May 05, 2009

Co-op Experience: Nima Najafian

"I will probably have a hard time working for any other company, because it was so great to work at Yahoo!"

Computer Science (BCOS) ’09
Co-op Employer: Yahoo! Inc.
Position: Technical Intern

A Worldly Candidate

Nima was born in Iran, grew up in Austria, and spent time studying in Canada; but this current Boston resident found his calling in Silicon Valley, California. Nima was in contact with friends in San Francisco who passed his resume along to a hiring manager at Yahoo!. As a result, he secured a co-op position as a technical intern, moved to California, and found roommates on Craigslist (who, ironically, worked for Google, a competing company of Yahoo!). Despite working for competitors, Nima and his roommates were able to put work-related interests aside and become good friends—just one of the many aspects about the adventure that he thoroughly enjoyed.

“Living in California was a great experience. I truly appreciated the more laid-back culture and the sunny weather.”

New Knowledge and Networking

At Yahoo!, Nima spent most of his time working with Yahoo! Markup Language (YML), which is similar to XML. YML provides functionality in a safe and standardized fashion to open applications on Yahoo!. For example, when Yahoo! users visit their My Yahoo! pages, they can add applications like games, news, or weather displays to customize their experience. Nima created small applications mainly using YML, made sure that the YML technology in the applications behaved as intended, and reported any flaws. His experience with YML added to his web programming knowledge that he learned in his classes. Working at Yahoo! built upon what he already knew, while giving him the opportunity to network and learn from successful people in the company.

“I was able to interact with the top people in the company and find out what kind of education they had, which helped me decide if I should get a Ph.D. or not.”

Help From a Mentor

Nima had several mentors at Yahoo! who advised him on everything from YML code to his future career plans. Ongoing contact with his bosses and peers has helped him source feedback on his career and will open some doors when he finishes school. Nima plans on getting his Master of Computer Science immediately following graduation, and he is hopeful that he may eventually work at Yahoo!.

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