Author Archives: Google Students

My Path to Google – Steven Claunch, Associate Product Marketing Manager

Welcome to the 41st installment of our blog series “My Path to Google.” These are real stories from Googlers, interns, and alumni highlighting how they got to Google, what their roles are like, and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s post is all about Steven Claunch. Read on!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in Miami, Florida, which is where my love of Cuban food, sunshine, and underperforming professional sports team stems from. For college, I attended the University of Pennsylvania, where I studied Communications and Consumer Psychology, while grappling with the novel concepts of seasons and snow.

Outside of work (and sometimes while at work, don't tell my manager 😉), I love to watch/play basketball, listen to podcasts (highly recommend Invisibilia and Freakonomics), and travel.

Work from ball pit.
What’s your role at Google?
I'm an Associate Product Marketing Manager (APMM) within Brand Studio. We're an interesting little part of Google because we operate like an in-house creative agency. Overall, we work on a range of different brand projects, from the About site, to Year in Search, to the Helpfulness campaign

I love the wide variety of stuff we get to work on. It keeps things interesting and means that we're always getting outside of our comfort zones.

Complete the following: "I [choose one: code/create/design/build] for..." 
I create for those who need a little of their faith in humanity (and technology) restored :)

What inspires you to come in every day?
A lot of things inspire me at Google—I mean, even last month, we announced that we achieved quantum supremacy. While I'm still not totally sure I know what that actually means, it's pretty amazing to be at a place where the boundaries of what's possible are being questioned and transcended each day.
Steven giving his mom a tour of Google campus and a peek at an early Street View car.
Can you tell us about your decision to enter the process?
Honestly, I didn't know Google had jobs for people who weren't software engineers, so it wasn't even on my radar until junior year of college. Around then, I heard about the BOLD internship through a program for disabled folks I was a part of called Lime Connect.

At the time, I was pretty discouraged because I'd had very little luck with getting internships (SO many form letter rejection emails!), so I didn't think I had much of a chance with a place like Google. Thankfully, I applied anyway.

Editors note: We're partnering with Lime Connect to offer scholarships to students with disabilities who are pursuing university degrees in the field of computer science in the U.S. or Canada.The Google Lime Scholarship is accepting applications through Dec 5th.

How did the recruitment process go for you?
Like all other BOLD interns, I applied online. One interesting thing I like to call out is that I actually ranked Marketing as my first choice, but ended up getting matched to a People Operations (POps AKA Google HR) internship role. Although it wasn't what I had in mind, I'm so glad that I took that opportunity and got my foot in the door.

One quick story—on my first day as an intern, I got terribly lost on my way into work. Despite having practiced the bike route multiple times, I guess my nervousness got the best of me that day. Long story short, I got to Noogler orientation super late...and drenched in sweat, but thankfully, everyone was very friendly and understanding. 
Steven on his first day, post bike ride.
What do you wish you’d known when you started the process?
I wish I'd known how important it is to ask follow-up questions in the interviews. Back then, I was so nervous that I'd often just jump straight into answering the interview question instead of taking some time to gather my thoughts and ask some clarifying questions.

Can you tell us about the resources you used to prepare for your interview or role?
I did a lot of Google searching to see if I could find any general advice from others who'd already been through the process. One of the most helpful things I learned was the CAR method for interviews (context --> action --> result).

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?
Lead with data. Whether it's on your resume, in an interview, or even at school or in your current job, it's amazing how much more impact you can have when you back up your statements with tangible evidence.

On resumes, really try to think about the unique impact you made in each position and how you can prove that. Don't just list out your job descriptions or responsibilities!

In interviews, talk about the positive outcomes that you've been able to achieve, not just the actions you took. This can really help you stand out, and it shows the interviewer that you're thinking about the bigger picture.

Stadia and Women Techmakers partner on new scholarship for gaming — apply today

Stadia and the Women Techmakers Scholarship Program are proud to announce a new partnership to promote gender equality in the tech industry. Students are encouraged to apply for the Women Techmakers Scholarship for gaming for the 2020-2021 academic year.

The Women Techmakers Scholars Program works to further Dr. Anita Borg’s vision of encouraging women to excel as active participants and leaders in tech. The new expansion of the Scholars Program, created in collaboration with Stadia, broadens the scope of the award to include students studying video game programming, game engineering, game design and development, games user research, or a closely related field in gaming.

Stadia offices
“We’re excited at the possibilities this program presents for women, Stadia, and the game industry as a whole,” said Jade Raymond, Head of Stadia Games and Entertainment. “We want to open more doors for women to make their voices and ideas part of the gaming landscape.”

The expansion of the Women Techmakers Scholarship Program into gaming comes at a time when Google as a whole is taking new steps into the video games space. Stadia is a new gaming platform created by Google that allows people to play their favorite hit video games across screens without the need for a dedicated gaming console.

Stadia gaming platform
"Almost half of all gamers are women, and we need to continue to grow that number,” said Michelle Vuckovich, a senior producer on the Stadia Games & Entertainment team. “Our perspectives lead to innovation and contribute to creating more enriching games for everyone. I encourage aspiring game makers to apply and keep the momentum going!"

In addition to the cash award, all scholarship recipients will be invited to the Google Scholars Retreat in the summer of 2020 to connect with fellow Scholars, network with Googlers, and participate in development workshops.

Google Scholars Retreat

To learn more about who is eligible and how to apply for the Women Techmakers Scholarship Program, visit our website.

Hispanic Heritage Month Pay It Forward Challenge 2019: Recognizing students making a difference (Part 2 of 3)

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Google hosted a Pay It Forward Challenge to recognize Hispanic and Latinx student leaders who are advancing opportunities for their local communities. After receiving many submissions we’re excited to share the work of the students below and hope you’ll be inspired by their stories. Stay tuned for more features over the next few weeks!

Gerardo Gamiño
Gerardo is a student at Brigham Young University. Last year he founded a non-profit called Puente with the mission, “to teach Latino parents how to help their children access higher education.” Puente members host workshops on several topics including: getting ready for college, the application process, financial aid, and transitioning to college. They also provide a mentoring program where each individual family is paired up with a mentor who guides them through the college readiness process according to their specific needs. They are currently working with eight high schools in Utah.

Gerardo’s advice to others:
“Start today! The difference between where you are now with your idea and where you could be, is that first leap of faith and confidence. When you have a desire to help your community, you will quickly recognize that there are many around you who feel the same. Your courageous first step to make an impact will inspire others to take their first steps. ¡Vamos Adelante!”

On Gerardo’s mind during Hispanic Heritage Month:
“My mind is focused on the struggles of those who came before me. The Hispanic community is vibrant, beautiful, and full of life. This is thanks to those who didn’t have many opportunities available, but were determined to fight for me to have them now. Although we must continue to work toward the dreams of our parents, I am filled with deep gratitude for their sacrifice. The long hours in the picking fields, the countless tears in response to prejudice, the selfless work to provide for a needy family all fill my heart with gratitude.”

Veronica Alvarez 
Veronica is an officer for the Hispanic Business Student Association at the C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston.  The HBSA’s mission is to empower Hispanic and Latinx students through events and workshops that encompass their five pillars: academics, leadership, service, professionalism, and familia. As an officer, Veronica establishes relationships and secures sponsorships from STEM based companies — empowering members in believing they can pursue careers in STEM. She is  also actively mentoring another HBSA chapter with their professional development and exposure to the STEM industry.

Veronica’s advice to others:
“Start where you are now — no matter how big or small. You never know whose lives you’ll be impacting and how important your actions are to them as you advocate for change. Always remember why you started and let it be your fuel. There will be ups and downs and moments of self-reflection, but ask yourself, ‘if not now, when?,’ and, ‘If not me, who?’”

On Veronica’s mind during Hispanic Heritage Month:
“I think of my parents, and their sacrifice everyday. It’s what fuels me to keep going during this time we are in. This is our time, our time to learn, advocate and empower one another. Learn about our communities’ contributions, like Latina trailblazers that have paved the way, and how we can continuously improve ourselves and be more inclusive of others. We need to unify as a Latinx/Hispanic community and look less upon our differences but rather more on what brings us together.”

Calvin Duran 
Calvin is a student at Harvard University. After noticing the lack of a professional platform for Harvard’s Latinx community, Calvin began conversations with alumni and students, and identified a need for a space where Latinx students could motivate and empower one another. As a result, he founded Latinxs in Finance & Technology (LiFT), Harvard’s first pre-professional network driven to prepare and support Latinx students. In less than a year, LiFT amassed over 120 members, and has partnered with multiple companies to promote diversity in the workplace.

Calvin’s advice to others:
“Once you have identified a potential problem, don’t be afraid to take initiative and step up to the plate to solve it. Although embarking on a new initiative may be daunting at first, the opportunity to positively impact a community outweighs this cost. One way to mitigate feelings of fear is to mobilize peers who support your mission.”

On Calvin’s mind during Hispanic Heritage Month:
“I try to be mindful of the complexities behind the Hispanic/Latinx identity. Instead of focusing on distinctions, I view this month as a celebration of our community's differences and highlighting the diversity of the Latinx experience as a collective strength.”

Christian Porras 
As an undergraduate at The University of Chicago, Christian founded a chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in STEM (SACNAS). In his  three years as president, he and his leadership team have worked to serve their Midwest community of scientific leaders. They’ve led three research conferences that collectively supported more than 500 students from 30 different schools. He also founded a computational STEM lab to get Chicago public school students excited about pursuing computational science in college. 

Christian’s advice to others:
“Dream big, but know it’s okay to start small. I’ve learned that I’m more successful when I’ve tried running a new program as a pilot before expanding beyond my neighborhood.” 

On Christian’s mind during Hispanic Heritage Month:
“I’m proud of the many Hispanic families, including my own, that have often sacrificed so much to come to America and provide opportunities to their children. As a first-generation college student from an immigrant household, I value the courage and determination of my parents and grandparents.” 

Uribe Valverde 
Uribe is a student at Georgia State University. He is the President/Co-founder of the PrimX Mentor Program — a mentorship program for the Latinx community at Georgia State. He also takes part in organizations to unite the Latinx community on campus. He is the head of events and PR for the Latin American Student Association (and the only freshman on the executive board). In his spare time he is the head fundraiser for Avanzando Un Sueño, a student led organization dedicated to giving scholarships to DACA students in Atlanta.

Uribe’s advice to others:
“Don’t be afraid to change your community or the world around you. Speak up and share your ideas with others — the people around you could have the resources, background, or experiences you need. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and give help to others. Nothing is too little in the spirit of giving.” 

On Uribe’s mind during Hispanic Heritage Month:
“It is the time for my organizations and I to speak to the diversity, culture, memories, and traditions of the community. This year I want to make sure there is an emphasis on the different identities present all across continents, small towns, and the larger society. I want to make sure underrepresented voices are heard because diversity is what keeps us together.”

Jennifer Garcia 
Jennifer is a student from the University of Texas at Dallas. She recently launched an initiative to start a scholarship program, En Mi Barrio, to help Latinx high school seniors in the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) reach their full potential through post-secondary education. 

Jennifer’s advice to others:
“Be devoted.”

On Jennifer’s mind during Hispanic Heritage Month:
“It is essential to create opportunities that allow members of the Hispanic/Latinx community to enter into industries where we are underrepresented. It is vital to support one another in various ways and most importantly make sure the youth grow with the support of everyone else to make their dreams come true. Now more than ever we need to be represented.” 

Jefferson Betancourt 
Jefferson is a student at Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management. Jefferson has experienced first hand the difficulty of navigating the education system with the burden of debt and lack of career guidance. As a result he co-founded the Betancourt scholarship fund, a non-profit corporation that assists first generation college students succeed in their first semester with financial support and mentorship.

Jefferson’s advice to others:
“Get started! Everyone will always be busy and it's easy to get caught up in your own life and forget to help others. Always remember that with great opportunity and success comes great responsibility to elevate other.” 

On Jefferson's mind during Hispanic Heritage Month:
“I will forever be appreciative for my parents sacrifice of starting a new life in a foreign land to give opportunities to my brother and I. Moreover, I am a proud American and look forward to leaving a lasting positive impact on my Latin community.” 

Daniela Beck

Daniela is a student at Chatham University and a leader in the Blooming Lasting Careers (BLC) movement. BLC was formed out of a need to give students from around the world access to opportunities to help them reach the next level of their career. Daniela manages information distribution to over 5,000 students in addition to acting as a one-on-one mentor. 

Daniela’s advice to others:
“I would advise anyone who is looking to make an impact in their local community to look internally and recognize where you can help the most. Think about your talents, ambitions, and passions and see where that intersects with a need in your local area. Additionally, I suggest having a group of advisors (whether that involves peers, friends, or others) that can act as a support system to encourage and help you during the process.”

On Daniela’s mind during Hispanic Heritage Month:
“How we as a community can help to strengthen those in our circles that have made sacrifices so that their families can have better lives. My own mother immigrated to the United States from Colombia over 25 years ago while leaving her home and family behind. This is something that I've always admired and looked up to.”

Keep up with us on social (TwitterInstagramFacebook, and YouTube) to hear more about our initiatives.

My Path to Google: Callen Therrien, Cloud Technical Resident

Welcome to the 40th installment of our blog series “My Path to Google.” These are real stories from Googlers, interns, and alumni highlighting how they got to Google, what their roles are like, and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s post is all about Callen Therrien. Read on!

Callen at the Trail of Lights maze in Austin.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born in Jiangxi, China and adopted as a baby. I then moved to Cleveland, OH where my mother raised me as a single parent until she passed away when I was six. I was fortunate enough that her aunt and uncle took guardianship of me and have raised me as their own ever since. They provided me with all the love and support I needed to get where I am today.

I attended John Carroll University in Cleveland and majored in computer science and minored in mathematics and statistics. Outside of work, you can find me kayaking down the Colorado River, at the Alamo Drafthouse movie theater, or trying out new breweries and food in Austin! 

What’s your role at Google?
I am currently a Cloud Technical Resident, part of a new grad rotational program aimed to provide recent graduates with technical and client facing skills. The program is 12 months long, with 3 months of training and rotations in 3 separate Google Cloud organizations. 

Throughout the past year, I have been able to build crucial business and technical skills that I never would have with a typical software engineering job. Within my rotations I increased my technical knowledge of Google Cloud products as a Technical Solutions Engineer, learned what it was like to sell products to customers as a Customer Engineer, and how to manage enterprise customers as a Technical Account Manager.

What I love most about this program is the incredible network I've been able to build. I've met so many diverse individuals within each rotation and within our cohort of 25 Residents as well. I didn't really know what I wanted to do after college, and being able to start a role with 24 other people in the same situation was the best way I could have started my post grad life.

Editor's note: The Google Cloud Technical Residency program in Austin, Texas is currently hiring!
Callen and fellow Residents at the Cloud Technical Residency 2018 Cohort Graduation.
Complete the following: "I [code/create/design/build] for..." 
I build for a better future for others.

What inspires you to come in every day?
I am excited to be a part of Cloud's ever expanding and rapidly scaling business. The organization moves quickly and changes day to day, but there is always something new to work on and projects to make a huge impact on. 

Taking my experience from the Cloud Technical Residency (CTR) program, I'm excited to see how Cloud grows as a whole. I'm grateful to have seen how deals get done from start to finish and I look forward to how we can improve these processes.
Callen and Doogler in the office.
Can you tell us about your decision to enter the process?
Google was always the “top dog” of companies for me, especially in the eyes of a computer science major. It blew my mind that a company could have such global impact. Billions of people use their products and the extent of their customer reach was beyond me.

I've always wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself, and Google was just that. In all honesty, I had never applied before because I didn't think I'd get the job. I didn't think I could compete with all the other talented individuals out there, which all changed senior year of college.

How did the recruitment process go for you?
During the last semester of my senior year of college, I received an email one day from a Google recruiter, informing me about a new grad program they had just opened up. At first I thought it was spam or a cruel joke email. However, it was obviously not and I continued through the hiring process and never looked back. 

The entire process was very exciting and also nerve racking. On one hand, I couldn't believe I was talking to “Google people” and that I was getting closer and closer to landing a job at Google. On the other hand, I really really wanted the job and knew I would have been sad if I didn't get it. 

I'll never forget the day I found out I got the position. I had woken up to an email from my recruiter. She said she had some good news and to call her immediately. I remember my heart beating so fast and being overcome with so much emotion. I had never felt so proud of myself and was the happiest I'd ever been. I always think back to that moment when job/life gets tough as a reminder to why I'm here.
Callen and other Noogers on their first day at orientation.
What do you wish you’d known when you started the process?
I wish I would have known how easy going and friendly the Google team would be throughout the process. Every recruiter and interviewer I came across was incredibly kind and very down-to-earth. They all made the process so much smoother than the scary interview process I had in my mind. They're all more than happy to help, so don't be afraid to ask questions as well.

Can you tell us about the resources you used to prepare for your interview or role?
I studied and reviewed over and over again the materials the recruiters provided us. I did my own research about web technologies and Google Cloud Platform‎ (GCP) products as well. I also made a list of past internship and project experiences to apply to situational interview questions.
Callen at the Google sign.
Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?
Do not underestimate yourself. I never thought in a million years I'd be working at Google and I wish I gave myself more credit to begin with. Don't be intimidated to apply and put yourself out there. 


My Path to Google: Callen Therrien, Cloud Technical Resident

Welcome to the 40th installment of our blog series “My Path to Google.” These are real stories from Googlers, interns, and alumni highlighting how they got to Google, what their roles are like, and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s post is all about Callen Therrien. Read on!

Callen at the Trail of Lights maze in Austin.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born in Jiangxi, China and adopted as a baby. I then moved to Cleveland, OH where my mother raised me as a single parent until she passed away when I was six. I was fortunate enough that her aunt and uncle took guardianship of me and have raised me as their own ever since. They provided me with all the love and support I needed to get where I am today.

I attended John Carroll University in Cleveland and majored in computer science and minored in mathematics and statistics. Outside of work, you can find me kayaking down the Colorado River, at the Alamo Drafthouse movie theater, or trying out new breweries and food in Austin! 

What’s your role at Google?
I am currently a Cloud Technical Resident, part of a new grad rotational program aimed to provide recent graduates with technical and client facing skills. The program is 12 months long, with 3 months of training and rotations in 3 separate Google Cloud organizations. 

Throughout the past year, I have been able to build crucial business and technical skills that I never would have with a typical software engineering job. Within my rotations I increased my technical knowledge of Google Cloud products as a Technical Solutions Engineer, learned what it was like to sell products to customers as a Customer Engineer, and how to manage enterprise customers as a Technical Account Manager.

What I love most about this program is the incredible network I've been able to build. I've met so many diverse individuals within each rotation and within our cohort of 25 Residents as well. I didn't really know what I wanted to do after college, and being able to start a role with 24 other people in the same situation was the best way I could have started my post grad life.

Editor's note: The Google Cloud Technical Residency program in Austin, Texas is currently hiring!
Callen and fellow Residents at the Cloud Technical Residency 2018 Cohort Graduation.
Complete the following: "I [code/create/design/build] for..." 
I build for a better future for others.

What inspires you to come in every day?
I am excited to be a part of Cloud's ever expanding and rapidly scaling business. The organization moves quickly and changes day to day, but there is always something new to work on and projects to make a huge impact on. 

Taking my experience from the Cloud Technical Residency (CTR) program, I'm excited to see how Cloud grows as a whole. I'm grateful to have seen how deals get done from start to finish and I look forward to how we can improve these processes.
Callen and Doogler in the office.
Can you tell us about your decision to enter the process?
Google was always the “top dog” of companies for me, especially in the eyes of a computer science major. It blew my mind that a company could have such global impact. Billions of people use their products and the extent of their customer reach was beyond me.

I've always wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself, and Google was just that. In all honesty, I had never applied before because I didn't think I'd get the job. I didn't think I could compete with all the other talented individuals out there, which all changed senior year of college.

How did the recruitment process go for you?
During the last semester of my senior year of college, I received an email one day from a Google recruiter, informing me about a new grad program they had just opened up. At first I thought it was spam or a cruel joke email. However, it was obviously not and I continued through the hiring process and never looked back. 

The entire process was very exciting and also nerve racking. On one hand, I couldn't believe I was talking to “Google people” and that I was getting closer and closer to landing a job at Google. On the other hand, I really really wanted the job and knew I would have been sad if I didn't get it. 

I'll never forget the day I found out I got the position. I had woken up to an email from my recruiter. She said she had some good news and to call her immediately. I remember my heart beating so fast and being overcome with so much emotion. I had never felt so proud of myself and was the happiest I'd ever been. I always think back to that moment when job/life gets tough as a reminder to why I'm here.
Callen and other Noogers on their first day at orientation.
What do you wish you’d known when you started the process?
I wish I would have known how easy going and friendly the Google team would be throughout the process. Every recruiter and interviewer I came across was incredibly kind and very down-to-earth. They all made the process so much smoother than the scary interview process I had in my mind. They're all more than happy to help, so don't be afraid to ask questions as well.

Can you tell us about the resources you used to prepare for your interview or role?
I studied and reviewed over and over again the materials the recruiters provided us. I did my own research about web technologies and Google Cloud Platform‎ (GCP) products as well. I also made a list of past internship and project experiences to apply to situational interview questions.
Callen at the Google sign.
Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?
Do not underestimate yourself. I never thought in a million years I'd be working at Google and I wish I gave myself more credit to begin with. Don't be intimidated to apply and put yourself out there. 


My Path to Google – Sandro León, IT Resident

Welcome to the 39th installment of our blog series “My Path to Google.” These are real stories from Googlers, interns, and alumni highlighting how they got to Google, what their roles are like, and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s post is all about Sandro León. Read on!
Sandro posing in his Noogler hat
Can you tell us a bit about yourself? 
I grew up in Centerville, Ohio, with three sisters, Viviana, Sonia, and Angela. My parents, Alfredo and Emilia, both proud Mexican immigrants, made sure that I knew my heritage, and felt proud of it. Growing up, my sisters and I would help out, working at our parent’s Mexican restaurant, Las Piramides. 

Outside of school and work, I’ve always loved listening to music, messing with latest tech, and playing games with friends. My interest in tech and experiences helping family and friends with my limited computer skills, led me to study IT electives in high school. Upon arriving to college, I studied Network Engineering at Sinclair Community College before transferring to the University of Cincinnati (UC) where I completed my B.S. in Computer Engineering. 

Throughout university, I grew close to Latino/Hispanic inclusive groups like Latinos en Accion as well as engineering focused teams. Looking for a way to focus my interests even further, I worked with other motivated colleagues to rekindle our Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) chapter at UC. At Google, I work with groups like HOLA (Google’s Employee Resource Group committed to empowering the Latinx community both inside and outside of Google) and Code Next (free Google-run computer science education program that meets Black and Latinx high school students in their own communities) to continue the diversity focused STEM work that got me to where I am. This also includes going back to recruit at SHPE’s convention – the convention that made it happen.
Sandro and Googlers prepping for the National SHPE convention.
What’s your role at Google?
I’m an IT Resident in Mountain View as part of the IT Residency Program. The program is an immersion into end-to-end IT support at Google, and provides the opportunity to jump-start your career at Google and beyond. My favorite part about the work is that I assist Googlers from all around the world, in-person and remotely, regardless of the team they’re working on. I’ve even had the chance to travel worldwide, visiting and working from the London and Sydney offices. Right now, I’m on rotation with the Google Calendar Site Reliability Team! Learning the ins and outs of keeping production running at Google-scale is amazing as well as a mind-boggling opportunity at times.

Can you tell us about your decision to enter the process?
Even though I’d thought of Google as a dream job when I first learned about the company, I never thought I’d actually get here.

My journey to Google starts and ends with SHPE. When I started studying at the University of Cincinnati, I remembered seeing informational flyers about the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. After getting involved with our local chapter, and looking for ways to get us to the National Convention, I discovered and applied for a Google Travel and Conference Scholarship. Soon after applying I got an email, letting me know Google was flying me out to the convention in Kansas City, but I knew I couldn’t go without the team that inspired the idea. So we worked with the university and sponsors and were able to acquire funding for the rest of the group to make the inaugural conference trip together! 

Part of registering for the conference was submitting a resume to SHPE, so they could share with attending organizations. I’d never applied to Google as I thought I wouldn’t make it through the tons of other resumes, and even if I did, there wouldn’t be a position for someone with my experience. This was where Google proved me wrong. I’d always romanticized the idea of working in Silicon Valley, with Google at the top of the list. I thought I might visit the Googleplex as a tourist, but didn’t have much confidence that I was employable – especially at Google as a new graduate. 

After submitting my resume to SHPE, I never expected Google to reach out, but they did. It took me almost a whole day to respond to the first email because I didn’t believe it, and almost dismissed it as spam.
Sandro holding a clipboard in front of the Google SHPE convention booth.
How did the recruitment process go for you?
Google had the most helpful recruitment process I’d ever been a part of, and SHPE only helped make it even more surreal. After convincing myself that the email from Google wasn’t spam, I spoke with a recruiter. They made sure that I understood the role and answered all my questions over a phone call. Then they planned to make it possible for me to interview in-person with Googlers at the convention. Being my first SHPE convention, I was overwhelmed by the experience of seeing thousands of professional Hispanic engineers. I was definitely nervous, but having my friends there helped. 
Sandro and Googlers on a trip.
Complete the following: "I [choose one: code/create/design/build] for..." 
I build for representation, inclusion, and respect.

What inspires you to come in every day?
I’m inspired to come in everyday because I know the people I work with are just as passionate to help me as I am to help them. Everyday I work here is an opportunity to open the door for others who might not see themselves here, show them they’re valued by helping, and build a better place for them when they get here. From helping people communicate to reaching quantum supremacy, Google brings people together to create and inspire. I’m also especially honored to work with and support Code Next. I get to make sure that students keep learning.

What do you wish you’d known when you started the process?
I would’ve applied sooner if I’d known that the Google careers site was so comprehensive in listing every opening. I would also recommend that anyone interested in a role take a look at the specific criteria listed. They’re as specific as they can be, and depending on what you’re looking for you might have a good chance of finding something you’re interested and qualified for. Don’t dismiss yourself and always keep looking!
Sandro in front of Google sign in Mountain View.
Can you tell us about the resources you used to prepare for your interview or role?
Google actually has tons of YouTube videos about general hiring and interviewing. For my interview for the IT Residency Program, I studied a ton of troubleshooting methodologies, and actually reviewed my notes from my classes/studies.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?
Googleyness is a thing! There’s lots of facets to it, but for me, the most important narrow down to respect and helping others. What was different about Google to me compared to previous workplaces is that everyone is invited to bring their whole selves to work, so make sure you’re being yourself during the interview. 

My Path to Google – Mizuki Hsu, Community Inclusion Advisor

Welcome to the 38th installment of our blog series “My Path to Google.” These are real stories from Googlers, interns, and alumni highlighting how they got to Google, what their roles are like, and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s post is all about Mizuki Hsu. Read on!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in Kyoto, Japan. When I was 2 years old, all of a sudden I got a mobility disability. Regardless of countless medical examinations, the doctors couldn’t find the exact cause of my disability. Since then, I have been living as a person with a disability.

Thanks to my parents who are strong advocates for me, I could access general education, which wasn’t common for kids with disabilities. All of my teachers and friends were supportive, however, my school wasn’t accessible for wheelchair users. Most public schools in Japan still have only stairs, even today. Therefore, I had to go up and down stairs by sitting then lifting myself up stair by stair everyday from elementary school to high school.

After I finished 2 years of college in Japan, I transferred to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in the U.S. where I majored in communication and international studies. Living and studying in the US changed my life completely. I found that I had equal opportunities and access to almost everything. I also learned how to advocate for myself and show my appreciation by saying “thank you” to the people who help me, instead of saying “sorry.”
Mizuki with her husband, Jeff, and their daughter, Emma.

I returned to Japan with a bachelor’s degree and started job hunting in Tokyo. However, I faced unexpected difficulties. Japan has a quota system for the employment of People with Disabilities (PwD). Because of that, I found that most companies focused on my disability first, not my abilities. I received a lot of email replies saying “Sorry, we are not hiring a person with disabilities.” Some companies offered me a job interview, but they limited job positions for PwD. Therefore, it was really hard to find a company that truly saw me as a candidate.

Can you tell us about your decision to enter the process?
After I returned to Japan, I wanted to continue my research of PwD employment. I was accepted to a graduate school in Tokyo and waiting for school to start, which was five months away.
I contacted some companies where I had connections for my research, and asked for a short-time job that I could do until the graduate school started. One of the places was Google Japan. They recommended an internship program and I gave it a try.

Two months after I joined Google, my mind had changed. I wanted to work longer than four months (the original internship period), because of the unique working environment. My manager and team members were very supportive and I was able to become a full time employee.

What’s your role at Google?
I am a Community Inclusion Advisor on the Employee Engagement team supporting various kinds of underrepresented groups across the globe and raising awareness about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). I love this job because each employee cares about DEI.

I’m currently working on a global project to create office accessibility guidelines by partnering with other teams who manage office facilities and accommodations. If the project goes well, it would make Googlers and visitors with disabilities feel more included at Google.

What inspires you to come in every day?
I’ve been working at Google for more than two years, and I still feel like it’s is a very special place. Coming to the office is like traveling to a foreign country. We have a diverse group of people with a variety of unique experiences and ideas, so I learn new things everyday.

What do you wish you’d known when you started the recruitment process?
My experience was very good. I didn’t request any accommodation personally, but I was surprised how Google offers accommodation for candidates from the beginning of the interview process. That was something I hadn’t been asked in a job interview at other companies.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?
I would recommend you spend time on what you are very good at or passionate about, and become an expert in the field. By doing so, you will feel more confident in yourself and there is nothing to be afraid of taking on a challenging opportunity.


Learn more about Mizuki’s story on her blog.

My Path to Google – Luisa Vassalo, Associate Account Strategist

Welcome to the 37th installment of our blog series “My Path to Google.” These are real stories from Googlers, interns, and alumni highlighting how they got to Google, what their roles are like, and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s post is all about Luisa Vassalo. Read on!
Luisa (front) and teammate, Sarah, at Noogler orientation in Dublin

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I was born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal. When I was 18 I moved to the United Kingdom to pursue my bachelor’s degree in Business and Management.

While at university,  I worked several part-time jobs which helped me build great soft skills such as time management, leadership, and communication capabilities. During the summer months I volunteered with the Children's International Summer Village as a camp counselor educating children in conflict resolution, human rights, diversity, and a sustainable environment.

I love playing sports and travelling during my free time — I usually take time off to travel every three months!

What’s your role at Google?
I’m an Associate Account Strategist in Dublin, Ireland – Google’s Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) headquarters. I manage small-medium business accounts focusing on the Spanish market.

I love that I am constantly communicating with people — clients, colleagues, or support teams at Google. Working with so many clients exposes me to many different business models and objectives. While sometimes challenging, it’s definitely an awesome learning experience.

Here’s a quick background on the role for anyone interested in applying: When you join Google you go through an onboarding training and gain a deep understanding of Google Ads Solutions. Once fully prepared, you start working as a junior seller – meaning that you are given a portfolio of clients. Your job is to help them build their online marketing strategy in order to meet their business goals.

After about a year, many become senior sellers, where you can decide whether you would like to keep working with a portfolio of direct clients, or if you would like to move teams and work with agencies. The main difference here is that your point of contact is not the final client anymore, but media agencies that represent clients.

After you become a senior seller, your career at Google can take many different paths depending on your career goals: sales, management, product related teams, operations, etc.
Luisa and teammates, Álvaro, Andrea, and Aaron, at an event in Barcelona.
Complete the following: "I [choose one: code/create/design/build] for..."
I build for diversity, inclusion, and respect.

What does a week at Google look like for you?
More than half of my time goes towards client’s calls, video conferences, or face to face meetings. That is really where I get to know the client and help them implement a strong online strategy using our Google Ads solutions.

Apart from meetings with clients, I also need to ensure that I have time for administrative tasks. This includes any follow up with clients, sending proposals, and also any internal emailing.

I also make time for internal trainings and study time. We’re always learning the latest features of the products and getting coaching in order to provide the highest level of support and guidance.

After six months at Google, I was able to take on other projects. I really enjoy interviewing and coaching, so I take part in interviewing candidates and coaching the newest members of our team.

Here’s a peak at what a general week looks like for me:
Luisa'a Google calendar.

What inspires you to come in every day?
The people. Google has a strong culture of collaboration, and as a result, I learn something new from my colleagues every single day.

In addition, I’m developing a wide variety of skills through my core job and projects I am involved in. In the past two years I have grown a lot as a professional and individual. It’s great because career wise there’s a huge amount of opportunities within Google. I’m in charge of my own development and career path and my managers have always supported me.

Can you tell us about your decision to enter the process? 
I came across Google at a career fair while I was at uni. From there I attended Google AdCamp where I spent two days in the London offices meeting other students and learning about Google.
During that time, I realized that I really wanted to join the company. As I said, what really caught my attention was the culture of collaboration and respect, where new ideas were always welcome and creativity was valued and seen an asset.
I never thought I was a good fit for Google and I never thought I could ever get in! But the initial application was so straight-forward (uploading a CV) that I gave it a try, and it worked!

Luisa presenting at an event in Madrid.
How did the recruitment process go for you? 
As mentioned, I first applied to Google after hearing about the Associate Account Strategist role at a university career fair. I went through several interviews and was invited to come to the Dublin offices for the final round.

Unfortunately one of the interviews didn't go well and I didn't get an offer. I thought I could never try again! However, the recruiter suggested I work on an internship for six months and then re apply. So that’s exactly what I did! I gained some work experience and after six months I applied again and was able to secure a full time offer.

The second time around I used several online resources that were available at the time. I strongly recommend checking out this “preparing for your Google interview” video, where you’ll get a peak at an example interview.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers? 
Be yourself. Be confident. In an interview I recommend trying out the STAR approach when responding to questions (Situation, Task, Action, Result) - it helps keep a concise and clear structure in your answers.

Hispanic Heritage Month Pay It Forward Challenge 2019: Recognizing students making a difference

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Google hosted a Pay It Forward Challenge to recognize Hispanic and LatinX student leaders who are advancing opportunities for their local communities. After receiving many submissions we’re excited to share the work of the students below and hope you’ll be inspired by their stories. Stay tuned for more features over the next few weeks!

Angelica Deleon




Angelica is studying Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communications at Seton Hall University. As a volunteer for the United Nations Northern New Jersey chapter, she leads meetings with in-government officials and discuss the importance of strong US-UN relations. She advocates for issues relevant to all, such as eradicating extreme poverty, advancing women's rights, combating climate change, and more. She also manages her own company, Leon, an eCommerce clothing brand founded to give petite women more consumer options.

Angelica’s advice to others:
“To anyone who wants to make an impact – discover a cause that you are passionate about and collaborate with individuals who mobilize you to effect change in our society. You can serve as a volunteer towards a cause you are passionate about or serve as a mentor to the upcoming generation of leaders.”

On Angelica’s mind during Hispanic Heritage Month:
“Gratitude. As a first-generation American, I am appreciative of the experiences I have lived through while growing up in a Hispanic household. My culture has molded the person I am today; passionate, hard-working, and resilient. As a young professional, my culture has granted me a unique advantage and perspective when contributing to the teams I have worked on. Our heritage is rich in every way. It is embedded in strength and grit. This Hispanic Heritage Month is special as we continue to thrive as a community and demonstrate relentless courage in the face of adversity.”

Oscar Lopez 

Oscar is a student at the University of Texas at Austin. This summer, he worked as a Google Public Policy Fellow where he advocated for increasing broadband access in predominantly Hispanic/Latinx communities.

“My hometown of Laredo, Texas is a border city where more than 95% of its population identifies as Hispanic or Latino. In 2017, Laredo was designated as having the worst access to broadband of any U.S. city. One third of the population lacks access to the necessary resources to have meaningful social mobility. As a fellow, I authored a filing submitted to the Federal Communications Commission detailing the situation in Laredo and the need to improve access. Now, I am continuing to advocate for improved broadband access in my hometown, and plan to work with my city and state government to bring my city out of the digital divide.”

Oscar’s advice to others:
“Many of us may have a great idea on how to improve our communities, but we end up getting stuck on the thought of whether or not it will actually go anywhere. This mental roadblock hinders us from ever putting a community initiative into motion. It is certainly difficult at first, but by pushing through these mental barriers, not only will you learn more and improve your initiative, but you will begin to gain the support necessary to expand what you are trying to do.”

On Oscar’s mind during Hispanic Heritage Month:
“My Abuela. She immigrated from Mexico to the US having not finished her middle school education. She worked her whole life as a domestic worker, and spent her weekends with my grandfather contributing back to the community through a church they ran together. She taught me that we are all capable of having an impact on the lives of others and that if we hope to make the world a better place, we must take action and start with our own community.”

Elvin Galarza

Elvin is an engineering student at The University of Texas at Austin. Currently he works with Just Transition (Spanish version), a framework for a fair shift to an economy that is ecologically sustainable, equitable and just for all its members. He also worked with Latinitas, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering women through technology, to create the Code Chica Certification program – a free curriculum that seeks to further close the digital divide by introducing high school students to web development, women and allies in tech, and college and career resources. Elvin was also recognized as a Climate Justice activist by UPROSE – Brooklyn's oldest Latino community-based organization.

Elvin’s advice to others:
“Embrace open-mindedness and look at life through an intersectional lens. This not only assists us in realizing that there is injustice in everything we eat, drink, wear, use, and breathe but also encourages us to recognize that impact is remarkable no matter how trivial it seems. It's noble to want to be the grain of rice that tips the scale but there first needs to be a pile of rice before anything can tip! Let's fill it together. Let's build everywhere.”

On Elvin’s mind during Hispanic Heritage Month:
“Walls. Whether it be the physical brown bricks that are the Queensbridge Houses, the US-Mexico border wall, or the metaphysical barriers and intergenerational trauma that plague me as a Puerto Rican, I've experienced many walls in my life. Two thousand years ago, the proudest boast was, ‘civis Romanus sum.’ Fifty-six years ago, it was, ‘Ich bin ein Berliner.’ Now, in the words of my people, and to all Hispanics everywhere, the proudest boast is, ‘Pa'lante, Siempre Pa'lante!’ to the walls both abroad and at home.”


Victoria Fernandez 

Victoria is studying Marketing at Texas A&M University. Victoria manages a YouTube channel – I Live to Inspire Mental Health,  publishing videos in both Spanish and English.

“I talk about my life with Bipolar Disorder and how to manage mental health. I make content in Spanish because mental illnesses are stigmatized in my culture. Through my YouTube videos, I convey the message of hope to those who have a mental illness while also fostering understanding and compassion amongst people who have a hard time accepting that someone they love (or even themselves) has a mental illness. I dream of saving lives by advocating for a shift in the mindset of the Hispanic community.”

Victoria’s advice to others:
“If you believe in a dream that can impact your community for the better, do not hesitate and go for it! If you send a message with passion, compassion, and vision out into the world, the possibilities of making a difference are endless. Let every single person you help humble your heart because it is a life that you have touched positively.”

On Victoria’s mind during Hispanic Heritage Month:
“Hispanic Heritage Month is a month that gives the Hispanic community a moment of reflection to see how far we have come and how far we can still go. All over Latin America, you see a variety of foods, customs, and talents. The beautiful thing about it is that we all come together and mix our different traditions. This month is a reminder how we have impacted the world throughout history, and how we will continue to do so.”

Richard Quinde

Richard is currently a senior at Rutgers University Newark double majoring in Finance and Economics.  Through the Educational Opportunity Program, Richard supports and guides students through dilemmas they may encounter as they begin a new step in their life – attending college. Richard has also started numerous organizations on campus such as EOF P.R.I.D.E (Pursuing Rewards in Diversity and Education), “which gives underserved students additional support by exposing them to teamwork, leadership, and the development of professional skills that will further enhance their performance in the real world.”

Richard’s advice to others:
“It’s never too late to start. No one puts a timeline on when you are going to impact the world. A true leader aims to empower their community, give rise to more leaders, and spread positive energy in the efforts for a better tomorrow. Make sure you put your heart into what you believe in and be the change you always wanted to see.”

On Richard’s mind during Hispanic Heritage Month:
“Something that’s on my mind is the countless hurdles and obstacles my parents overcame and pushed through at the efforts of giving me and my little brother the opportunity for better futures. The Hispanic community has made great strides towards empowering one another and aiming to raise and create successful leaders. My family left Ecuador to allow me the opportunity to pursue my dream and have my voice heard and I will aim to complete my dream not just for me but for them too.”


Keep up with us on social (TwitterInstagramFacebook, and YouTube) to hear more about our initiatives.

My Path to Google – Caile Collins, Software Engineer

Welcome to the 36th installment of our blog series “My Path to Google.” These are real stories from Googlers, interns, and alumni highlighting how they got to Google, what their roles are like, and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

This special edition comes out just in time for the annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing and features Caile Collins, a software engineer who interviewed for her current job at a previous GHC — and will be returning to #GHC19 this year as a Googler.

Today’s post is all about Software Engineer, Caile Collins. Read on!


Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I grew up in Buffalo, NY, home to Buffalo wings and Niagara Falls. I entered college as an English major, and I came out with a B.A. in Linguistics with minors in Computer Science and Spanish at Cornell University. When I’m not working, you can find me taking yoga and dance classes, walking dogs, embroidering/weaving/sewing (multi-threaded tasks!), and attending lots of musicals, plays, and comedy shows.

What’s your role at Google?
I am a software engineer working in Google Research on an early-stage project to help language learners achieve their goals. I was really eager to get involved with this project because it ties together my Linguistics background with my role as a product/infrastructure engineer.

I had the chance to join the team from its inception, so it’s been really rewarding to watch it develop, and I’ve been able to be very hands-on and have a lot of impact since it started as such a small team. It’s also been interesting to work together with research engineers, user experience researchers, and product managers to figure out the best path for our project; it’s a very dynamic environment, and everyone contributes different perspectives.

Can you tell us about your decision to enter the process?
I originally wanted to be a speech pathologist; though I was taking more and more Computer Science classes (reaching beyond the requirements for the minor), it didn’t occur to me that I would ever pursue a career in that area. A friend of mine from my Natural Language Processing class encouraged me to come to an on-campus panel of female Google interns that she was going to be participating in (it became my introduction to Cornell’s Women in Computing Club). As I recall, the discussion centered around breaking down impostor syndrome; it clearly drove home the point well enough, because I went back to my dorm and applied to a dozen internships on a whim.

Caile, her team, and Seattle’s Fremont Troll at a team offsite.

How did the recruitment process go for you?
I applied directly for my first internship, and then I interviewed in-person at the end of summer in order to come back for another internship the following year. During that summer, I learned I’d be attending the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing for the first time in October, and my Google recruiter said that I could do my final full-time interviews there. I was extremely anxious about interviewing so I decided to just jump in headfirst and do as many practice interviews as I could – with full-time engineers before my internship ended, with friends at school, and then with real companies at the career fair at school. It gradually became less scary.

When I finally got to Grace Hopper, I showed up to the interview booth extremely early to make sure I’d know where to find it; I kept circling back there, and the recruiters would give me a friendly wave and chuckle because they knew they’d be seeing a lot of me until my interviews finally happened.

Afterwards, it was really great to be able to relax and join in the celebration of Grace Hopper. I love being in female-driven environments, and having that at such a large scale, especially in my newly selected field of work, was pretty amazing. I particularly remember the keynote speeches were really inspiring; I was excited to hear Susan Wojcicki speak since I had met her that summer while interning on a team at YouTube.

Can you tell us about the resources you used to prepare for your interview or role?
Other than my very generous friends’ time and support, my most reliable resource was Programming Interviews Exposed. I’ve read it front-to-back more times than I can count, and I’ve lent it out to others since then. In my experience, working through problems alone in your head is very different from solving them out loud in front of someone, so it’s important to practice in a real interview-like setting, even if it’s just with your peers.

What do you wish you’d known when you started the process?
I wish I had known that software engineering isn’t all about what specific skills you already know, but largely about how much you’re willing to learn and adapt when tackling new challenges. Moreover, software engineering requires patience and communication to build an end-to-end product that’s meant to last. Those are great skills to have in all aspects of life, and they’ll help you on a microscale - debugging! - and a macroscale - launching!

When not writing code, Caile’s hobbies include other multi-threaded tasks like weaving!

What inspires you to come in every day?
I’ve had a lot of inspiring women in my life, from my mom, sister, and aunts, to my teachers and co-workers. In my career, I’ve been lucky to have met women who have shown me that (1) I can dare to be a software engineer, (2) I can do really well in this field by continuously learning and adapting, and (3) I can find community here.

Once I started at Google full-time, I really want to pass that impact forward. I quickly got involved in intern mentoring. Beyond feeling very lucky to work on a project I’m personally interested in and that contributes positively to the world, I’m grateful for the opportunity to act as a mentor, while continuing to feel supported by those in my own life.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?
You don’t need to have been coding since you were twelve in order to be a great programmer. If you’re already studying it or working in it now, just think how much you’ve learned since you first started. I didn’t know Computer Science existed as a field until I heard that a friend was studying it in college.
Occasionally I’ll look back at early project notes and remember how little I initially knew about something that I’m now very knowledgeable about and comfortable with. Everybody has to start from somewhere, so just be patient with yourself and know that getting stuck is okay; you can always try again.

The 2019 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is underway!