The 13 weeks of Acquia U went by in the blink of an eye, but the final push to get a job was a complete blur. We finished up our rotations and began interviews in the same week. We cased out the jobs and teams that were of greatest interest to us, and we jumped in and owned it. The sheltered existence of our little enclave within the company dissipated before our eyes, and before we knew it, we were full-fledged Acquians.
And if you are reading this as a prospective Acquia Ubie, rest assured that the journey was absolutely worth it. Joining up with Acquia U was a bit of a leap of faith for many of us, but when all was said and done, the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work at one of the most exciting and inspiring companies in the world was the reward. For me, selecting a landing spot within Acquia presented quite a challenge and ultimately required a difficult decision. After completing rotations and listening to all of the presentations during my time in Acquia U, I decided to apply to three different teams:
Professional Services: Fresh off of a successful and enjoyable rotation in Professional Services, I decided to apply for the position of developer because I knew that I would be potentially joining a dynamic and exciting team of Drupalists working directly on some of the most exciting website projects anywhere. For this position, we were required to deliver a presentation outlining a simulated development workflow scenario for a fictitious client. I put my PowerPoint skills to the test and added some animation magic, meticulous color scheming, and object placement to the pixel. I was ready to go until... the screenshare I used during the presentation (Google Hangout) did not allow me to share my live presentation screen. Slightly offput at the unexpected limitations of my technical environment, I quickly adjusted course and delivered a "just the slides" presentation. The wiz-bang animations were not available, but I scored points with the interview committee by demonstrating an ability and a willingness to persevere under less than ideal conditions. Lesson learned: plan for whatever might go wrong to actually go wrong when it comes to using technology to present. Make sure that your presentation can function adequately (if slightly less flashily) with only the most basic technology (text- and image-only slides in this case).
Learning Services: A team that did not offer the opportunity for Acquia U rotations, Learning Services appealed to me for many reasons. Perhaps the strongest argument for me joining the Learning Services team was my relatively strong experience within the education and instructional design spheres. After all, I do have two masters degrees that are related to education, and my jobs prior to joining Acquia U were teaching high school English (8 years) and designing and developing online learning as an instructional designer (2 years). Learning Services seemed like a natural fit for my career trajectory. Plus, they are a wonderful group of people with lots of great ideas and important functions within Acquia and the Drupal community as a whole. The prospect of developing training materials that would be consumed worldwide by the Drupal community sounded like a dream come true. I came into the interview round highly confident- and under prepared. The presentation flopped. I was disheartened and embarrassed. In short, I did not do the job I knew I could do. Lesson Learned: Approach every challenge with the attitude that succeeding will take hard work. Don't mistake your experience level in a particular area as a suitable substitute for preparation. Grit and determination are often more important than talent and even experience. Plenty of people succeed with less talent or less experience: both can be built up through hard work. Without grit and determination, no level of expertise can save you 100% of the time.
Presales: [To Be Finished]