Category Archives: Student Blog

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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!




Google’s Code Next applications are now live — free computer science education in Oakland and New York

The application is live for the 2019-2020 school year with Code Next — a free (yes, free!) computer science education program for Black and Latinx high schoolers in Oakland and New York. The program works in communities to inspire and equip students with the skills and education necessary for careers in CS.

Apply now — seats are limited. Applications for fall term close on Sept 13.

Code next members will have access to several courses, activities, and programs that are both “exposure-based” (basic introductions to computer science) and “immersion-based” (deeper, more practice-based coding).

Programs include:

  • Clubs (exposure-based): Seasonal programs that focus on one of three critical skills in computer science, engineering, or leadership. 
  • College and Career Readiness (exposure-based): One-year college prep course that prepares students to apply for college.
  • Team Edge (immersion-based): One-year program that focuses on building critical skills in computer science & leadership, and includes 1:1 mentoring with real Googlers.
  • Launch (immersion-based): A summer program on product development, entrepreneurship, and branding.


Currently, Code Next is completely in-person at our three labs in Oakland, California and New York City (Chelsea and Harlem).

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, but members will be accepted three times throughout the year at the start of each seasonal term. For the Fall term (October - December) and more yearlong programming, applications close on September 13.

Any student in 9th to 12th grade can apply. Because this a live, in-person program, you should live in the vicinity of the lab you apply to. We will accept applications from everyone, but strongly encourage Black and Latinx students to apply.

You can apply and become a member without coding experience, but for our immersion-based programs, experience with coding will be required to successfully complete the program.

Visit the Google Code Next website for more information and to apply. More questions — give us a shout at codenext@google.com.

My Path to Google: Goodman Lepota, Associate Account Strategist

Welcome to the 35th 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 Goodman Lepota. Read on!



Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am originally from a township in the north of Johannesburg, South Africa. I was fortunate to have spent the past five years living and studying in the United States on an academic scholarship awarded by MasterCard. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Marist College in New York. I am also a graduate of the African Leadership Academy.

When I am not working you can find me reading. I was a publisher of three student newspapers from high school, prep school, to college. I am still fascinated by the different forms of creativity writers employ in their storytelling.
(photo credit: Googler Zach Louw)


What’s your role at Google?
I am an Associate Account Strategist in Dublin, Ireland (Google's Europe, Middle East, and Africa headquarters) working with the Sub Saharan African Google Customer Solutions team.

I often say what we do is like getting a free MBA, because you learn so much from different people. My role includes consulting over 120 clients, focusing on digital growth for their businesses, and advertising. We have an unprecedented scope of successful business models across Africa.

My favorite part about the job is that I get to make an impact and help small and medium sized businesses grow. I work with some of the most exceptional and supportive people everyday. Everyone on our team is invested in making sure everyone else succeeds.

Complete the following: "I [choose one: code/create/design/build] for..." 
I build for a more inclusive and prosperous future.

What inspires you to come in every day?
I am excited about Google’s projects in Africa, particularly focusing on internet access such as Google Station and other internet infrastructure projects. Google is a status equalizer. It gives access to the same level of information for someone living in a rural area with less resources as it does for someone in a cosmopolitan urban area. Google creates opportunity.
 Goodman (center right) with teammates Sashin Pillay (Associate Account Strategist), José Alguem (Google Customer Solutions, Africa lead), and Kristin Ransome, (Associate Account Strategist).
(photo credit: Googler Zach Louw)
How did the recruitment process go for you?
I came across the opportunity on LinkedIn and applied directly on the Google Student Careers website. I had five interviews with Google. Although I was in the process of interviewing for other companies, Google’s hiring process was probably one of the best. Here’s why: they paired me up with a recruiter who facilitated and communicated with me as I prepared for all the interviews. The Googlers who interviewed me also influenced my decision because I felt they were invested in me succeeding during the interviews.

Can you tell us about your decision to enter the process?
I was always interested in business marketing, technology, and policy making. I was excited by the idea of taking on a challenging role after graduating from college, but even more so, I wanted to work for an organization with an amazing team. Google was that place.

What do you wish you’d known when you started the process?
There are some myths about interviewing for Google like asking you tricky and unsolvable questions, which I found to be far from reality.
(photo credit: Googler Zach Louw)

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?
I wanted to share my advice to two kinds of students. The first one is to someone who grew up not imagining they could join Google. I can tell you now that Google will make you feel welcome.

The second one is for the students who are studying in a country that is different from their home country and looking for an amazing opportunity. Google has an exceptional team to support you in relocating in the event that you get accepted.

And I always say this to people — you always have to have that strong conviction that your dreams in life are possible.

My Path to Google: Snehal Thorat, Campaign Manager

Welcome to the 34th 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 Campaign Manager, Snehal Thorat. Read on!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your path to Google?
Hello! I grew up in Pune, India and recently graduated from NMIMS, Mumbai, where I earned an MBA in marketing. I currently work as a Campaign Manager in our Hyderabad office.

In my 2nd year, Google launched its Case Study Competition. Like others, I was extremely excited, as I wanted to learn more about the company, its various teams, and Google culture.

The entire concept of the competition was very entrepreneurial. As part of the competition, we had to provide innovative solutions to critical business problems in the fields of hardware and digital marketing. The case my team was working on required us to provide a marketing and sales strategy to increase the sales of Google Pixel in India by 10x in the next 2-3 years.

We worked on our idea for four long months. It was tough as well as enthralling. With the hard work we put in, as well as the guidance received from Google mentors and our institute professors,  we won the competition. It was such a proud moment. After winning the competition, I interviewed with Google and here I am now.
What’s your role at Google? 
I am a Campaign Manager on the gTech Professional Services MediaOps (gPS MediaOps) team. I am responsible for managing the marketing objectives for some of Google's largest advertisers. I advise our clients on how our products can help grow their business and maximize returns on their marketing investment. Being able to work at such scale and drive growth across businesses is the most rewarding part of my work.

What inspires you to come in every day?
The googliest part of Google are the Googlers! It is gratifying to work with so many inspiring people — each with unique identities, backgrounds, and experiences. This makes the entire experience of working at Google extremely enthralling, as well as humbling.
Can you tell us about your decision to enter the process?
As a student, Google as an org always inspired me. I have always been in awe of the interesting projects and products Google works on.

In the final national round of the Google Case Study, each team was assigned a Googler mentor and ours was Anand Devsharma — he motivated us and made us believe in our idea. I learned a lot as an individual from him, and discovered that Google is the organization where I would love to be.

How did the interview process go for you?
The entire process was exciting. Interviewing with Google felt like an accomplishment in itself. For me, the entire process was conducted virtually. The excitement increased after each of the interview rounds. In total, three interviews were conducted.

What do you wish you’d known when you started the process? 
Coming into the role of Campaign Manager straight out of college, I never thought I would have so much influence and responsibility so early on. I am grateful for this opportunity. Today I work with some of Google’s largest clients, who seek my advice on how they can remain successful and grow profitably.
Can you tell us about the resources you used to prepare for your interview or role?
There were two main resources I used - the job description itself and the Google Students Career website. It is essential to have complete clarity of the role one is interviewing for. I prepared in such a way that, for each skill and responsibility mentioned in the job description, I had references from my experiences of demonstrating those skills and responsibilities.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?
Never feel like anything is out of reach. Whether it was winning the competition or getting into Google, not once did I think that the goal was impossible. Work for things you are passionate about and lean into your strengths.

I strongly believe in, and live by, the following words by Sundar Pichai, “It is important to follow your dreams and heart. Do something that excites you.”

Congratulations to the 2019 Google scholarship recipients!



Here at Google, we recognize the challenges faced by students from historically underrepresented groups in the tech industry. We strive to make education more accessible by creating programs to engage students around the world. As part of our initiatives focused on expanding diversity, we offer academic scholarships and trips to Google offices to learn more about our company and culture, network with a community of fellow scholars, and participate in professional development opportunities. Our goal is to not only support academic pursuits, but also empower scholars to encourage and inspire others.

We are thrilled to announce this years recipients who represent 77 universities in 17 countries. This year’s scholars have demonstrated a passion for technology, academic excellence, and have proven themselves as exceptional leaders and role models. We recently selected recipients for the following scholarship programs:

Women Techmakers Scholars Program (US, Canada, and Europe, Middle East & Africa)
Generation Google Scholarship for high school and university students from underrepresented backgrounds in computer science
Google Lime Scholarship for students with disabilities (US/Canada) and Google Europe Scholarship for Students with Disabilities
Google Student Veterans of America (SVA) Scholarship for student veterans


Congratulations to our 2019 scholarship recipients! These students will join a community of over 2,500 Google scholars who are becoming leaders in their field and inspiring the next generation of computer science students. We can’t wait to see to see how these students continue to shape the future of computer science.

Click here to see the full list of winners.

Stay tuned for our announcement of the Women Techmakers Scholars Program for Asia Pacific.

Internal mobility — switching roles at Google: an interview with Alison Agüero Dooley

Have you ever wondered what internal mobility and switching roles looks like at Google? Meet Alison Agüero Dooley! Alison has been at Google since summer 2014, when she was an MBA student. Since then, she’s held three different roles: gTech Ads MBA Intern, gTech Ads Product Operations Manager (POM) for YouTube Ads, and Product Manager for YouTube Ads. To learn more about switching roles and advancing careers at Google, read on for Alison’s journey.


Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I grew up in a Peruvian household in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., and I’m the eldest of three girls. I love dancing (especially salsa and merengue), being with family and friends, devouring ice cream, and spreading the word about DreamWakers, a non-profit for which I’m an Advisory Council member.

What has your career path at Google looked like? What role(s) and team(s) have you been on?
I was first a gTech Ads MBA intern based in New York City on a team of solutions consultants focused on supporting agencies in their use of Google Marketing Platform. I devised strategies and tools for helping my peers better understand how to allocate their focus across assigned customers, and how to make better business cases for product feature requests.

My first full-time role with Google was in gTech as a Product Operations Manager for YouTube Ads. In this role, I served as a bridge between gTech and YouTube Ads Product Managers. In one direction, I learned about new product launches from the Product Managers and made sure the gTech teams had the tools necessary to support customers. In the other direction, I surfaced relevant feedback up to the Product Managers and lobbied for development of features that would make the product easier for customers to use and for gTech to support.

After two years in the role, I transitioned to a Product Management role within YouTube Ads.


What inspired you to switch roles?
After two years as a Product Operations Manager, I started to feel the itch to push myself to learn something new. Since I was working with Product Managers frequently, it seemed like the next great opportunity to incorporate my strengths, and also build on and expand my existing skillset. My past roles had been pretty operations heavy, so I was excited to try a role where I could think more holistically about product solutions and play a more active role in setting the strategy for, designing, and delivering products.

Can you tell us how you leveraged transferable skills to pivot to a new role?
The transferable skills from my previous role were critical to starting off on the right foot in my new role as a Product Manager. From a broader perspective, in each pivot of my career I had one foot in a strength and the other foot in something new. I started in consulting, where the industry I focused on was federal government agencies and the functional expertise I developed was in operations strategy. In my first role at Google as a gTech Product Operations Manager, my functional expertise stayed in operations strategy, but my industry expertise shifted to digital advertising with YouTube Ads. In my next role at Google, my industry expertise stayed with YouTube Ads but my functional expertise shifted to Product Management. Using this approach ensured I would always have a solid foundation to build upon in each new role.

Specifically with respect to my transition to Product Management, I leveraged the deep YouTube Ads product expertise I gained from my role as a Product Operations Manager; the holistic business thinking I gained from my MBA at UVA Darden; the analysis, communication, relationship management, and thriving-in-ambiguity skills I gained as a consultant; and the technical skills and exposure to product development I gained in my Systems Engineering studies as an undergrad at UVA.


How did the internal mobility process go for you? What did it entail?
I first set up coffee chats with Googlers in my network to learn about roles that interested me and get their advice on how to transition. I also updated my resume and set up job alerts in our internal job posting site. As soon as any interesting roles popped up, I immediately applied. I ended up interviewing for a few roles, but none of them worked out. However, It turned out to be a blessing in disguise!

I had made sure to have a coffee chat with the lead of the YouTube Ads Product Management team I had been working closely with in my existing role. Months later, a role on the team opened up. Because (1) I had already expressed to them my desire to transition to Product Management, (2) I had gained deep expertise in their product area from my existing role, and (3) because they had familiarity with my skills and work ethic from our work together in my existing role, they offered me a chance to join the team by doing a full-time rotation.

Can you tell us about the resources you used to prepare yourself to move into your new role?
I leaned heavily on the generosity of others, who offered me their time in giving me advice, doing mock interviews with me, sharing their experiences with me, and more. I also made use of our internal career mentors program by meeting with an amazing career mentor several times. She was key to helping me identify the right time to start looking for a new role and in giving me strategies for making the move.

In preparing for Product Management specifically, I read the canonical books (e.g., Cracking the PM Interview), met with current Product Managers to learn from them, and did my own self study to brush up on my technical skills.


Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?
Lean into your strengths! Yes, it’s important to make sure you’re being challenged and learning new things, but make sure you’re doing so in an environment in which you’re also building on the foundation of your natural strengths and interests.


Interested in making your first move at Google? Apply today: google.com/students

Advice from Googlers heading to Consortium’s flagship MBA conference June 8-12.


From June 8-12 the Consortium Graduate Study in Mangemen’s 53rd annual Orientation Program (#CGSM53, also affectionately referred to as “OP”) will take place in Houston, Texas. Consortium awards merit-based, full-tuition fellowships to top MBA candidates who have a proven record of promoting diversity and  inclusion. 500+ incoming MBA students from 20 member schools will engage in this immersive experience where they’ll participate in various informational and networking opportunities with their educational institutions, dozens of corporate partners, and their peers.

A team of 20 Googlers, many of them proud Consortium alumni themselves, will be on the ground. Before the fun begins, Googlers offered their advice to students heading to OP and other career fairs, conventions, and conferences.

Editor’s note: all Googlers interviewed and cited will be on the ground at #CGSM53, be sure to drop by our booth and say, “Hi.” We’d love to meet you! 

Can you tell us about the resources you use to prepare for a conference?
“Quora, Financial results/reporting for each company, company websites, Glassdoor.”
- Gbadebo (Debo) Aderibigbe, Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management, Product Manager - GCP Cloud Services Platform
“I used Google and YouTube a lot to learn about various companies and industries, and to brush up on networking and interviewing skills. This was way before I even thought about working here!”
- Jonathan Beauford, Yale School of Management, Student Development Program Manager
What do you wish you knew before you attended your own Consortium OP?
“There is a lot of opportunity — and a lot of access, but you don't have to apply for every job! Come looking to learn. Ask questions in a space where you are competing less for resources/time than you will be during regular recruiting. Be open-minded to opportunities that drive you towards your ultimate goal for your MBA.
- Debo Aderibigbe
“Take the time to get to know people from other Consortium schools. You'll have the next two years to spend with your future classmates, but only a few days to network with hundreds of students from other schools. Make the most of it.”
- Ryan Steele, University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, Product Support Manager - G Suite

What was the most exciting part of your Consortium OP experience? Any magical moments?
“The conferences I attended during my pre-MBA experience were some of my first times being around so many ambitious people of color that looked like me. It was truly magical. I loved making new friends and connecting with students from other schools and I've been fortunate to grow quite close to some.”
- Tiffany Anderson, Emory University's Goizueta Business School, Product Support Manager - gTech
“The most exciting part of OP for me was the exposure to a wide variety of companies and industries that I hadn’t considered,  including Google. I was undecided on my post-MBA career path going into business school, and it was a great opportunity to learn about opportunities and industries that I otherwise may not have considered.”
- Ryan Steele

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?
“It's easy to stretch yourself too thin in business school, focus on the things that you're passionate about and really interest you and dive into them!”
- Ben Schwartzbach, New York University - Stern School of Business, Product Specialist - Hardware
“Talk to all of the Googlers if you can and get their perspectives on what they and the others around them seem to do to be successful!”
-Debo Aderibigbe
“Google has opportunities in probably every function that you could think of (and some you wouldn't think of). Don't assume that there's no place for you here if you don't have technical skills or a particular experience. Focus on your transferable skills and keep an open mind in terms of how those skills might be applied to a new field.”
- Jonathan Beauford
“Be open about opportunities at Google. There are a lot opportunities to drive impact at Google as an intern and post-MBA full-time hire.”
- JoAnne Williams, Columbia Business School, Sr. Financial Analyst, Retail Marketing Finance

Any other advice for tackling a multi-day conference?
“All of the companies are there to get to know you! Use the opportunity to explore companies you may not have originally targeted”
- Jasmin Herrera, Tuck School of Business - Dartmouth College, Business Operations & Strategy Lead - Global Partnerships
“Do your research in advance and ask tough questions — it's a two-way experience! Be you — everyone else is taken! Smile and come say hi!”
- Tiffany Anderson
“Be your authentic self — always.”
- Dapo Adeshiyan 
Even if you're not at #CGSM53 we hope you can apply some of this advice to your next career fair, convention, or conference. 

My Path to Google: Brian Calbeck, Mechanical Manufacturing Engineer

Welcome to the 33rd 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 Mechanical Manufacturing Engineer, Brian Calbeck. Read on!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m from the Bay Area and grew up in Walnut Creek, CA. I received both my Mechanical Engineering undergraduate degree and a Masters in Engineering from California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly). I interned at Apple during grad school and joined Google upon graduating. I enjoy road and mountain cycling, traveling, and spending time with my wife and two daughters.

What’s your role at Google?
I’m a Mechanical Manufacturing Engineer working on Google’s Data Center Infrastructure. My team figures out how and where to build the hardware that runs Google’s software. I love the challenge of working on cutting edge technology at a scale that you can’t find anywhere else. I’m currently working on building tensor processing unit (TPU) hardware to power our machine learning technology.

Complete the following: "I [choose one: code/create/design/build] for..."
I help build the hardware that runs Google.

What inspires you to come in every day?
I’m inspired by the scale and complexity of the work we do. It’s rare to work on products that will touch billions of people. I remember the first time I saw a demo of Google Photos and was amazed by the app’s ability to understand the content of my photos. Machine Learning is enabling amazing advancements in almost every industry and I love that I get to be at the forefront of that.

Can you tell us about your decision to enter the process?
I was really excited to apply to Google. I had always admired Google’s culture, but I never thought I would find a role as a Mechanical Engineer until I ran across the posting for my current role. I was skeptical that I’d get an interview since I was a new college grad and the role called for someone with more experience, but my dad encouraged me to take a chance so I applied.



What do you wish you’d known when you started the process?
It’s easy to get frustrated with a hiring process when you don’t see everything that’s going on behind the scenes, but know that if you’re being considered for a role you’ve already made it past the hardest part. My recruiter did a great job of talking me through the process and helped me provide an honest and accurate picture of what I could bring to the job.

Can you tell us about the resources you used to prepare for your interview or role?
I prepared by reviewing the details of some technical projects I spearheaded in college and put together a portfolio with visual aides. I wanted to make sure I could clearly recall the details of the projects I worked on and communicate them to my interviewers. Interviewers at Google want to know how you think through multi-faceted problems, so having examples fresh in your mind will help when communicating your skills.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?
Be honest about your experience, skills, and passions and be sure to communicate how these could strengthen your prospective team. When you’re early on in your college career, look for unique jobs and experiences that interest you and relate to your course of study. Your first internship probably won’t be your dream one. I spent two summers working in a machine shop. I started out sweeping the floors but worked my way up to running the machines. That job not only gave me great hands-on experience but helped me stand out when I went to apply for opportunities later on in my college career.

My Path to Google: Brian Calbeck, Mechanical Manufacturing Engineer

Welcome to the 33rd 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 Mechanical Manufacturing Engineer, Brian Calbeck. Read on!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m from the Bay Area and grew up in Walnut Creek, CA. I received both my Mechanical Engineering undergraduate degree and a Masters in Engineering from California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly). I interned at Apple during grad school and joined Google upon graduating. I enjoy road and mountain cycling, traveling, and spending time with my wife and two daughters.

What’s your role at Google?
I’m a Mechanical Manufacturing Engineer working on Google’s Data Center Infrastructure. My team figures out how and where to build the hardware that runs Google’s software. I love the challenge of working on cutting edge technology at a scale that you can’t find anywhere else. I’m currently working on building tensor processing unit (TPU) hardware to power our machine learning technology.

Complete the following: "I [choose one: code/create/design/build] for..."
I help build the hardware that runs Google.

What inspires you to come in every day?
I’m inspired by the scale and complexity of the work we do. It’s rare to work on products that will touch billions of people. I remember the first time I saw a demo of Google Photos and was amazed by the app’s ability to understand the content of my photos. Machine Learning is enabling amazing advancements in almost every industry and I love that I get to be at the forefront of that.

Can you tell us about your decision to enter the process?
I was really excited to apply to Google. I had always admired Google’s culture, but I never thought I would find a role as a Mechanical Engineer until I ran across the posting for my current role. I was skeptical that I’d get an interview since I was a new college grad and the role called for someone with more experience, but my dad encouraged me to take a chance so I applied.



What do you wish you’d known when you started the process?
It’s easy to get frustrated with a hiring process when you don’t see everything that’s going on behind the scenes, but know that if you’re being considered for a role you’ve already made it past the hardest part. My recruiter did a great job of talking me through the process and helped me provide an honest and accurate picture of what I could bring to the job.

Can you tell us about the resources you used to prepare for your interview or role?
I prepared by reviewing the details of some technical projects I spearheaded in college and put together a portfolio with visual aides. I wanted to make sure I could clearly recall the details of the projects I worked on and communicate them to my interviewers. Interviewers at Google want to know how you think through multi-faceted problems, so having examples fresh in your mind will help when communicating your skills.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?
Be honest about your experience, skills, and passions and be sure to communicate how these could strengthen your prospective team. When you’re early on in your college career, look for unique jobs and experiences that interest you and relate to your course of study. Your first internship probably won’t be your dream one. I spent two summers working in a machine shop. I started out sweeping the floors but worked my way up to running the machines. That job not only gave me great hands-on experience but helped me stand out when I went to apply for opportunities later on in my college career.

Students spend a day with Area 120 — Google’s workshop for experimental products

Google launched from a Silicon Valley garage over 20 years ago, and the magic of garage-style entrepreneurialism is alive and well thanks to Area 120 — an experimental program within Google, aimed to help small teams build new products in an entrepreneurial environment.

Last month, 150 students gathered at Google’s NYC office for the first-ever Inspired@ Summit. The Inspired@ Summit was an opportunity for students to interact with Area 120 co-founders and team members, learn about current projects, and embrace Area 120’s entrepreneurial spirit of “try, experiment, and apply.”  We have gathered some of the key takeaways from the summit and hope that by the end of this post, you also find yourself inspired and ready to build, launch, and improve upon fresh ideas without fearing failure.

Fuzzy Khosrowshahi, an Engineering Director at Google, is serving as Area 120’s Founder-in-Residence. He’s also the co-founder of Google Sheets and helped jumpstart the day as the event’s keynote speaker, sharing his professional journey.  As a former history major, who used to run his own Subway sandwich franchise, Fuzzy reiterated that there is no uniform path to Google and that there are countless ways in which individuals discover their passions and capabilities, “each job offers a learning moment.”

While the Inspired@ Summit introduced attendees to a number of Googlers, the attendees were also invited to present and share their own stories.


One storyteller, Nia Asemota, a New York University first-year majoring in engineering, shared how she’s overcoming the challenges of being a woman in tech. In high school, she saw how she was relegated to more peripheral roles compared to her male counterparts on the school robotics team. As a result, she recognized a need to create her own space to enhance her engineering skills — one where she could thrive as a woman in tech and empower others along the way. Nia’s tenacity led her to go on to form her own all-female robotics team, and later become the only female leading the programming and electrical departments. Nia also became the first female pilot to represent her school in the International FIRST Robotics Competition.

Another student, Bethwel Kiplimo, shared how his path to technology began only three years ago. “Growing up in a rural village in Kenya, I never had a phone. I got my first one as a present from a local leader for performing exceptionally well in the national exams. The nonexistence of roads meant cars or any terrestrial machines beyond bicycles were foreign. However, planes flying high above the valley greatly fascinated me. I lived my childhood life studying so that I can one day build planes or at least get on one. At one time, this dream was lost because no university in Kenya offered aerospace engineering. However, my new phone rekindled the dream. Using Google, I was able to find an organization that paid for my SAT exams and gave me a chance to apply to Princeton. It took just a Google search and determination for me to pursue a dream conceived in the third grade while watching planes fly overhead in the early evenings in a remote Kenyan village, far removed from the rest of the world. This has completely redefined my relationship with technology and I am using it to promote access to education and drive change in my community, country, and our world.”

In addition to motivational talks, attendees had the opportunity to “try, experiment, and apply” in an interactive design thinking workshop led by Chris Ross, a Senior UX Engineer. The workshop introduced students to the creative problem-solving process of design thinking, which focuses on a user-centered approach to create a solution that is both technologically and economically feasible.

Afterwards students met with Area 120 team members and learned about their projects. We asked Googlers Laura Rokita of Pigeon, a “Waze-like app for the subway”, and Aayush Upadhyay of Augmented Reality (AR) Ads, the first project to graduate from Area 120 and evolve into its own team at Google, what career advice they would give students. Though Laura and Aayush had different career paths, they did share a similar overarching message: don’t always expect a linear path — pursue projects you’re interested in, experiment, and embrace where your learnings lead you.

The day concluded with an inspiring and memorable talk given by software engineer Eric Duran, as he touched on imposter syndrome and how he dealt with it. Eric is a New York native from East Harlem, and throughout his talk, he emphasized how this played a key role in his journey to Google. He reiterated the importance of persistence and confidence, “you can really do anything - nothing is stopping you. It’s all about what you tell yourself and [how hard you work]. It’s effort - Try. Experiment. Apply.”

Students who are interested in opportunities to be involved in the “testing” process of Area 120 products, can express interest by completing this application form.