- Nastya Kholodova is a software program engineer from the Ukraine who thought working for an enormous US tech firm was one of the simplest ways to know that she’d really “made it” as a developer.
- Kholodova searched by way of Amazon AWS careers and submitted her resume to “All Obtainable.” To her shock, she heard again instantly, and commenced what she known as a “tremendous nerve-racking” interview course of.
- Amazon finally supplied her $167,006 as her estimated whole Yr 1 compensation, however what she actually wished was for the corporate to sponsor her visa so she may stay within the US completely.
- Kholodova ended up rejecting Amazon’s provide as a result of a small startup promised to assist her get everlasting residency, a suggestion too good to cross on.
- From Kholodova’s perspective, issues labored out. The startup helped her get her inexperienced card, and she or he then sponsored her husband to get one as nicely. She says she’d nonetheless take into account working for Amazon sometime — and in reality has stayed in contact with the corporate.
- “They’ve their database of individuals they’ve given presents to, and infrequently they simply undergo the database and speak to you once more. Once they electronic mail me about open positions, I normally discuss to them. I am curious. And if not me, perhaps I can counsel another person.”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
For Nastya Kholodova, a software program engineer initially from Ukraine who was working in Washington D.C., the possibility to get employed at an enormous US tech firm like Fb, Uber or Amazon appeared like one of the simplest ways to know that she’d really “made it” as a developer.
However she wasn’t certain she’d be aggressive. So on a vacation afternoon when she and her husband have been caught at house, she began making use of.
“It was Independence Day , and it was a really wet day in D.C., and we did not do something. And within the night, I used to be bored at house, somewhat upset. And I assumed, so long as I am simply sitting right here, perhaps I ought to take a look at Amazon.”
Kholodova stated searched by way of Amazon AWS careers and finally submitted her resume to “All Obtainable.” She selected her wage necessities just by wanting up on Glassdoor what folks stated they have been being paid, and choosing the median wage.
To her shock, Kholodova heard again instantly, and commenced what she known as a “tremendous nerve-racking” interview course of that finally led to a horny provide — after which, a good larger resolution.
Here is the story of what Kholodova’s interview course of at Amazon was like, and why she finally turned down the provide, whereas being cautious to not burn bridges and doubtlessly have the possibility to work with the corporate someday sooner or later.
Born, raised and educated in Ukraine, Kholodova studied math at college however grew to become a software program engineer after commencement, working at an ecommerce startup and making the equal of about $36,000.
One in every of her objectives was to discover a solution to come to the USA, so each she and her husband, who was additionally a software program developer, landed jobs collectively on the World Financial institution, which meant they may qualify for lesser-known G4 visas, that are for international workers of nonprofit worldwide organizations within the U.S.
The World Financial institution job had additionally meant an enormous elevate for Kholodova: about $90,000 a yr after taxes, and she or he favored the work. However, she had her sights set on one thing even larger.
“I interacted rather a lot with the World Financial institution’s statistical departments — shoppers all around the globe,” she stated. “It was one the perfect experiences, engaged on all of the infrastructure for the web sites and the cell app for knowledge assortment.”
Her expertise engaged on web sites with excessive person masses can be enticing to Amazon, she reasoned, and she or he had some mates and colleagues who labored on the firm’s facility in Herndon, Virginia, a couple of 40-minute reverse commute from the place she and her husband lived in D.C.
Very quickly after she utilized, the corporate contacted her for a cellphone screening with an HR consultant.
Thus started the longest interview course of Kholodova stated she’d ever been by way of.
First got here the HR display screen, adopted inside a matter of days by an hour-long digital technical display screen, the place she was interviewed by a senior engineer over a video interface.
“It is technical, they’re simply checking your problem-solving skills, your algorithm information, your expertise to code with out all of the developer instruments,” she stated. “It is super-stressful.”
The subsequent stage of the method was delayed for about two weeks, however Kholodova chalked it as much as the truth that August was now approaching, and many individuals have been on trip. Within the meantime, she was interviewing with a startup in Washington, as nicely.
Ultimately, she heard again from Amazon.
“They stated the technical display screen went nicely, they usually requested me to jot down some quick essays, about 300 phrases every, about my management skills and problem-solving expertise. It is the one time I have been requested to do one thing like that in an interview: ‘Inform us a couple of difficult, massive resolution you made, and why you made it, and what have been the issues?’ Issues like that.”
Subsequent up was an invite to interview at Amazon in Herndon, VA — a six-hour, day-long course of, interviewing for a software program place inside Amazon Inspector.
This was “intense,” she stated, executing six completely different interviews with a complete of round 9 or 10 Amazon workers, together with each her doable future supervisor and different engineers on the workforce she’d be working with.
“It was similar to the video screening, nevertheless it’s longer, and naturally the particular person is correct there with you. It’s worthwhile to write code on a white board. It is super-stressful. Lots of people suppose these interviews are extra about your capability to handle anxiousness, than your capability to code.”
Kholodova should have aced it, nevertheless as a result of inside just a few days after that, she bought a name from the HR division saying Amazon deliberate to make a suggestion.
On August 25, she bought the main points through electronic mail, together with a $132,050 wage, bonuses of slightly below $30,000 throughout her first and second years, and a restricted inventory grant.
Congratulations! The workforce and I are delighted to increase this provide to you for the Amazon Net Companies Software program Growth position … for the Herndon, VA Workplace Location AWS workforce. I’ve your provide particulars permitted and I’ve listed all parts under, please take a while to evaluation immediately and let me know what is going to work so that you can focus on the provide and any questions that you’ll have in regards to the data connected.
Title: Software program Growth Engineer
Proposed Begin: TBD
Base Wage: $132,050 (annual)
Yr 1: Estimated Compensation: $167,006 (this contains the bottom wage, yr 1 money and 5% of your preliminary restricted inventory grant)
- Assured Signal On Money:
- $29,600 damaged out and paid month-to-month in 12 installments all through your first yr of employment.
- $27,400 damaged out and paid month-to-month in 12 installments all through your second yr of employment. You’re paid as soon as a month on the finish of the month.
- Assured Signal On Money:
The compensation represented a big elevate over what she’d been making on the World Financial institution, and she or he was thrilled to comprehend that one of many largest and most profitable technical corporations on the planet wished her.
“I used to be actually excited,” she stated. “I did not suppose I may get to the tip.”
However now, with the provide in hand, Kholodova realized she had an issue.
The difficulty needed to do together with her visa standing. Kholodova may work for any firm in the USA, however solely so long as her husband continued to work on the World Financial institution, since she was the partner or dependent of somebody legally within the nation on a G4 visa.
However, she did not need her husband to have to remain on the World Financial institution eternally, and she or he additionally hoped to get a extra everlasting standing to stay in the USA indefinitely.
The startup she was interviewing with on the identical time was providing to have its legislation agency pursue her case and assist her attempt to get everlasting residency.
The Amazon provide had represented numerous what she thought she wished, however the promise of assist to get everlasting residency was attractive. And, she was much less excited in regards to the 40-minute commute.
She began to suppose additionally: Do I wish to depart an enormous group just like the World Financial institution for one more massive group?
Or would it not be extra attention-grabbing to vary my setting solely, by going to a small startup?
Kholodova had just a few cellphone calls backwards and forwards with Amazon, and went on trip. When she formally replied 11 days after receiving the provide, it simply was to ask for extra time to determine.
Amazon gave her the additional time, and Kholodova was nonetheless speaking with the startup. Lastly on September 15, which was now three weeks after the provide, she replied.
“I wish to thank Amazon for this chance,” Kholodova wrote. “It’s a massive honor for me to obtain the provide from Amazon and from such [an] superb workforce as Amazon Inspector.”
However she stated, she was going to reject the provide as a result of the promise of assist to get everlasting residency from the opposite firm was too good to cross on.
“Thanks once more. It was an unbelievable expertise interviewing at Amazon,” she wrote. “I hope there could also be alternatives for us to work collectively sooner or later. (After I obtain my inexperienced card 🙂 )”
Amazon replied saying that after she began working it was doable that the corporate may assist her get everlasting residency, however Kholodova felt they’d been evasive on that query through the utility course of.
In addition to, by now she’d already accepted the opposite provide on the smaller startup, Bizy, the place she was the one foreigner within the firm.
“Their authorized division was like, all mine to make use of,” she stated. “They did not have a line of individuals to course of for immigration,” as she anticipated there is likely to be at Amazon.
From Kholodova’s perspective, issues labored out. Bizy helped her to get her inexperienced card, and she or he then sponsored her husband to get one as nicely. She stayed at Bizy by way of final yr, earlier than leaving to start out a health tracker for CrossFit, known as WOD Insight.
However, she stated, she’d nonetheless take into account working for Amazon sometime — and in reality has stayed in contact with the corporate.
“I really talked with them yesterday,” she stated. “They’ve their database of individuals they’ve given presents to, and infrequently they simply undergo the database and speak to you once more. Once they electronic mail me about open positions, I normally discuss to them. I am curious. And if not me, perhaps I can counsel another person.”