New Grad Offer Evaluation [High TC]: Big Tech or Startup?

Nov 20, 2019 19 Comments

I’m very fortunate and thankful to receive all the great offers, but really not sure which one to go to. Would appreciate any input, especially from startup and Apple folks :)

SWE @ Google: 125/270/55
Pro: Great culture and WLB; only PA match so I don’t know the team yet.
Con: It would be kinda hard to get an ML related role as a new grad at Google and that’s realy important to me :(

ML related @ Apple (ICT3): 150/200/60
Pro: Interesting work; core team; level is one above the Google offer (I think it maps to low L4 ~ high L3).
Not familiar with Apple: how is the company culture? How long does it take to get to ICT 4? Any insight would be helpful!

ML related @ series B startup: 168k + 58000 options (the strike price is under $1, ~0.025% fully diluted)
Pro: Interesting work, awesome team and culture. Probably faster growth. Basically everything is great!!
Con: Not sure if it’s worth the risk though :( Risk-adjusted return is not as good as the other two options.

Background: several big name internships and a decent ML background. MS from top school. Fairly undecided at the moment so any suggestion would be greatly appreciated!

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TOP 19 Comments
  • New / Eng xhshbdid
    You have done great. Both Apple and Google proposed really great offers.

    As new grad, I would say go for the startup. You will learn so much so fast, and most importantly will likely acquire very diverse set of skills making yourself very marketable. Even if things don’t go great you could get ICT4 offer at Apple, IC4 in Facebook after a year or two of your startup experience, much faster than internal promotions.
    Nov 20, 2019 7
    • Amazon thule
      I'd take opinions here with a grain of salt in general. A lot of people veer really strongly to career advice that maximizes current TC and prestige.

      I've seen people suggest going to a prestigious company and letting themselves be downleveled or swapped out of their interest area because it had a good reputation, which is usually not good career advice imo.

      Are you Western European by chance? Visa lottery odds are way less risky for those countries
      Nov 21, 2019
    • Google / Eng STMV82
      OP
      Very good points. Though I think from my past experiences, “prestige” does help sometimes. For example, I don’t think I could have gotten these numbers without the “prestige” I have collected in the past. I can see people’s eyes lit up when they hear certain keywords, and they were usually a lot more forgiving when I made silly mistakes in the interview.
      On one hand, I know deep down interests is very important if not the most important part in work. On the other hand, I am worried that in two or three years, I would not be as competitive as now if I choose the wrong path :(
      Nov 21, 2019
  • New jam12
    You should do a poll. Gotta go with Google
    Nov 20, 2019 2
    • Google / Eng STMV82
      OP
      Good point! I’m newbie Blind user 😂 Will try to figure out how to do a poll thanks!
      Nov 20, 2019
    • Google / Eng STMV82
      OP
      Added! Thanks for the suggestion!
      Nov 20, 2019
  • New / Eng
    hotdaddy

    New Eng

    PRE
    Amazon
    BIO
    New Grad
    hotdaddymore
    If you're excited about the startup go there. Better to take risks and try things now, you can always join Google later
    Nov 20, 2019 2
    • Google / Eng STMV82
      OP
      The alternative route I’m thinking about is: go to big name for a few years, and then join startup at a much earlier stage as something like a founding engineer. Would that be viable?
      Nov 20, 2019
    • New jam12
      I agree with your strategy. Google on resume still gets people going. Your opportunities will only grow, and you will have max job security and tc
      Nov 21, 2019
  • King chakoww
    Which college?
    Nov 20, 2019 1
    • Google / Eng STMV82
      OP
      One of the top 4 :)
      Nov 20, 2019
  • Adobe / Other (☞゚ヮ゚)☞
    Can I please dm you? Had some questions regarding ML prep.
    Nov 21, 2019 1
    • Google / Eng STMV82
      OP
      Yes, just dm me!
      Nov 21, 2019
  • New MWYL07
    Do Apple for safety and the startup for fun. If you feel like having a base of prestige for your career is important, go Apple b/c you can do ML as well. Google might not put you on an ML team and that seems like it would stall your ML dreams for at least half year or however long it takes you to network and switch. I also think doing the startup is equally as good b/c ML is a field where hands-on experience matters a lot. Being able to deliver an ML product end to end is great experience and should be enough street cred to get you interviews at prestigious places later on.
    Nov 26, 2019 0

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