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Finding a Job

How a Teenager Landed a 'Dream Job' at Facebook

High school graduate Michael Sayman, who just turned 18, transformed an internship at Facebook (FB) into a full-time engineer gig earlier this week, reported Bloomberg News. It seems that in Facebook’s endless hunt for talent—its employee count increased by 37 percent in 2013, to 6,337—neither higher education nor age are must-haves.

Facebook, founded by renowned college dropout Mark Zuckerberg, has said that it doesn’t necessarily hunt for hires who graduate from top schools, instead wanting employees who are proactive, according to a First Round Review article about how it finds designers. Recruiters search for candidates based on apps, websites, or products that impress them.

It’s not that Zuckerberg doesn’t value education. He has poured millions of dollars into his nonprofit Startup:Education, which provides college scholarships, among other programs. But if you’ve got the chops, Facebook, like other technology companies, doesn’t seem to discriminate.

Facebook declined to comment for this story, but the company’s head of global recruiting, Miranda Kalinowski, told Bloomberg News in July that while the company typically tries to recruit interns who are college students, including freshmen, there’s “no hard and fast rule” on how old interns have to be. “We’re always on the lookout for really top talent,” she said.

Sayman, a graduate of Miami’s Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, was discovered by Facebook after he used the company’s developer tool, Parse, in a popular mobile game called 4Snaps. The teen was using the money to help support his parents, who were recovering from a foreclosure that took place a few years ago. Facebook flew Sayman out to meet Zuckerberg in November and offered him a 12-week summer internship at its Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters.

Sayman told Bloomberg News in July that he’s not sure if he’ll go to college. “If Facebook were to extend my offer for a full-time position I would definitely take that,” he said. “It’s my dream job.”

Wong is an associate editor for Bloomberg Businessweek. Follow her on Twitter @venessawwong.

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