Tag Archives: Education

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.”

When students get stuck, Socratic can help

In building educational resources for teachers and students, we’ve spent a lot of time talking to them about challenges they face and how we can help. We’ve heard that students often get “stuck” while studying. When they have questions in the classroom, a teacher can quickly clarify—but it’s frustrating for students who spend hours trying to find answers while studying on their own. 

Socratic, a mobile learning app we acquired last year, now uses AI technology to help high school and university students when they’re doing school work outside the classroom. It guides them through the resources that are available, and identifies the core underlying concepts that will lead them to answers to their questions.

With the latest improvements, here are a few ways Socratic has become even more helpful for students.

Get help at any moment

Students can take a photo of a question or use their voice to ask a question, and we’ll find the most relevant resources from across the web.  If they’re struggling to understand textbook content or handouts, they can take a picture of the page and check out alternative explanations of the same concepts.

Solving a math equation and a physics problem with Socratic’s help

 Solving a math equation and a physics problem with Socratic’s help

Understand the underlying concepts

To help students working on complex problems, we’ve built and trained algorithms that look at a student’s question and automatically identify the relevant underlying concepts. From there, we can find the videos, concept explanations, and online resources to help them work through their questions. For students who want to learn even more, we break down the concepts into smaller, easy-to-understand lessons. 

Socratic takes a problem, X-rays it, and extracts the underlying concepts.

Socratic takes a problem, X-rays it, and extracts the underlying concepts.

Browse helpful topic explanations for quick reference

To help students who are reviewing what they’ve learned or studying for a test, we’ve worked with educators to create subject guides on over 1,000 higher education and high school topics. It takes two taps to look up any topic they need to brush up on, get the key points, and then go deeper with helpful resources on the web.

Scroll on the Socratic app to find study guides and resources

Scroll on the Socratic app to find study guides and resources

You can leave feedback in the app- we’d love to hear from you. It’s available today on iOS and will be available on Android in the fall. 

A new way to help students turn in their best work

Today’s students face a tricky challenge: In an age when they can explore every idea imaginable on the internet, how do they balance outside inspiration with authenticity in their own work? Students have to learn to navigate the line between other people’s ideas and their own, and how and when to properly cite sources.

We've heard from instructors that they copy and paste passages into Google Search to check if student work is authentic, which can be repetitive, inefficient and biased. They also often spend a lot of time giving feedback about missed citations and improper paraphrasing. By integrating the power of Search into our assignment and grading tools, we can make this quicker and easier. 

That’s why Google is introducing originality reports. This new feature—with several reports included free in every course—will be part of Classroom and Assignments, which was also announced today. We create originality reports by scanning student work for matched phrases across hundreds of billions of web pages and tens of millions of books. 

When assigning work in Classroom and Assignments, instructors will have the option to enable originality reports. Students will then be able to run up to three originality reports on documents they attach to the assignment before submitting their work. This heads-up gives students an opportunity to proactively improve their work, and also saves time for instructors. 

After submission, a fresh originality report will automatically be available to instructors when grading the assignment. These reports will flag text that has missed citations and has high similarity with text on the web or in books.

Analyze student work with originality reports in Google Assignments

But comparing work to search results isn’t the only way to ensure authentic work. Coming soon, schools can choose to have their own private repository of past student submissions, so instructors can receive originality reports that include student-to-student matches within the same school. 

Once the feature is generally available, instructors will be able to access originality reports at no charge for up to three assignments in each course they teach. Schools that would like unlimited access can upgrade their instructors to G Suite Enterprise for Education.  During the initial, limited testing period, all instructors can use originality reports as much as they would like to, at no charge. We’ll continue to add features at no additional cost to G Suite for Education.

To use originality reports with Classroom, sign up to apply to be part of the testing program by filling out our form. To try Assignments, which includes originality reports automatically, sign up through our website.

We’re looking forward to seeing how teachers and students alike use the tool to create work that’s both authentic and original. 

Source: Drive

Google Assignments, your new grading companion

Instructors lose valuable time doing cumbersome tasks: writing the same comment on multiple essays, returning piles of paper assignments, and battling copy machine jams. These frustrations are most often felt by instructors with the highest teaching workloads and the least time. For the last five years, we’ve been building tools—like Classroom and Quizzes in Google Forms—to address these challenges. Now you can take advantage of these tools if you use a traditional Learning Management System (LMS). 

Assignments brings together the capabilities of Google Docs, Drive, and Search into a new tool for collecting and grading student work. It helps you save time with streamlined assignment workflows, ensure student work is authentic with originality reports, and give constructive feedback with comment banks. You can use Assignments as a standalone tool and a companion to your LMS (no setup required!) or your school admin can integrate it with your LMS. Sign up today to try Assignments.

If you're one of the 40 million people using Classroom: you've got the best of Assignments already baked in, including our new originality reports. For everyone else, Assignments gives you access to these features as a compliment to your school’s LMS. 

Assignments is your tireless grading companion

Using an LMS can create more work than it saves: students turn in all kinds of files, you have to download and re-upload student files one-by-one, and what if students can keep editing after they already turned in their work? Assignments handles all this for you.

Assignments streamlines the creation and management of coursework, and tackles some of your biggest frustrations:

  • Stop typing the same feedback over and over by using a comment bank, and never worry about pressing the “save” button again

  • Check student work for originality and automatically lock work once it’s turned in

  • Assign files with the option to send each student a copy (no more copy machines!)

  • Grade assignments for an entire class with a student switcher and rubrics, and review any file type without leaving your grading interface

  • Comment and leave suggestions on student work with Google Docs

Grade in Google Assignments

Instructors and students can attach anything to assignments: Docs or Word files for papers, spreadsheets for data analysis, slides for presentations, sites for digital portfolios or final projects, Colab notebooks for programming exercises, and much more. 

Create assignments with Google Assignments

Help students turn in their best work with originality reports

With originality reports in Assignments, you can check student work for missed citations and possible plagiarism without interrupting your grading workflow. When students turn in a document, Assignments will check students’ text against hundreds of billions of web pages and tens of millions of books. 

If you enable originality reports on an assignment, students can also check their work for authenticity (a limited number of times) to correct issues, turn in their best work, and save instructors time grading. Since both you and your students can see originality reports, they’re designed to help you teach your students about authenticity and academic integrity. 

Analyze student work with originality reports

Getting started with Assignments

Starting today, you can sign up to get access to Assignments when it becomes available in a few weeks. Assignments will be available for free as part of G Suite for Education and can be used by instructors alongside or integrated with an LMS. 

Instructors can use Assignments even if your school has an LMS. There’s no setup required, all you need is to sign up and have a school-issued Google account. 

Admins can turn on access to Assignments within your LMS. Assignments is available as an LTI tool, which provides a more integrated experience and enables roster syncing and grade transmission to your LMS gradebook. Assignments is an improved and expanded version of Course Kit, so if you’re already in the Course Kit beta, you’ll automatically have access to Assignments. 

If you use Canvas, we’ve worked with their team to complement the Assignments LTI tool with a set of additional features that make Docs and Drive work seamlessly across all Canvas assignments. 

Source: Drive

New coding activities for any classroom

Since its launch in 2013, CS First, a Code with Google curriculum for elementary and middle school students, has been used by hundreds of thousands of teachers and millions of students in over 75 countries. While we’ve heard teachers love bringing the magic of coding into the classroom, they’ve also told us that they want more subject-specific coding activities.  

We’ve listened to their feedback, and today we’re announcing two new CS First activities called Characterization and Interactive Presentation, two key components of English Language Arts (ELA) instruction. Both activities align with Common Core ELA Anchor Standards, and like all CS First lessons, provide everything needed to start teaching right away: instructional videos, lesson plans, student materials and more.

CS First animation

In the Interactive Presentation activity, students use code to create a presentation with sound, graphics and animation.

The activities were created as the result of a pilot between the CS First team and the San Francisco United School District (SFUSD)—one of four pilots that took place in the U.S. and Canada during the 2018-19 school year. The SFUSD, long recognized as a computer science education leader, was working toward fulfilling a 2015 mandate to bring coding to all district students, and they worked with Google to bring CS curriculum ideas for non-CS subjects.

For the pilot, they took eight activities within the Storytelling unit of CS First and analyzed how they connected with the elements of narrative writing covered by the district’s ELA curriculum. They recruited 27 teachers, asking them to think creatively about using a storytelling unit alongside topics like writing, narrative or dialogue. 

Participating teachers shared that they found value and meaning in bringing CS into their classrooms and offered tangible ways to improve the program. “At first, teachers shared concerns about student progress, but it turns out they were just being perfectionists,” says Bill Marsland, the SFUSD’s Computer Science Content Specialist. “Their students did a lot of quality work, and I came away with an increased understanding of how integrating storytelling into ELA is both worthwhile and doable.”

This is the start of what we hope will be many subject-specific CS First activities; we plan to roll out more activities for ELA instruction in classrooms in the coming weeks. As the new school year approaches, we look forward to bringing fun and creative CS activities like these to classrooms everywhere.

Code Next students merge computer science and activism

At this year’s Google Code Next Hackathon, students used computer science know-how to build applications that they hope will make a difference in the world. They pitched and presented projects like “AirFreeN’Free,” a website to fight the housing crisis in the Bay Area, “Know Your Rights,” which looked to inform citizens of their rights when stopped by law enforcement and “Equal Income,” which informs citizens on the gender pay gap. 

Code Next (a Code With Google program) is a free computer science education program for Black and Latinx high school students. The program works in communities to inspire students and equip students with the skills and education necessary for careers in CS. The two-day Hackathon, which took place in both Oakland and New York City in June, is one of the program’s most anticipated events of the year. Students use the knowledge learned in the classroom to come up with ideas, develop them and pitch prototypes. 

This year, students were challenged to develop a mobile or web application that addressed social justice, inequality or the environment. 

Day one of the Hackathon centered on ideas. In Oakland, a workshop was led by Anthony Mays, an advocate for inclusion and diversity in tech. He cheered the students and encouraged them to trust their instincts. “Whatever comes straight to mind.” Mays instructed the students, “I want you to write it down.” 

Day two centered on the coding and preparation for the pitch, which occurred at the end of the day. 

“We do discuss what we want to do for the world and how to save it, but we don’t usually pitch like this,” says Merelis Peralta, a Code Next student, whose “Police Brutality” app won third place in New York City.  “Having to pitch about how we want to help our community and make them safer opens our voice.” 

Both of this year’s winners addressed the environment. In Oakland, Code Next students Adesina Taylor, Luis Sanchez, Jacob Sonhthila, Xzavier Ceja and David Ung took home the first place prize. The team, which called their project “STEN,” created a web application that allows users to buy and distribute stone paper, an alternative to paper made from wood, as a means to fight deforestation. 

In New York, students Mohammad Hasan, Mohammed Ibrahim, Andy Asante, Alexander Leonardi and Rafid Almustaqim won first prize with a mobile application, “NextGen Carbon,” that tracks pollution levels. The app places users in competition with one another by tracking their day to day carbon emissions, encouraging them to reduce their numbers. 

“We want to emphasize that there are people that know what global warming is,” Andy says. “They just don’t know what causes it. Our app informs them.” 

At the conclusion of the two days, the students celebrated their achievements, their hard work and the challenges they overcame as a team in front of their Code Next mentors, coaches, family and friends. 

“After trying Code Next, I found out that although CS might be hard, it’s fun at the same time,” says student Ayan Cooper. “I want people to see that that it’s meaningful.”

Students changing the world—this year’s Science Fair winners

When Google Science Fair launched last fall, we challenged students to channel their curiosity and ingenuity to invent, code or build a solution to a problem they’re passionate about. Thousands of students participated, and this weekend we welcomed our 24 finalists—from 14 countries around the world—to explore Google’s headquarters to reveal the winners.

These changemakers tackled issues across sustainability, healthcare, and accessibility. We saw impressive entries that used a variety of STEM disciplines—from using AI to help detect disease in plants to finding new ways to diagnose heart disease.

Ready to find out who the winners are?

  • Grand Prize: Fionn Ferreira—a West Cork, Ireland resident who wants to help save the oceans by extracting harmful microplastics from wastewater.
  • Virgin Galactic Pioneer Award: Celestine Wenardy— a student from Indonesia who set out to find affordable, non-invasive ways for members of her community to test their blood sugar levels
  • Scientific American Innovator Award: Tuan Dolmen—a Turkish science enthusiast who found a way to harness energy from tree vibrations.
  • National Geographic Explorer Award: Aman KA and AU Nachiketh—two young scientists from India who found an eco-friendly way to coagulate rubber.
  • Lego Education Builder Award: Daniel Kazanstev—a Russian student who wanted to find a better way to help those with impaired hearing communicate with the world around them.

We were joined by a panel of judges, including our partners: Lego Education, Scientific American, Virgin Galactic and National Geographic. Mariette DiChristina, Editor in Chief of Scientific American and the chief judge for this year’s competition praised Fionn for his “tenacity and dedication to solving an important environmental problem embodies the spirit of exploration.” A big thanks to Mariette and the other judges for lending their expertise across science and engineering to help us to find the next generation of problem solvers.

Behind every ambitious student are parents and teachers (hats off to you!) who cheer them on, and push them to keep learning. And to the students, you rock. We can’t wait to see what you do next.

EDU tips in a flash

As a seventh grade teacher, I quickly learned that every second counts—both while teaching in the classroom and when collaborating with other teachers. That’s a big part of why we developed EDU in 90, Google for Education’s video series.  We heard from educators that they needed an easy way to keep track of product news and to learn from their peers.  

Over the past four seasons, we’ve examined everything from Classroom to accessibility features to robotics tools for Chromebooks.  And along the way, we’ve explored your creative ideas for using Google tools in the classroom—like Bingo with Google Earth and Blogger for school-wide announcements.  

Today, we’re back with our fifth season of EDU in 90, and sharing the latest G Suite for Education news. Based on your feedback, we’ll upcoming episodes will focus on topics like the Chromebook App Hub, how schools use Google Drive, and computer science resources.  

Be sure to subscribe to the Google for Education YouTube channel and check out our series playlist to catch up on past episodes.  

Inside the internship: Lessons from a summer at Google

Google interns come into our offices around the world for a few months, make a huge impact and then head back to school to continue their learning journey. These talented, helpful people make what we do at Google possible and without them, many of our projects and products wouldn’t be where they are today. 

Since July 25 marks National Intern Day, we’re taking the opportunity to thank and celebrate our interns from all over the globe. We sat down with six Google interns to learn about what they’ve learned so far, and what they’ll take with them when the summer ends. (Want to be part of our 2020 intern class? Applications open in just a few months.  You can find all the details on google.com/students.)

Google intern Grant Bennett

Grant Bennett

Role: BOLD Intern (Building Opportunities in Leadership and Development), Equity Programs team
University: Morehouse College
Office:Mountain View, California
Project:Career Progression Toolkit, a website to find onboarding, mentorship, performance management and coaching resources for Googlers. Also building out a separate toolkit to facilitate further connections between Employee Resource Groups and Staffing.

What's something you learned during your internship that you'll take with you? 

"Google has taught me the importance of leaving an impact in any space you occupy. Working for the Employee Engagement team has been great because I know the work that I produce will be used to increase equitable outcomes for all Googlers."

Google intern Diogo Rodrigues

Diogo Rodrigues

Role:Software Engineering Intern, Search
University:Universidade Federal de Pernambuco
Office:Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Project:Improving Google search results around medical conditions and information.

What's been your favorite part of your internship? 

“Because of the internship, I moved to a different city for the first time. This allowed me to enjoy different experiences that weren’t available back where I lived. As a result, I discovered what is now my favorite hobby and sport — climbing.”

Google intern Kalaivani Kumaran

Kalaivani Kumaran

Role: Software Engineering Intern, Apps
University:Sri Sivasubramaniya Nadar College of Engineering 
Office:Bangalore, India
Project: Improving the G Suite reporting and insights experience for G Suite IT administrators.

What's been your favorite part of your internship? 

“This will be my second summer as an intern. In 2018, as a sophomore, I participated in the Summer Trainee Engineering Program (STEP) internship. My favorite part of both summers has been connecting with fellow Googlers and sharing wonderful experiences like Tech India Intern Connect (an intern-hosted event for interns from other companies to drop by Google India for a day of networking and learning), Google Serve,  and a Post-it Art competition.”

Google intern Alice Wu

Alice Wu

Role: Software Engineering Intern, Hotel Ads 
University:Brandeis University
Office:Cambridge, Massachusetts
Project:Creating a dashboard for Hotel Ads advertisers which displays customized opportunities for improvement.

Tell us about your path to Google.

“I did not have a lot of exposure to computer science growing up, so I actively sought programs that I could be involved in as a high school student with minimal computer science experience. I am an alum of Google’s NYC Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI)class of 2016.”
Google intern Patrice Maxwell

Patrice Maxwell

Role: Information Technology Intern, Operations
University:Georgia State University
Office: Boulder, Colorado
Project:Building plugins that provide more operating system signals used for troubleshooting and diagnostic information for our internal support teams.

What's been your favorite part of your internship? 

“Even before interning, I was part of an apprenticeship for Google through a program called Year Up. I’ve learned a lot, but I have really enjoyed the opportunity to learn a new OS scripting languages. I typically code in Java or Python, so being able to rethink how I structure my solutions, has been an enjoyable challenge.”
Google intern David Cheikhi

David Cheikhi

Role:Software Engineering Intern, Operations Research 
University: École Polytechnique
Office:Paris, France
Project: Vehicle routing, working on how to make a fleet of vehicles (like Street View cars) cover as much ground as possible in a given length of time.

What's something you learned during your internship that you'll take with you?

“I learned to dare to ask questions whenever I wasn't understanding something.”

Google employees take action to encourage women in computer science

When she was a teenager, Andrea Francke attended Schnupperstudium, or “Taster Week”—an event aimed at high-school girls to give them a taste of what it’s like to study computer science and work in the industry. That moment changed the course of her life. “As a teenager, Schnupperstudium was a game changer for me. That’s when I decided to study computer science,” says Andrea, who is now a senior software engineer at Google in Zürich.

This year, Andrea went back to Schnupperstudium, this time as a volunteer, to share her experience as part of a collaboration between employees at Google Zürich and the computer science department at ETH Zürich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich). “Offering other girls a glimpse into life as a software engineer is a cause that’s very dear to my heart,” Andrea says.

Andrea Francke and Tahmineh Sanamrad, Google software engineers, delivering a career panel for high school girls at Google Zürich.

Andrea Francke and Tahmineh Sanamrad, Google software engineers, delivering a career panel for high school girls at Google Zürich.

After this year’s Schnupperstudium event, surveys showed that seven in nine girls agreed they could learn computer science if they wanted to, said they had an interest in the subject and believed computer science could help them find a job they would enjoy. “While stereotypes about computer science abound, events like Schnupperstudium can often counter them by showing what it’s really like to work in this field,” Andrea adds.

Something as simple as having a good role model can help to encourage girls to pursue their aspirations. A study Google conducted showed that encouragement and exposure directly influence whether young women decide to go for a computer science degree.

As we look into the skills needed for the current and future workplace, we see that there will be an increased demand for workers in STEM jobs, which will greatly affect the next generation. Yet only around 30 percent of women go into STEM programs in college, so not all young people may end up represented in the field. Somewhere along the way to choosing a career path, women are losing interest in technology. 

That means there’s more to be done, especially at the stage when women are making decisions about their futures. That’s why here at Google, our employees are getting involved with events that encourage young people, and particularly women, to follow through on a computer science degree. 

In 2018 alone, more than 300 Google employees across Europe directly worked with 29,000 students and 1,000 teachers through a range of volunteering activities. These initiatives are part of Grow with Google, which gives people training, products and tools to help them find jobs, grow their businesses or careers. In Europe alone, 48 percent of the people we trained in digital skills were women, thanks to programs like WomenWill and #IamRemarkable.

As we celebrate  World Youth Skills Day and the achievements of 1.8 billion young people from age 10 to 24, we will continue working to help them prepare for their futures.