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Gabby Niamat
Gabby Niamat

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MLH Fellowship: My Admissions Timeline & Program Experience!

What is the MLH Fellowship ⁉️

In case you’re unfamiliar or just need a refresher, the MLH Fellowship is a 12-week program designed to support individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in the tech industry. The program provides participants with the opportunity to work on real-world projects from top engineering companies, receive mentorship from industry professionals, and develop valuable skills that will help them succeed in their future careers. Some notable companies that partner with the MLH Fellowship include Google, Meta, Amazon, G-Research, RBC, GitHub, Solana Labs, and many, many more.

For more information, check out their official website:

Timeline ⏰

My timeline for applying to the Fall 2022 MLH Fellowship is outlined below (note the duration between application steps might be slightly different for each individual):

  • August 5, 2022 - Submission of initial application 🤞🏼
  • August 8, 2022 - Application went into review ⭐️
  • August 21, 2022 - Invitation to schedule behavioural interview round 👩🏻‍💼
  • August 25, 2022 - Completed behavioural interview ✅
  • August 27, 2022 - Invitation to schedule technical interview 💻
  • September 5, 2022 - Completion of technical interview ✅
  • September 12, 2022 - Email of acceptance into the program 🎉

As you can see, the process took a bit over one month to complete from start to finish. I would strongly encourage all applicants to apply at least 2 months before the program start date, as the process is lengthy and highly competitive. Applying early also means you get to know that you’re a part of the program earlier, as acceptances are sent out on a rolling basis.

Onboarding Process 🏄‍♀️

Curious to know what the on-boarding process for the MLH Fellowship looks like in the weeks leading up to the program’s start? The following is a short recap of my personal experience getting set up for the Fellowship.

Firstly, I received an email of acceptance which told me I was successfully matched to a project! This invitation came straight from the wonderful Amanda D'Avria herself and included the program start and end date, the track, time commitment, meeting days and times, and the stipend amount. Included in the email is also a link to a form I was required to fill out to confirm my enrolment in the program.

Some other little things I did before the program started included:

  • Signing the Educational Fellowship Agreement (basically a contract and ToS for the program)
  • Joining the MLH Fellowship GitHub organization via invitation
  • Joining the MLH Fellowship Discord server (this is where all pod meetings, announcements, educational events, etc. take place)
  • Signing the Handbook Acknowledgement
  • Creating a Calendly account and meeting link (so others could book a meeting)

Once all that was done, the only thing left to do was wait for the program to begin!

Fellowship Activities and Events 🎭

The MLH Fellowship also provided a great number of activities and events for Fellows to partake in. While I, unfortunately, couldn’t attend most of them due to class, it was still really nice to have the option to join these events when possible as it helped to build a sense of community and have some fun during the program.

Some things the Fellowship offered to all Fellows, regardless of track, included:

  • Weekly educational events → LeetCode workshops, resume and interview preparation workshops, industry speakers going over a Day in their Life
  • Introductory week hackathon → all Fellows are required to participate in the hackathon and build a project using tools from their partner company. At the end of the week, winners from 3 categories are chosen, and special prizes are mailed out (not to brag but my team was one of the winners 🎖️✨)
  • Final week Capture the Flag → it’s not required for fellows to participate but it’s highly recommended. This CTF involves numerous cyber-security and hacking puzzles that teams must complete to win first place. The winners are announced during the graduation ceremony of the program.

Project Details 📁

During the program, I had the privilege of working with G-Research, Europe’s leading quantitative and research firm. I was initially quite unsure about working with a fintech company as I hadn’t researched the field before but quickly grew to love my Pod members (also working with G-Research) as well as my professional maintainers and technical leads from the company.

I specifically worked on the frontend for G-Research Open Source Software projects and used frameworks and technologies like Vue.js, AWS EC2, Confluence, Jira, Docker, bash, and npm.

A lot of my time was spent on algorithm design and refinement, but more importantly, understanding the mindset behind open-source contributions. My maintainer taught me the importance of being able to understand large code bases, troubleshoot bugs and errors, independently work on assigned tasks, take initiative to reach objectives, and the importance of clear communication as a software engineer.

Additional Thoughts / Feelings / Stories 🥳

While I was initially a bit disappointed that I wasn’t working on backend development or with a fancy FAANG company like Google, the MLH Fellowship was absolutely an incredible experience that has bolstered my confidence and technical ability as a rising software engineer. The skills and connections I created during the program were invaluable, and I hope to continue applying the knowledge I gained in open-source development to help others build efficient and purposeful software.

Thanks for reading about my journey! If this article helped you learn more about the MLH Fellowship, feel free to like it and share it with other curious developers ❤️

Top comments (1)

kyrolloszakaria profile image

I am currently applying to the program and you post is very inspiring. Thank you!