuit is a great company that has shown me nothing but love, whereas Google was really shitty to me last quarter (they switched recruiters on me and forced me to restart the whole interview process, cancelled 2 software engineering interviews at the last minute, ignored my e-mails, the UI engineering department never got back to me, etc.).

I know a lot of people don’t have jobs at all right now, so I’m lucky to have Intuit and shouldn’t be a greedy fucker.  Plus it’s a shitty thing to do, taking an interview when you’ve already signed with another company.  But I really don’t want to be a programmer forever, and the Google APM program looks really appealing.  Gahh, I dunno.  Right now I’m leaning towards sticking with Intuit, which is what I’ll probably end up doing, but this whole thing is making me feel more and more uncertain about my future.  I want to have a career that I really love…is that being too idealistic?? Maybe, but then there are people like Drew and Henry, who are switching from CS/EE to pre-med in their senior year, and I think wow that’s so brave and I admire them for pursuing their dreams.  Damn, I wish I was one of those hardcore CS 1337 geeks who enters programming contests for fun and wears “Linux by Choice!” t-shirts with great pride, then this wouldn’t be a problem. 

Feedback appreciated.

18 comments ↓

#1 Bryckcity on 02.03.04 at 10:17 am

my advice is do the interview with google without telling intuit, duh.

#2 golfcrazie on 02.03.04 at 11:08 am

you could always work for intuit for a couple of years and figure out what you want to do in the meantime, and plus get experience. maybe there will be other unexpected opportunities, other positions opening up in the future

and hell, if you don’t like it and can’t do it forever, you’re still young! you can afford to make mistakes and still have time to fix it! :)

good luck

#3 lfekenmoon on 02.03.04 at 11:26 am

just curious if you go with intuit, does that have to mean you will code for the rest of your life?

#4 FatFree on 02.03.04 at 12:07 pm

hey jess!! i say do what makes u happiest and its better to choose the best from a variety of paths than just follow one straight road. i would suggest checking out google. who knows, maybe google’s corporate culture etc. is as good or even better than intuit’s!

#5 KogePan714 on 02.03.04 at 1:03 pm

Promises are good to keep, but if you’r not going to be happy it might not be worth it.  Take a risk! (if you feel like it ^_^)

#6 shadowmantis on 02.03.04 at 1:39 pm

i suck at giving advices, and people usually throw curses at me when i do. but i think i’d stick with intuit. you could do any job anyway. like you could be a miner, or an astronaut, or a sexy nurse.
i’d play it safe if i were you.

#7 glacion on 02.03.04 at 2:19 pm

Dammit Jess, I’m applying for that Associate Product Manager job.. leave some for the rest of us, please =).

Seriously, though, even if you just work at Intuit for a few years playing with geeks and writing code, you’d be in a much better position to either move up inside the company to something less techie like project management, or even get hired by another company. That was my original plan, before I realized that no one is about to hire me as a software engineer because I suck.

#8 macpea10 on 02.03.04 at 4:57 pm

hey ya,

1) you are an awesome CS major and person in general so I seriously doubt that you will be a code monkey your entire life. 

2) DON’T do the interview unless you are going to fully disclose your intentions with Intuit.  Good Business Ethics are a MUST.  Think about it this way, if they were to find out that you did it behind their backs it might tarnish your rep for awhile.  Plus, the general rule is that you don’t take anymore interviews once you’ve signed an offer.

3) you can ALWAYS switch companies later.  and now you’re going to have a year experience which might make that much easier to get in…that just means you have tmake your year at Intuit really good.

whatever you choose i’m sure you’ll do it right. :) luv ya and good luck!

#9 trickshot on 02.03.04 at 8:02 pm

don’t get me wrong, i love google and some of my best friends work there (if i didn’t take this job, i would have kept up the process with them), but it’s not the holy grail. also, hiring there is uncertain and competitive (i don’t know if they’re still hiring in groups and whittling the group down, but that’s worse than a real part-time or temporary position because you don’t know when it’s going to end).

they’re also pre-IPO, which has a certain sexiness to it, but once the IPO happens the culture you and so many others love could change radically (i realize i’m predicting armageddon which is rather pessimistic, but hey).

if it were me, i would stick with intuit since you like the job, you like the company, and you have an offer. cold feet are natural, though. and of course, a year from now, you’ll get to look back and say “what if i had taken that other job?” but we’ve all only got one life to live, right?

either way, i’m sure it’ll be just fine. despite our best efforts, the future usually works out somehow.

#10 chicohola on 02.03.04 at 11:12 pm

the nite is still young for us youngsters.

you will have plenty of latitude wherever you go.

no one, including intuit, is gonna expect u to program all ur life!

#11 spamchang on 02.04.04 at 2:42 am

ask someone at intuit off the record, unofficially what might happen if you interviewed with another company and what are the chances that you would lose your offer at intuit.  test the waters first…i’m sure intuit would be happy to lay down their guidelines

#12 JB_Gemini on 02.04.04 at 3:13 am

Googls is a great place where every CS wants to go…  But I always doubt the intelligence of the crowd, even though they might have high average IQ… 

#13 hermanorme on 02.04.04 at 3:15 am

Work for goddamned Intuit. Google will be around long after your children have retired, and I’m sure if you feel like working for them at some point, you will be in just fine shape to do so.

And use your hard-earned money to buy a CD or two from me when I’m working at Tower Records because I can’t get a sweet job like an Associate Product Manager job at Google. Sigh…

#14 timid on 02.04.04 at 4:04 pm

hey, i don’t think you’ll have to be a programmer forever if you go with intuit.  i mean, a lot of people start out that way and then end up going a different route.  intuit has a love of room for lateral movement, and most people who start out as coders end up working the business/management side.  not to mention that intuit has project management positions open also, and if that’s what you really want to do, i don’t think it’d be hard to switch once you’re there.  you can ask shalin about it (that’s what he interned last summer).  but, obviously, i know you like google.  anyway, i think you interview with google without telling intuit (i don’t think that’s wrong), although if you do decide to switch, of course you have to tell them.  :P

#15 frogyellow on 02.04.04 at 11:52 pm

What happened to burger king and all that?!?

#16 downslow on 02.06.04 at 12:52 pm

i think you need to come to new york

#17 x_lov3_x on 02.10.04 at 5:52 pm

reeses (= yum

#18 poonraider2 on 02.11.04 at 2:20 pm

Wow.. 2 great jobs to choose from! Congrats! I’m sure whichever you choose will bring you happiness! good luck!

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