Digital Equipment Corporation – 1987

I got my mail, and there was a letter with the return address of Digital Equiment Corporation, in Nashua, NH. It was a thick envelope, which was different than most of the letters I received from companies I had interviewed with.

Dear Mr. _____,

After your on-campus interview with our representative, we would like to extend to you an invitaion to participate in our onsite interview process, which will take place at our Nashua campus, March __-__, 1987. Please find enclosed our information about how to make travel arrangements…

OMG. I could hardly believe it…

But I wasn’t graduating.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call Ms. Jane Smith at ___-___-____, M-F, 10-5 Eastern time. Looking forward to seeing you in March.

I knew that interview went well!

But I still wasn’t graduating.

The next day, I called Ms. Smith, and talked to her. I said I had received the invitation, but due to illness and other unexpected circumstances, I was going to graduate a semester late. She said, “Well, we may not do this hiring fair next year. Up to you.”

“I’ll guess I’ll have to decline.”

I should have gone. I found out later that if a company wants you, they are often willing to set your hiring date much later, or make other accommodations (like letting me finish my degree in the Boston area), or whatever. At the very least, I should have gone to get interviewing practice.

I also found out later that at least two of my classmates in my Compiler Construction class got offers and went to work there. It was truly a great class.

My life would’ve been much different had I moved to the Nashua/Boston area in 1987. But I did learn some lessons from the entire experience, and at the very least, got a big confidence boost that a company was actually interested in me. I needed that after the depression that set in after I withdrew from school and punted a semester. My spirits were so much better, and as a result, school was easier.

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