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.