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Senior tennis athlete receives offer at Facebook

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When most people mention that they’ve joined Facebook, it means they’ve set up a profile, added personal information and photos, and have begun to use the powerful social network to connect online with family, friends and colleagues. But when Carleton men’s tennis student-athlete Andrew Hwang (Sr./Brook- field, Wis./University School) talks about joining Facebook, he’s talking about the job opportunity of a life-time.

In just a few short years, Hwang has gone from learning web design on his own to accepting a dream job with one of the world’s most sought- after employers. Thanks to his educational experience at Carleton and his own personal drive and enterprising nature, Hwang has enjoyed several incredible internships and work experiences that have supremely prepared the tennis standout to join the Wimbledon of workplaces.

His first internships at start ups were a stepping stone for Hwang as it gave him the confidence and experience to apply for an internship with Evernote following his sophomore year at Carleton. Evernote, a company that builds applications (apps) and products, allows one to search for and collect information and present ideas to the world through one platform.

At Evernote, Hwang worked on a product design team that focused specifically on improving the app for Mac computers and the Apple’s mobile iOS 7 operating system which, at the time, hadn’t yet been released.

“It was an interesting challenge to align our product with iOS 7,” said Hwang. “As an intern, I was given the opportunity to work with product managers and developers to make sure our design was implemented the way we wanted it to be.”

As his passions and interests grew in the area of product design, Hwang geared up for an even bigger endeavor. Thanks to the experience gained at Mind Snacks and Ever- note, Hwang was well-prepared and eager to continue learning, so he set his sights on one of the most influential companies in the world: Facebook.

As one of the most sought-after employers in any industry, opportunities to work for Facebook are few and far between. For Hwang, however, a Carleton connection helped him get his foot in the door. With a Carleton alum on staff at Facebook, Hwang’s resume was reviewed, and because of his previous experiences, an interview was offered.
“In general,” said Hwang, “they have tens of thousands of applicants so I was really lucky to even be considered. If I hadn’t reached out to the Carleton alum, I am not sure I would have gotten an interview. Referrals from employees are so important and I definitely needed experience from Evernote to get into Facebook.”

After an intensive interview process, Hwang was offered an internship position where he worked on designing advertisement web content. With the majority of Facebook’s revenue coming from advertisements, Hwang was challenged to design for a wide variety of advertisers on a large scale.

For a high achieving student-athlete like Hwang, obtaining experiences with Evernote and Facebook were never out of reach.

“He is a student who takes control of his education and career,” said Carleton Head Men’s Tennis Coach Stephan Zweifel. “He doesn’t rely on others to start things for him, he is really proactive.”

In addition to his academic and career pursuits, Hwang has been a big part of some outstanding Carleton teams during his tenure. The team is 41-20 overall and 24-3 in MIAC matches in his first three seasons, with a trio of second-place finishes in the regular season, three trips to the MIAC Playoffs and two appearances in the postseason title match. Individually, Hwang is 8-8 in singles play in conference matches in his career, and he’s been even better as a doubles player, going 11-5 in conference play, including a 5-1 MIAC mark last season.

Between his success on the court and his pursuits off it, Hwang’s teammates look up to the senior tennis captain in several ways. He’s a classic “lead by example” guy that has the respect of his teammates.

“He is definitely a role model for other players on the team,” said Zweifel. “He has shown that you have to take control of what you want to become. The freshmen are already seeking Andrew’s advice.”

For Hwang, the opportunity to help others get their foot in the door may come full circle. At the end of Hwang’s internship program with Facebook, he was offered a full time position as a product designer. He happily accepted, and will move to California after graduating in June. Hwang looks forward to working for a company with a cause. Wang is sure to succeed on and off the court this season.

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