Landing a job at Facebook, the world’s largest social network company, would seem like a dream come true to just about anyone, and Noor Alhaidary ’12 wanted to make sure that dream became her reality.
After graduating from the University of San Francisco in December 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in international studies and a minor in Middle Eastern studies, Alhaidary applied for and received a three-month contractor position at Facebook for content review and language support for Arabic, Swahili, French and Spanish. That stint at Facebook made her realize that she didn’t want to work at any other corporation and she would do whatever it takes to land a full-time role at the social media giant.
Alhaidary applied to 18 different positions at the company and after completing a three-week interview process, in October 2017, she secured a position as a business integrity analyst at Facebook’s Austin office. The business integrity team is responsible for building and maintaining trust and safety between users and the commercial entities they interact with.
Beyond King’s had the opportunity to speak with Alhaidary about what she’s learned from her experience at Facebook so far.
What does a typical day at Facebook look like?
A typical day at Facebook looks different depending on the day, and the person you ask. In my experience here, each day has been unique and exciting; we are encouraged to take on projects that interest us so we spend a lot of time working on them. We also spend a lot of time in meetings and developing solutions to problems and ways to implement them. I find myself constantly learning about myself and about the world in which we live.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned about Facebook?
The most surprising thing about Facebook is its focus on impact. Facebook designs its products with special attention to the real and measurable changes we hope to have in the real world, which definitely gives my work a sense of importance.
Why do you think Facebook is so popular in today’s day and age?
I think Facebook products tap into the nature of human beings — and the modern world, for that matter. As connectivity becomes increasingly central to conversations on development, the ability to share experiences becomes increasingly important. With so many people, myself included, living so far away from family and friends as international travel becomes more commonplace, the existence of a platform to connect and share is as important as ever.
What are the perks and benefits of working at Facebook?
The greatest benefit of working at Facebook has to be the constant company of brilliant, inspired and incredible people. To work at Facebook is to be your authentic self every day, which, itself, is a perk. Facebook really does take care of its employees, and the overall environment here reflects that.
What does Facebook look for in a potential employee?
It really depends on the role, and the person, but I would say that being able to relate to Facebook’s culture is key.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned at Facebook?
I’ve learned how important it is to work with cross-functional partners. Being able to work with, and depend on others with varying skill sets is important, especially in such a dynamic field as technology. In addition to practical skills, I’ve learned how important it is to speak up, particularly if your perspective or experience is different — although that might be difficult at first. Taking into account the many differing perspectives on a matter usually serves to produce a more holistic result, which is increasingly important as we grow and move and find ourselves in environments that are different from what we’re used to.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone who hopes to land a job at a corporation like Facebook?
I would advise that they find something they really care about, and look for a company that cares about that, too. Do your research, and understand where you’re trying to go. Really knowing yourself and what you can contribute makes for a strong case, and being passionate about it makes for an even stronger one.