I/Own It FAQs

Optimizely x Hack Reactor Sponsorship 2017

The Sponsorship

What does the sponsorship include?

How is the I/Own It scholarship for Hack Reactor paid?

The Application

Which Hack Reactor location is the scholarship for?

When would I start Hack Reactor?

Do I have to apply to both Hack Reactor and the Optimizely sponsorship?

I haven't done my Hack Reactor technical interview yet. Can I still apply for the Optimizely sponsorship?

I have zero experience with computer programming, can I still apply?

Can I submit any extra materials as part of my application (e.g. resume, cover letter, side projects)?

How will you decide who to give the scholarship and internship to?

Can I also apply for other Hack Reactor scholarships?

What groups does Optimizely consider underrepresented in technology?

I'm not a US citizen. Am I eligible for the scholarship?

Will Optimizely be doing this type of scholarship again in the future?

Mentorship

What does the mentorship entail?

The Internship

Do I have to accept the internship at Optimizely if I get the sponsorship?

What is the start date and duration of the internship?

What will I do as an intern?

What makes a good intern?

Do interns at Optimizely get the same benefits as regular full-time employees?

Will I get a full time job at Optimizely after my internship?

Do I have to accept a full-time offer if I get one?

Working at Optimizely

What kind of person will be successful at Optimizely?

What kind of Diversity & Inclusion work does Optimizely do?

Anything else?

I still have questions! Who do I reach out to?

The Sponsorship

What does the sponsorship include?

  1. Full tuition scholarship to Hack Reactor
  2. Living stipend while at Hack Reactor ($1,500 per month while you are at Hack Reactor)
  3. Three-month paid internship at Optimizely after graduation
  4. Access to Optimizely mentors

How is the I/Own It scholarship for Hack Reactor paid?

Optimizely will take care of this for you, and the full tuition ($17,780) for Hack Reactor will be paid directly to Hack Reactor.

The Application

Which Hack Reactor location is the scholarship for?

The scholarship is for Hack Reactor's San Francisco location.

When would I start Hack Reactor?

You would be starting with the October 9th cohort.

Do I have to apply to both Hack Reactor and the Optimizely sponsorship?

Yes, being accepted into Hack Reactor is required to be eligible for the Optimizely sponsorship.

I haven't done my Hack Reactor technical interview yet. Can I still apply for the Optimizely sponsorship? 

Yes, you can apply for the sponsorship, but we do require you to have been accepted to Hack Reactor (i.e. passed your Hack Reactor technical interview) by July 31st. The application on this site will close on July 31st.  We encourage you to plan ahead so that you have enough time to apply to Hack Reactor and prepare for and pass the technical interview by July 31st.  We encourage you to submit your application as early as possible as Hack Reactor spaces are limited.

I have zero experience with computer programming, can I still apply? 

Yes! Please note that you'll need to get into Hack Reactor to be eligible for the sponsorship, which means you'll need to get up to speed on enough JavaScript fundamentals to get into Hack Reactor and finish the coursework.

By the time you are finished with Hack Reactor's curriculum, you'll be well equipped to begin your career as a software engineer.

Can I submit any extra materials as part of my application (e.g. resume, cover letter, side projects)?

Absolutely! We have an optional field in our application for additional materials. 

How will you decide who to give the scholarship and internship to?

We are looking for people who are curious, passionate, and proactive, and for whom the sponsorship will have a big impact.

Can I also apply for other Hack Reactor scholarships?

Yes! As with all opportunities, we encourage you to cast a wide net.

What groups does Optimizely consider underrepresented in technology?

You're eligible for the sponsorship if you:

I'm not a US citizen. Am I eligible for the scholarship?

If you are authorized to work in the United States, you are eligible for the scholarship. 

Will Optimizely be doing this type of scholarship again in the future?

This is the second time Optimizely has offered this scholarship. We hope to continue to provide similar opportunities which can positively impact underrepresented communities in our industry in the future, but cannot make any guarantees today.

Mentorship

What does the mentorship entail?

Optimizely offers mentorship throughout your time at Hack Reactor and the Optimizely internship.

During Hack Reactor, you will be working through what they call “toy problems”, which are algorithmic questions that software engineers often solve during coding interviews, and you will also be building projects with a team. An Optimizely mentor can be helpful in coaching you through these problems or helping you come up with a good project that will get you up to speed with skills and technologies that are relevant in the workplace.

For the first half of Hack Reactor, there will be a lot of classroom time learning about various topics and also doing what they call "toy problems", which are often used in coding interviews. From our experience, it is less useful and more stressful to meet with your mentor during these weeks, but can be helpful for extra help on toy problems or figuring out how various topics relate to a workplace.

During the second half of Hack Reactor, you will work in a team to come up with a final project. This is where we found the mentor to be particularly helpful. The mentor can help you come up with a good project to get hands-on experience with various skills and technologies that will come in handy in the workplace.

During your Optimizely internship, you will have an onboarding buddy who will be your go-to person for anything programming, Optimizely specific, etc. You will receive a starter project, and your buddy will check-in with you along the way.

The Internship

Do I have to accept the internship at Optimizely if I get the sponsorship?

Yes. The internship is an integral part of the sponsorship.

What is the start date and duration of the internship?

The internship is 3-months and starts in January 2018.  Please note that employment with Optimizely during the internship is at-will, meaning that either you or Optimizely may end the relationship with or without notice and with or without cause.  

What will I do as an intern?

Since the internship isn't until early January 2018, it's too far into the future for us to be able to give you an idea on what specific features or teams you will work on. We have several teams, and you can indicate what kind of team you'd like to work on. Our teams work on the customer-facing product, SDKs, security, machine learning, application infrastructure, and business systems (data warehousing/pipelines & analytics)). You will be building new features on existing code. You will definitely be working with a team of people, have an onboarding mentor, and write a lot of code that will go live.

What makes a good intern?

A good intern will be someone who is highly motivated to learn, picks up things quickly, gets as far as they can without help but then immediately asks questions when they need to get unblocked, has a good attitude for working with others and learning, and exemplifies our core values (ownership, passion, trust, integrity, fearlessness, and transparency). It matters less how much you know going into the program, but rather what your story is given your individual situation and the resources that were available to you, and how you translate that to create a successful internship for yourself.

Do interns at Optimizely get the same benefits as regular full-time employees?

Yes! Perks include:

Will I get a full time job at Optimizely after my internship?

We can’t make any promises or guarantees. We’ll take into account a variety of factors, including business needs, budget, and your performance during your internship.  The purpose of the internship is to prepare you for full time employment as a software engineer, particularly at Optimizely if the fit is appropriate

Do I have to accept a full-time offer if I get one?

In the event that we are able to make you a full-time offer, it is up to you to decide if Optimizely is the right company for you to join. We hope you have a wonderful intern experience with us that prepares you well for a successful career with us!

Working at Optimizely

What kind of person will be successful at Optimizely?

We look for people who embody OPTIFY values: Ownership, Passion, Trust, Integrity, Fearlessness, and transparencY.

What kind of Diversity & Inclusion work does Optimizely do?

Optimizely supports a variety of initiatives both inside the company and in the tech community at large. On-going initiatives inside Optimizely include our mentorship program, the diversity & inclusion reading group, and our company communities: OptimizeLadies, Out at Optimizely, Parents@, and the Diversity & Inclusion Group. We also host Girl Geek Dinners, panels aimed at furthering the discussion of diversity and inclusivity in the tech community, and actively participate in the Lesbians Who Tech and Grace Hopper conferences every year.

Anything else?

I still have questions! Who do I reach out to?

Please email us at iownit@optimizely.com.