Caleb + 538 Meta Thread

Hi everyone,
I have some things I wanted to say, and I didn’t want to put them in the recommendation thread since I’d like to share that one with external sources without clogging it up with sentimental stuff they don’t need. Feel free to use this thread in an informal way for whatever you want to discuss with/about me. Since I also don’t like “discussions” where it is basically mandated that you agree with me, if you want to flame me here’s a thread to do that in instead of that thread. :wink: (although Andrew already kind of half-flamed me, but I’ll take it)

Some of you know I’ve been going through some personal stuff recently, so I’m particularly emotionally vulnerable right now but I don’t care. I know we’re only a half day into responses and not everyone has even seen the thread, but even the support already out there is overwhelming, and I tear up every time I read through that thread. I’ve always known I have plenty of fans out there just based on the sheer number of downloads my works have, and I’ve certainly had individuals reach out to me to express support. I guess I’ve never put all of those responses side by side though to properly see how large of an impact I’ve had. No matter what happens with 538, I’ll have that thread bookmarked for motivational support for a long time.

For a little more context on the 538 situation if you are interested, I sent an email to Micah a few days after the original job posting in October. I never got a response back, and I should have been much better about following up with that but let it slide. I don’t need to go too much into it, but about a month ago quite a few things in my personal life fell apart, and I made the decision to move out of Minneapolis and probably find a new job. I finally sent a follow up email to Micah a few weeks ago and still didn’t get a response, so I think it’s possible my messages got sent to a spam filter or something. Last week I sent a message to the contact page at 538 and emailed both Nate Silver and Micah again. Today I sent a physical letter to 538 with my resume in it and also messaged them on twitter. While I was making the twitter message, I thought I should try to figure out a better way to get them to understand that I feel qualified/suited for this role, even though my resume is very geared toward electrical engineering. My normal references I use are also in EE so I couldn’t really go there, and my network is also mostly limited to engineering and certainly not journalism.

So I thought I would just make a thread on CD and see where it went and hopefully it would become something useful for me. That really was the extent of the plan, I’m trying to switch career paths pretty hard here and don’t really know the best way to go about it. If any of you have ideas or suggestions on how I could go about this better I’m all ears (here or pm I don’t care). I’ve already gotten a few pms and I appreciate those. My original idea was to give everyone Micah’s email address and let you spam him messages on there, but I thought making a thread I could link to was more appropriate.

Also, I understand my window of opportunity with 538 may have passed since it has been a few months since the job posting and the position has possibly been filled. As such, I will be exploring other related opportunities as well, so if you have a job in mind for me for data journalism or some kind of interesting data analysis/modeling position, feel free to send it my way and I’ll look into it. I’m free to move anywhere right now so I think I’ll go wherever I see the most interesting opportunity (although I am kind of hoping that opportunity happens to be somewhere a little warmer).

That’s all for now, I’ll use this thread to keep you all up to date on whatever happens with me. Also I’m in Australia for the rest of the week so that’s why I’m posting in the middle of the night US time.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you all for your support.
-Caleb

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Honestly Caleb I’m very disappointed in your behavior. Posting this at 2 am for me and forcing me to read another one of your posts is very inconsiderate.

(This is sarcasm if it wasn’t obvious)

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1 post in and I’m already getting flamed. I think we need like 14 more to balance out the other thread.

On the topic of balance. I do actually find it super interesting that my life is changing so hard right at the same time Avengers Endgame (HYPE) is coming out and this FRC season is ending. I’ll be keeping up with my FRC work through Detroit, but then I’m going to be out for a while. Just like (insert Avenger who “quits” the Avengers but everyone knows will be back again eventually here)

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If you want more flaming, I can pretend I’m mad at you for leaving 2052 instead of telling you how impressed I am with what you’ve done since graduating :wink:

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Hey wouldn’t want it to sound too much like praise. I have a reputation to uphold.

Don’t have many contacts in the data journalism space, do have a few in the data science space. Will be in touch.

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My company has data science openings. I’ll PM you.

Yelp is always hiring. DM sent.

Update:
Still looking for a job. I’ve been completely unable to get in touch with anyone at 538 despite numerous attempts. I did just apply to these roles: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/were-hiring-3-fall-interns/
However I was immediately rejected as I’m 7 months out from graduation. I sent emails to Nate Silver and the 538 contact page trying to explain this and have yet to hear anything.

I’m still very open to opportunities in data science, but I think I need someone to vouch for me to get a role like that since I’ve gotten basically no responses in applying to data science roles I’ve found on job boards (which makes sense because my resume is electrical engineering). If I don’t get something soon, I’ll probably take up a new EE role and maybe work on a Master’s in Data Science. Then a few years out I can apply to jobs in that field and hiring teams will be less confused.

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It’s very obvious that this is a job that you want but just based on the apparent lack of communication on 538’s part would it even be a good idea to work for them? How a company, especially not larger ones, can say a whole lot about how the company works from the inside and 538’s communication track record doesn’t exactly make them look good. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they treat other applicants the same way, I’d actually be surprised if you are the only one they treat this way.

This is just how applying for jobs is these days, especially if you’re coming into a new industry or have just recently graduated. When I graduated college I was sending a few dozen applications a week, and getting rejections from maybe 1 in 12, with the others just flat out not responding. 1 in 100 or so “cold applications” resulted in an interview.

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Would you rather get a standard four paragraph form letter like I used to get when I started looking for a job so many years ago. They all followed the same form I still have it memorized decades later.

  1. Thank you for your interest in 538.
  2. We are impressed by your qualifications.
  3. Unfortunately, there isn’t a position that matches your abilities.
  4. Good luck in your job search.

And this is why I strongly recommend not cold calling. Admittedly, Im in an industry that is very much an employees market right now and am inundated with recruiters… but any time I’ve looked at new places has involved reaching out to my network.

Ironically, I’ve only cold applied to 2 places and one of them is where I currently work. I reached out after a Hacker News post saying they were looking for a full stack engineer.

I couldn’t get anywhere with cold calling. My current job is a result of a crazy networking web. The son in law of an employee of a friend of my dad’s works here, and that was apparently enough of a recommendation to get my foot in the door. I managed to get a call with SpaceX from the son of a friend of a second cousin. God knows why that tenuous a relationship is worth anything to an HR department, but it apparently is.

Both of my summer internships came from referrals, and my full-time job came from one of those internships. Smart networking is the #1 way to gain career opportunities.

Last update:

I just accepted a new job offer and I start next week. It’s for a consulting firm called TechField based out of Atlanta. After some orientation, they’re going to set me up on 9ish month big data consulting projects across the country. I’m very excited to get a position working with big data, and I’ll get to live in a couple of new places as well, which is what I really want now in life.

Thank you very much to all of the people who provided references for me, it was really helpful and comforting to know my FRC network is strong. Probably not going to be mentoring anytime soon as I’ll be moving a lot, but you might see me pop up at random events volunteering.

Didn’t quite land a job at 538, but I’ll just keep doing FRC stuff and maybe someday I’ll apply again with an even better resume. Or, I could end up on a completely different path, we’ll see where life takes me. Anyway the wind blows doesn’t really matter to me.

That’s all for now, thanks again to everyone for all the support. This was a rough patch for me but I think I’m coming out better for it, and I ended up in what I hope will be a much better life position. :slight_smile:

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Good luck with the new gig!

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Congrats! Remember that it’s just a side gig to your regular job calculating ELOs for robotics teams. Who else is going to tell us exactly how much we blew it this year? Also, 538 is great, but the world of big data analysis in unimaginably large. You’re gonna do great.

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So unfortunately, I’m back on the job hunt. Read on for why if you want.

TechField/Mobile Apps Company is a deeply unethical mess that I refuse to be a part of. I quit right after the orientation. Here was my experience:

  • They create completely fabricated “Profiles” for you of past experiences and coach you on how to talk about them like they were your own projects. I’ve uploaded a sample before and after profile they gave me here. This isn’t resume padding, it’s literal BS.
  • For phone/skype interviews, they put you in a room with 2 other people who will feed you answers to interviewer questions. If there is a programming section of the interview, they will provide someone experienced in the language to take the test for you.
  • They also require you to wipe any social media that would contradict their BS Profiles, including years in school and graduation dates.
  • If you try to leave before your two-year employment agreement is finished, they try to charge you $14,000 for the “training” you get before starting assignments

If you want some more perspective, read the 1-star reviews on Glassdoor (like I should have before starting).

Very frustrating to be a part of, and even more disappointing to see how many others went along with all of it. Do not work for them or employ anyone from their company.

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It is disappointing to see that companies are actively attempting to deceive both their employees and the general public. I thank you for the work you do for FRC and I wish you the best of luck in your job search in the future.

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I am so confused, what is this thread about?