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Meet Franklin College Alumnus, Aubrey M. Magodlyo

Aubrey MagodlyoLanding a job at what may be the most recognized technology company in the world was not easy, but thanks to dogged determination Aubrey M. Magodlyo ’15 finally is tapping into the nerve center of the social network known as Facebook.

Magodlyo was an international student from Zimbabwe, recruited by Franklin chemistry professor Edward Chikwana, Ph.D., also from Africa. Magodlyo graduated Franklin College with a computer science and an applied mathematics degree, and he dreamed of landing a position with a tech giant. 

His career journey to Facebook and a position at its California headquarters included some detours, but Magodlyo’s persistence prevailed. Today he serves there as a product quality analyst and works closely with the software team on refining the Facebook app. 

“My job is to analyze data that provide deep insights about advertisement product use, stability and performance,” Magodlyo said. “I also develop dashboards and tools for the advertisement management team to better manage quality.”

Magodlyo was intentional in college to seek multiple internships that could help prepare him for a successful career and enhance his marketability. At the recommendation of faculty, he early on joined the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), a nonprofit organization dedicated to academic and professional success of African-American engineering students and professionals. In 2012, he went to a pivotal NSBE conference in Indianapolis to network.

“Companies came to recruit, and that’s how I was hired by Goldman Sachs,” he said. “I worked at their New York City office as a software engineer intern during the summers of 2013 and 2014.”

Magodlyo later interned as an information technology business analyst at Cummins Inc. in Columbus, Ind. He credits a Franklin professor for helping facilitate the opportunity by connecting him with an alumna working in human resources at Cummins, Avery Brown ’13.

During college, Magodlyo also had a chance to return home to Zimbabwe and intern as a software engineer/business analyst with Econet Wireless, a telecommunications group with international operations.

Even with four internships and several college leadership positions on his resume, Magodlyo knew he faced a competitive job market as a new graduate so he invested in an online employee recruitment service via LinkedIn.

“I came up with the idea on my own of searching for recruiters and paid for a list of 100. I sent them all an email asking what opportunities they had for me,” he explained.

Among the recruiters’ responses was one that excited Magodlyo the most, an opening at Facebook in Menlo Park, Calif. After applying, Magodlyo went through four interviews on the phone, then Facebook paid for his flight and hotel, bringing him on site for five additional interviews. Finally, he received the offer of his current position.

Magodlyo empathizes with recent and upcoming graduates and encourages persistence.

“It’s not easy. I researched and applied to more than 200 companies. The trick is to not get tired, and continue to apply,” he said.

He also recommends using multiple strategies, including online services as well as personal networking.

Thinking back to his Franklin College experience, Magodlyo said all his computer programming classes helped sharpen his technical abilities, and his mathematics and statistics classes gave him the foundational skills to be an effective analyst in his current role. Outside his majors, he is thankful for having been required to take a public speaking class that continues to help him put his thoughts in order and effectively communicate ideas. 

My experience at Franklin College was very good. Because of the small classes professors knew me and challenged me. When I needed advice they were there. I would definitely recommend Franklin,” he said.

Franklin College President Thomas J. Minar, Ph.D., had an opportunity to meet Magodlyo this fall during a Grizzlies’ alumni event hosted in California.

“The fact that one of the world’s most dynamic and influential tech companies hired Aubrey is a testament to his remarkable abilities and the value of a Franklin College education. I’m thrilled and proud to know Aubrey is making significant contributions in his field, and he’s just getting started. He’s a Grizzly to keep watching.”  

For more information about what a degree from Franklin College can do for you, contact the Office of Admissions at (800) 852-0232.

 

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