Tag Archives: students

My Path to Google: Derek Pierce, Staffing Services Associate

Welcome to the thirteenth 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 Derek Pierce. Read on!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I'm from the suburbs of Philadelphia (specifically Doylestown, for anyone familiar). I attended James Madison University (JMU) in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and received degrees in Quantitative Finance and Mathematics. When I'm not working, I love to keep active, and I also enjoy a good brunch! I’ve recently gotten back into surfing, and I’m looking forward to the upcoming snowboarding season.

What’s your role at Google?

I am a Staffing Services Associate (SSA) on the College Staffing Services Team. I primarily engage with software engineers who are about to graduate from an undergraduate, masters, or PhD program. I also specialize in scheduling research scientist candidates and internal Googlers. I like working on the specialty candidates the most because they come from extremely diverse backgrounds and are usually being brought on to develop the next Google product.

Currently, I’m working on a project to grow our interviewer pool by gathering more complete information about our interviewers, so we can properly match their expertise with our candidates.

What inspires you to come in every day?

It’s very exciting to be with a company that’s motivated to make an impact on a global scale every single day. I feel very fortunate to be here and want to play my part in finding the next generation of Googlers.

Can you tell us about your decision to enter the process?

I was interested in working for Google ever since I was a sophomore in high school. I kept hearing that Google was the paradise version of work, where you could change the world for the better and have fun doing it. I applied for every program that I thought I was qualified for, and was very determined to work here one day. I was ultimately given an interview during my senior year of college, and although I had a different background than most people entering the staffing industry, I was optimistic about my chances.

How did the recruitment process go for you?

I first applied to be a Data Scientist through an alumni of JMU and was redirected to interview for the Staffing Services Associate position. I instantly took them up on the offer to interview. After passing through the phone interview stage, I remember flying out the next day to interview onsite, then flying back just in time to take my fall semester finals.

Can you tell us about the resources you used to prepare for your interview or role?

I used the provided resources from the recruiter, as well as anything I could find on the internet, specifically YouTube. I reviewed the "How We Hire" page and the job posting about 20 times before the interview.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?

Talk to anyone you know who has been through the process. Use resources such as YouTube, and brainstorm possible questions based on the job posting.

See yourself at Google as a Staffing Services Associate? Apply now!

Bring Google Hash Code to your university: Register your hub today

Hash Code is back for its 5th year of challenging students and professionals in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa to solve a Google engineering problem. Registration to compete opens in early January, but hub registration is open now at g.co/hashcode. Bring developers at your university together to compete — register your Hash Code 2018 hub today!

More than 26,000 participants teamed up to optimize how videos are served online for the Hash Code 2017 Online Qualification Round. Excitement and tensions were high across the region, especially at the 467 Hash Code hubs organized by university clubs, developer meetup groups, and participants.

Hubs bring teams in the same local area together for the Online Qualification Round. While teams can compete from wherever they’d like, participating from a Hash Code hub adds a bit of extra fun to the competition — as evidenced by last year’s hub photos!

To give you more insight into Hash Code, we caught up with Dominika and Adam, who organized a hub in Kraków, Poland last year, to find out more about their experience:

Why did you choose to organize a hub?

We chose to organize a hub because we felt that providing an opportunity for people to come together and work on a challenging problem is the best way to let them develop their skills and themselves.

What was the process of setting up your hub?

There was the normal event stuff, like booking a room, getting approvals from our university, and ensuring Wifi was set up. We also started promoting the event a few weeks earlier to be sure we had as many participants as possible. The real fun started just before the competition when we decorated the room with balloons and posters — luckily a few participants came early so they decided to join us and help!

What's your favorite part about hosting a hub?

Meeting new people! That’s definitely the best part. You can feel the passion and excitement in the room.

The Online Qualification Round for Hash Code 2018 will take place on March 1, 2018. If you think you’d like to organize a hub at your university, you can sign up today. If you can’t host a hub but would like to compete in Hash Code 2018, fill in this form and we’ll email you as soon as registration opens early next year.

My Path to Google: Melissa Holguin, Software Engineer, YouTube Music

Welcome to the twelfth 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 Melissa Holguin. Read on!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I grew up in Doral, Florida, which is a suburb of Miami. I went to college at the University of Central Florida and studied a full circle of engineering majors. I started in Computer Science (CS), then switched to Electrical Engineering, switched again to Computer Engineering, and finally ended up returning to CS my junior year of college, adding on a Music minor to go along with my CS degree. Outside of work, I like archery, bowling, video games, and binging on TV shows. Every once in a while, I get inspired and do some music producing.

What’s your role at Google?
I'm a Software Engineer on the YouTube Music Analytics team. I love that I get to be on a team that mixes music and technology. I just recently started on this team, but it looks like I'll be working on improving charts for music artists and tracks.

What inspires you to come in every day?
Even after a year of working at Google, it still feels surreal sometimes that I get to work with the most brilliant minds — it inspires me to work hard every day and makes me feel that my creativity will be put to good use.

Can you tell us about your decision to enter the process?
I had always thought of Google as the top dog of technology companies. It was definitely on my list of dream jobs, but I always thought it would be a long time before I'd be qualified to work there. I was thrilled to find out that someone thought I was ready just as I was finishing up my degree in CS.

How did the recruitment process go for you?
I was contacted by a recruiter that found my profile on Linkedin. I was extremely surprised, since I still had two semesters to finish before graduation, and I wasn't planning on applying anywhere until I was in my final semester. The recruiter first reached out in September and I didn't get my final decision until January, so I was definitely anxious in the time between because it was such a huge deal for me.

What do you wish you’d known when you started the process?
I wish I would've known about the Engineering Residency program beforehand. It ended up being the perfect fit for me!

Can you tell us more about the resources you used to prep?
I mainly used this website called InterviewBit, which was really good for practicing coding questions from all different categories. I spent around five hours a day solving problems for a week leading up to my first technical interview.

To finish, do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?
Keep an open mind and don't pass on an opportunity based on specifics alone. In large companies like Google, there is so much room for growth and change. You never know what kind of opportunities will open up in the future, so your knowledge and experience will be a useful thing to have.

Want to learn more about the Engineering Residency? Watch our video, or head over to g.co/EngResidency. Ready to apply to the residency? We're currently accepting applications at https://goo.gl/rhBmj1.

My Path to Google: Olumuyiwa Adenaike, Software Engineer

Welcome to the eleventh 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 Olumuyiwa Adenaike. Read on!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, Africa's largest city. Growing up, I was always intrigued by science and math, and this inspired me to move to the US right after high school to major in computer science at DePaul University in Chicago. Outside of work, I like to stay active as much as I can by playing soccer, basketball, and lifting weights. I also enjoy cooking new dishes from time to time.

What’s your role at Google?
I am a Software Engineer (SWE) on the Google Now quality team, which ensures that we are serving users with content they are interested in. A cool project that I am currently working on uses Machine Learning to predict what content to show the user depending on their interaction with the app.

What inspires you to come in every day?
I am inspired every day by the product I work on. Knowing that millions of people all over the world use and depend on what I help build makes me always eager to work and learn new things. I am also inspired by my team members who share my eagerness, as well as their deep technical knowledge and expertise. I appreciate the opportunity to learn from them every day.

Can you tell us about your decision to enter the process?
I was interested in Google because of the principles the company stands for, such as fairness and equity, freedom of speech and information, and charity. Also, I knew the best minds were at Google, and in order for me to move forward in my career, joining Google was the best choice.

How did the recruitment process go for you?
I was contacted by a Google recruiter during my senior year in college. I went through the process while I was studying for finals, so I was anxious the entire time. The hiring process was smooth, and although I had a lot of interviews, I was happy with the outcome at the end.

What do you wish you’d known when you started the process?
I wish I had spent more time on personal projects and also on larger collaborative projects throughout my college years. I feel that would have helped me learn to get my points and ideas across better in the interviews.

Can you tell us more about the resources you used to prep?
I spent a lot of time practicing algorithm-based questions for the technical interviews. I also did research about the position and met with other software engineers at Google to get advice on navigating the process. In addition, I had a practice interview with a Google engineer, which really helped me have a better idea of what to expect.

To finish, do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?
Spend a good amount of time honing your skills and refining your craft. It is important that you believe in yourself and your abilities, as they will speak for you during the interview process and in your day-to-day work. Also, don't be discouraged if you don't make it; there are many people at Google who got hired after several tries.

Want to learn more about the Engineering Residency? Watch our video, or head over to g.co/EngResidency. Ready to apply to the residency? We're currently accepting applications at https://goo.gl/rhBmj1.

Welcoming 25 mentor organizations for Google Code-in 2017

We’re thrilled to introduce 25 open source organizations that are participating in Google Code-in 2017. The contest, now in its eighth year, offers 13-17 year old pre-university students an opportunity to learn and practice their skills while contributing to open source projects.

Google Code-in officially starts for students on November 28. Students are encouraged to learn about the participating organizations ahead of time and can get started by clicking on the links below:

  • Apertium: rule-based machine translation platform
  • BRL-CAD: computer graphics, 2D and 3D geometry modeling and computer-aided design (CAD)
  • Catrobat: visual programming for creating mobile games and animations
  • CCExtractor: open source tools for subtitle generation
  • CloudCV: building platforms for reproducible AI research
  • coala: a unified interface for linting and fixing code, regardless of the programming languages used
  • Drupal: content management platform
  • FOSSASIA: developing communities across all ages and borders to form a better future with Open Technologies and ICT
  • Haiku: operating system specifically targeting personal computing
  • JBoss Community: a community of projects around JBoss Middleware
  • LibreHealth: aiming to bring open source healthcare IT to all of humanity
  • Liquid Galaxy: an interactive, panoramic and immersive visualization tool
  • MetaBrainz: builds community maintained databases
  • Mifos Initiative: transforming the delivery of financial services to the poor and the unbanked
  • MovingBlocks: a Minecraft-inspired open source game
  • OpenMRS: open source medical records system for the world
  • OpenWISP: build and manage low cost networks such as public wifi
  • OSGeo: building open source geospatial tools
  • Sugar Labs: learning platform and activities for elementary education
  • SCoRe: research lab seeking sustainable solutions for problems faced by developing countries
  • Systers: community for women involved in technical aspects of computing
  • Ubuntu: an open source operating system
  • Wikimedia: non-profit foundation dedicated to bringing free content to the world, operating Wikipedia
  • XWiki: a web platform for developing collaborative applications using the wiki paradigm
  • Zulip: powerful, threaded open source group chat with apps for every major platform

These mentor organizations are hard at work creating thousands of tasks for students to work on, including code, documentation, user interface, quality assurance, outreach, research and training tasks. The contest officially starts for students on Tuesday, November 28th at 9:00am PST.

You can learn more about Google Code-in on the contest site where you’ll find Contest Rules, Frequently Asked Questions and Important Dates. There you’ll also find flyers and other helpful information including the Getting Started Guide. Our discussion mailing list is a great way to talk with other students, mentors and organization administrators about the contest.

By Josh Simmons, Google Open Source

Rajat Talesra brings Applied CS with Android to Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology

Today we get the chance to hear from Rajat Talesra, an entrepreneur and outstanding Applied CS with Android facilitator who studied Information and Communication Technology at Dhirubhai Ambani Institute, Gandhinagar from 2012 to 2016. Through his work with Applied CS, he’s trained over 900 students across 13 universities to build simple Android games with important CS concepts.


Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m an enthusiastic entrepreneur, Android application developer, and passionate teacher. In my first two years, I did volunteer work for various clubs and committees during college festivals and also organized and managed events in technical and annual festivals.

How did you get interested in Android/mobile development in the first place?
After completing two years of  technical studies in college, I started learning Android application development. I started with online video lectures, and after that, I tried to create one simple Aptitude-based Android application, which was finally uploaded to the Google Play Store. By the end of my third year, I had worked for two different startups as an Android developer. Through this experience, I was able to create some applications on the side, conducted events, and managed a technical festival for our college. I also participated in a good number of competitions and hackathons at my school, which was great exposure to Android technology.

How did you hear about Applied CS and why did you want to participate as a facilitator?
In my third year of university, with the help of the IEEE student branch, the local Google Developer Groups (GDGs), and my enrollment in Udacity Android courses, I was involved not just in learning how to build Android applications, but teaching and supporting other university students learning how to program for Android. Because of this Android and teaching experience, I was nominated to be a facilitator for the Applied CS program.

What are some of the things you learned as a facilitator?
First is that you’re inevitably going to make mistakes, and that’s OK! You don’t have to be an expert, and there are no illusions that you have all the answers. During the first workshop I facilitated, I misspoke a couple of times and had some errors in the code I was writing on the board to demonstrate the functions and app to the participants. Despite those errors at the beginning, the most important part was to be available to help address any and all doubts from every participant during the workshop, troubleshooting and working alongside them, and navigating through any errors or bugs together. This was most important to the participants— that I be flexible and available to help out.

Second, I learned to prepare! I’d also recommend to facilitators to take some additional time to prep—in the two weeks beforehand, I took a look over the materials and the content to strengthen my basic understanding.

Lastly, facilitating this program helped me realize that teaching technology was a passion, and I wanted to take on more of these initiatives on my own. I ended up not joining a company when I got selected for industry placement, but instead, I started teaching Android to various groups and also started working on my initial ideas for some products.

What was the most challenging part of being an Applied CS facilitator?
I quickly realized that reviewing all the required concepts for the program was helpful, but not the most important part of running successful workshops. Even after reviewing the technical concepts we’d be covering, I realized that figuring out the best way to explain them to other students was the more important piece. I started creating different kinds of materials— presentations, some pseudo code, sketches to visualize concepts on board. The most successful resource was comparing the visualizations with the code.

Now, the Applied CS technical unit videos help take off a large amount of the pressure to explain, but I’d still recommend knowing what you will demo or say to introduce the workshop.

What do you think was your greatest success as an Applied CS facilitator?
Since becoming a facilitator, I’ve brought the program to over five universities and hundreds of new students, and been offered opportunities to guest lecture about Android, which is all awesome. But in addition to that, it feels good to see others I’ve worked with benefit from the knowledge and pay it forward through teaching others themselves. Student volunteers who helped me run the workshops have now become facilitators, and it feels great to see them grow and teach others.

Lastly, my love for Android and teaching/facilitating helped inspire my career. I’ve started to create a mobile app that can help teachers mark student attendance in classrooms. And facilitating has opened doors for me to teach Android more formally. I started my own ‘AndroidMonk’ tutorial service, where I have trained even more students and even employees at companies!

What would be your biggest piece of advice to anyone who wants to bring the Applied CS program to their university?

Don’t try to take on the world by yourself. As a facilitator, reach out to friends and other students who are passionate and excited about Android and computer science education to help you out as volunteers or co-facilitators in the workshops. Create one small and strong team to conduct workshops, and then the results will be great. Also, always feel free to reach other facilitators to know what they are doing at their universities.

Applications are open for 2018 scholarship opportunities in the US, Canada, and EMEA!

Google is proud to offer academic scholarships and development opportunities to students from historically underrepresented groups pursuing computer science degrees. We aim to help students from diverse backgrounds become future leaders and role models in computing and technology by breaking down the barriers that prevent them from entering these fields.  

Selected students will receive a financial award for the 2018-19 academic year and be invited to the annual Google Scholars' Retreat in their region next summer. At the retreat, scholars will participate in networking and development sessions, including sessions on how to lead outreach in their communities. Scholars also join long term a community of former scholarship recipients for continued networking and development.  Check out each program below:

Women Techmakers Scholars Program (United States/Canada/EMEA - Asia Pacific will open in early 2018)
The Women Techmakers Scholars Program (formerly known as  the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship) continues to honor Dr. Anita Borg and her legacy of encouraging the presence of women in computing. The program is open to current undergraduate or graduate students who identify as female who will be studying at a university for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Generation Google Scholarship (United States/Canada)
The Generation Google Scholarship was established to help aspiring computer scientists excel in technology and become leaders in the field. This program supports current university students from underrepresented groups including African American, Hispanic, American Indian or Filipino/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander who will be studying at a university for the 2018-2019 academic year.
The Generation Google Scholarship for current high school seniors in the United States/Canada will open in early 2018.

We’re continuing to partner with Lime Connect (United States/Canada) and EmployAbility (Europe) - nonprofit organizations that support students with disabilities while they pursue education and promising careers - to help university students with disabilities work toward their academic goals in the field of computer science. The scholarship is open to current undergraduate or graduate students with disabilities who will be studying at a university for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Google established the Google SVA Scholarship in partnership with Student Veterans of America in 2012 as part of our commitment to military veterans. The scholarship provides assistance to student veterans or students on Active Duty who are pursuing a degree in computer science at a university for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Please visit each program’s website for specific details, application information, and deadlines. We encourage all students who meet the eligibility criteria to apply!

My Path to Google: Aurelie Chazal, Support Specialist

Welcome to the tenth 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 Aurelie Chazal. Read on!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I grew up in Clermont-Ferrand in France and had a bit of an unusual academic path. I first did a Bachelor’s in Applied Foreign Languages with English & Mandarin and then went on to do a Master’s in New Media Communication. I always joked I was a Googler before joining Google, because I was good at finding things online but I never actually had any contact with Google before I was hired two years ago.

What’s your role at Google?
I’m part of the gTech organization within Google, and I support our biggest app advertisers when they have technical issues or complex questions around AdWords. I had almost no experience with AdWords when I started, and I love the fact that I got the chance to become a real expert in my product area within two years on the team.

In addition to my day-to-day support role, I’m also very involved with diversity and inclusion, and I currently lead a project meant to empower small, LGBT-owned businesses by teaching them the basics of online marketing.

What inspires you to come in every day?
The people on my team are, without a doubt, my biggest source of inspiration and motivation. I had heard that working at Google meant being surrounded by smart, open-minded people, but I never actually thought it would play that big of a role in my wellbeing at work. This is the first job where I can fully be myself and have so much fun while doing my job!

Can you tell us about your decision to enter the process?
When I applied for a job at Google, I was working for a small Polish startup. I was the only non-Polish person and the only girl on a team of around 10 people. I had always been interested in joining Google, but what really pushed me to apply is that I knew I needed to move to a more diverse working environment if I wanted to be happier at work. I didn’t think I’d actually have a chance to be hired at Google, but I saw an opening and decided to go for it.

How did the recruitment process go for you?
I found out there was a job opening in the city I live in through an expat Facebook group. I wrote to the girl who posted about the opening with my CV, and she sent my CV to the Google recruiters. I got an email back a few days later, asking to set up an initial phone interview. The process was really smooth after that. I did one more phone interview and three on-site interviews at the end. While some questions were tough, I don’t remember receiving any “trick” questions. The entire process was really enjoyable, and the conversations I had during the interviews were an amazing sneak peek into what it’s like to work on the team.

What do you wish you’d known when you started the process?
I wish I had known a little more about what the day-to-day job looked like. My one recommendation to anyone who starts an interview process with Google would be to try and get in touch with Googlers working for the team you’re looking to join and ask them what a typical day looks like for them. It’s the best way to get the right expectations about the job and prepare for the interviews.

Can you tell us more about the resources you used to prep?
I went through recent articles from the Inside AdWords blog and tried to remember 2-3 upcoming changes that were announced, along with the potential challenges and opportunities that would come with them. This was specific to my experience, as my job was going to be with AdWords, but my goal was to find topics to discuss that would be relevant to me and the job I was applying for in case I got any questions about Google.

To finish, do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?
Research the position you are applying for and prepare! Your academic background, your grades, your previous work experience, etc. won’t matter as much as you showing motivation and interest in the company and the position you are applying for.

Don’t be the one putting yourself down. You really have nothing to lose by trying, so apply, do your research, and don’t give up if you get one or two rejections. Sometimes, timing isn’t in your favor, or the team you applied for wasn’t the best fit for you. It doesn’t mean you are not a fit for Google as a whole!

Google Code-in 2017 is seeking organization applications

We are now accepting applications for open source organizations who want to participate in Google Code-in 2017. Google Code-in, a global online contest for pre-university students ages 13-17, invites students to learn by contributing to open source software.

Working with young students is a special responsibility and each year we hear inspiring stories from mentors who participate. To ensure these new, young contributors have a great support system, we select organizations that have gained experience in mentoring students by previously taking part in Google Summer of Code.

Organizations must apply before Tuesday, October 24 at 16:00 UTC.

17 organizations were accepted last year, and over the last 7 years, 4,553 students from 99 different countries have completed more than 23,651 tasks for participating open source projects. Tasks fall into 5 categories:

  • Code: writing or refactoring 
  • Documentation/Training: creating/editing documents and helping others learn more
  • Outreach/Research: community management, outreach/marketing, or studying problems and recommending solutions
  • Quality Assurance: testing and ensuring code is of high quality
  • User Interface: user experience research or user interface design and interaction

Once an organization is selected for Google Code-in 2017 they will define these tasks and recruit mentors who are interested in providing online support for students.

You can find a timeline, FAQ and other information about Google Code-in on our website. If you’re an educator interested in sharing Google Code-in with your students, you can find resources here.

By Josh Simmons, Google Open Source

My Path to Google: Jasmine Collins, Google Brain Residency Alumna

Welcome to the ninth 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 Jasmine Collins. Read on!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I stayed local for college, and went to the University of Pittsburgh, where I double majored in neuroscience and computer science, and minored in chemistry. My dream is to contribute to bridging the gap between computer intelligence and human intelligence. Outside of work, I really enjoy plants and gardening. Also, I love dogs!

What’s your role at Google?
I was on the Google Brain team as a part of the first iteration of the Google Brain Residency Program — a year long training program in deep learning research. For me, it was really excellent to have the opportunity to take a year off between undergraduate and grad school and get some real world work/research experience. Being a Google Brain resident definitely solidified my decision to go to grad school, and helped me bulk up my resume to get into one of the top universities for artificial intelligence/deep learning research — UC Berkeley!

During the residency, I was able to publish my first, first-author paper. In it, we experimentally investigated the tradeoffs across different recurrent neural network architectures in terms of capacity and trainability. The project involved running thousands of optimizations in parallel, over many, many weeks. I really enjoyed this project, as it was something that could only be done with Google-scale infrastructure, but it had findings that could be applicable to the rest of the research community.

What inspires you to come in every day?
My favorite part about coming in every day was the lunch conversations with my regular lunch group. We’d talk about everything from new arXiv papers to crazy startup ideas, debugging code, the validity of Simulation Theory, how long until self-driving cars become a reality, etc. We argued about pretty much every topic in a constructive way, which caused me to think thoroughly and critically about my own beliefs. There was never a dull lunch!

Can you tell us about your decision to enter the process?
I applied for the residency during my senior year in undergrad, mostly as a backup for graduate school. I had previously applied for a summer internship at Google (with dreams of working with the Google Brain team) and made it through interviews, but ultimately never got host-matched. I was pretty thrilled when I was offered the Google Brain Residency position, and didn’t have to think much before deciding to accept it and defer grad school for a year.

How did the recruitment process go for you?
I actually found out about the residency the day before applications closed. On that day, I was going about my business when my adviser asked me to look into TensorFlow and determine whether or not it was worth switching to (at the time we were using Caffe for our neural net training). In doing so, I stumbled across a set of slides for a talk that Jeff Dean gave at a small conference, which talked about recent TensorFlow improvements and also announced the start of a new training program called the Google Brain Residency. It sounded pretty cool, so I quickly repurposed my grad school application personal statement into a cover letter for the job and applied within the hour. Looking back on how competitive the program selection was that year, and how arbitrary it was that I even discovered the program in time, I feel very lucky to have stumbled across that slide deck!

What do you wish you’d known when you started the process?
In retrospect, I wish that I had reached out and spoken to more people about their research ideas during my time at Google. I started out feeling pretty intimidated by all of the great researchers on the team, and I didn’t really realize until closer to the end of my year there that they are almost all very willing and excited to talk about their work with anyone who is willing to listen.

Can you tell us about the resources you used to prepare for your interview or role?
The interviews for the residency consisted of both a research and coding interview. Being a computer science major, and having had a good amount of coding experience, I felt pretty well prepared for the coding interview. I was much less prepared for the research interview, and I honestly don’t think I did a very good job conveying my previous research experience. It’s likely that the only thing that saved me was my enthusiastic proposal for research that I could do at Google, given the resources and mentorship.

My advice for others who are preparing for a research-style interview is to practice by giving a talk to your lab or class about one of your research projects in order to make sure you can give a clear, concise description of your work, and handle any potentially difficult questions.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?
I think Google really likes people who are passionate about what they do. If you’re passionate about something that is relevant to the position you’re applying for, make sure to express this in your application.

The Google Brain Residency Program is now known as the Google AI Residency Program! Head over to http://g.co/airesidency to find out more about our program, the recent changes, and how to apply.