Author Archives: Daphne Karpel

Dre’ Davis went from college to Google’s data center team

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s story is all about Dre’ Davis and his journey from not quite knowing what he wanted to do with his new mechanical engineering degree to joining Google’s data center team in Loudoun County, Virginia and being part of a new data center site from the ground up.

What’s your role at Google?

I’m currently a facilities technician on the Data Center Infrastructure Operations team. We maintain our data center infrastructure, keeping services like G Suite and YouTube up and running. 

The one thing I love about my role is something that is, by my knowledge, very consistent across Google: the people. My job requires collaboration with the people around me. My job can be challenging at times, but when the people are caring, compassionate and intelligent, it makes your job that much easier.

Red, white and blue airplane-themed Google logo sign at a Google data center.

A Google logo sign at a Google data center.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I grew up in a small town in Virginia called Appomattox. Our town is famously known for being the place where the American Civil War ended. After graduating from high school, I ventured off to Old Dominion University. There I got my bachelors in mechanical engineering technology with a minor in electrical engineering technology. 

The STEM field wasn't an area I would have pictured myself in. None of my family had experience in the industry, I had never worked in it prior to getting to school and it seemed so beyond my reach. On top of all of this, I was also a first-generation college student. It was my goal to be the first and to lead the pack.

Why did you decide to apply to Google?

I was only months away from graduation, and still had no clue what I really wanted to do, so when a Google recruiter reached out on LinkedIn, the timing was impeccable. I had no clue as to whether it would work out or not, but I was willing to put myself out there to see. 

What inspires you to come in every day?

I was able to join the team just as our sites were hitting the ground, so to see the growth of these data centers has been amazing. Virginia has the largest concentration of data centers in the world and I am excited to see how we continue to innovate to stand out among data centers in my home state.

Hard hat with Google logo.

Google-themed safety gear.

How did the application and interview process go for you?

I had several phone interviews with experienced technicians. I was still very new to this technical world and had little experience at this point, so I was a nervous wreck on every call. I was afraid that the person on the other end would hear a quaking kid rather than a student looking to get a foot in the door. 

However, with every call, I got a glimmer of hope when I heard the words, "Congrats, here are the next steps!" This process lasted a couple of months until I was finally presented with my offer and my inner panic finally subsided. 

What's one thing you wish you could go back and tell yourself before applying?

The recruiters are on your side. We sometimes have the perception that the person standing between us and the opportunity wants to hinder us from getting there. Google does truly look for the best candidates, but they also are looking to help you as best they can. 

What  resources did you use to prepare for your interview?

"How We Hire" on Google Careers is a great asset. It gave me so many tips that allowed me to be successful throughout the entire process, from applying to interviewing. Your recruiter will also be a great tool for you. From the time my recruiter messaged me on LinkedIn, they were top notch and made sure that all my needs were met and all questions were answered in a timely manner. 

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

Sometimes the only thing standing between you and success is fear. Be willing to step out and be courageous. Courage doesn't mean you're not scared; it means you're terrified, but willing to take it on anyway.

Patrick Schilling advocates for people with disabilities

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about 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 Patrick Schilling, a Strategic Deal Manager on the Google Cloud team. In addition to helping big companies use Google technology to get ready for the future, Patrick uses what he’s learned through his experience breaking barriers to advocate for people with disabilities and create a more inclusive society.

What’s your role at Google?

I’m a Strategic Deal Manager on the Google Cloud team. I help our sales and professional services teams manage the largest strategic partnerships that Google Cloud enters with customers in Europe and the Middle East. What´s particularly inspiring about my job is to see our clients, some of whom are the largest, most traditional enterprises in the world, embark on their digital transformations.

How did you begin advocating on behalf of people with disabilities?

I was born and raised in the city of Tuttlingen in Southern Germany. Since birth, I have lived with a physical disability (shortened arms and legs), which posed a variety of challenges to my family in my early years and teens. Overcoming these challenges, continuously growing as a person and sharing my experiences to empower others has become one of the key motivators of my life. 

I became the first person in my family to ever attend university. Along the way, my family and I broke through a variety of challenges and hurdles, such as being the first person with a disability to ever attend my German high school. I experienced both severe societal injustice and an extraordinary commitment aimed at remedying it. After high school, I involved myself in local and state politics in Germany. I founded several organizations that lobbied on behalf of people with disabilities. In that function, I started doing speaking engagements focused on how political and technological progress can create an ever more inclusive society.

Patrick poses with a multicolored hat given to new Googlers at orientation. In the background are other new Googlers with their hats.

Patrick at Noogler (new Googler) orientation.

What led you to apply to Google?

I pursued a double degree in international management and business administration, which allowed me to study for two years at ESB Business School in Germany, and two years at NC State University. During that time I interned in Germany and the U.S., primarily  for technology and tech consulting companies. It was during one of those internships that I met people from Google. Their drive to challenge the status quo, their desire to not take no as an answer and their commitment to a diverse, equitable and inclusive society inspired me to apply.

Patrick’s speech at NC State University’s 2018 spring commencement ceremony.
10:25

Patrick’s speech at NC State University’s 2018 spring commencement ceremony.

What inspires you to come in (or log on) every day? 

Seeing how the world´s largest organizations transform and get fit for the digital age is breathtaking. So is seeing how excited our clients get about the seemingly endless capabilities that groundbreaking technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning offer to grow their businesses and better serve their customers.

How did the application and interview process go for you?

The recruitment process was both challenging and inspiring at the same time. I was still on the U.S. West Coast at the time, interviewing for a position in Europe. While my recruiters did their best to accommodate for the time zone differences, it still meant waking up at 6 a.m., hastily downing 3 shots of espresso and then getting into interview mode. 

Throughout all my interviews, the people I met reassured me that this is the company I would love to work for. Google has a policy in place that allows you to self-disclose any special needs you may have due to a disability. When I self-disclosed, both the recruiter and the hiring manager made absolutely sure to provide me with all accommodations needed to set me up for success. 

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

The most important thing is to familiarize yourself with the resources available on Google´s career site. This will help you get ready for your role and set you up for success. In addition, I would encourage all applicants to reach out and speak to current Googlers. We are here to help you get ready and it is our pleasure to share our experiences.  

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

Be yourself and bring all of it to your interviews! This is a place where it doesn't matter who you are, or where you come from or what you look like. You can make it here at Google, if you are willing to try.

Patrick Schilling advocates for people with disabilities

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about 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 Patrick Schilling, a Strategic Deal Manager on the Google Cloud team. In addition to helping big companies use Google technology to get ready for the future, Patrick uses what he’s learned through his experience breaking barriers to advocate for people with disabilities and create a more inclusive society.

What’s your role at Google?

I’m a Strategic Deal Manager on the Google Cloud team. I help our sales and professional services teams manage the largest strategic partnerships that Google Cloud enters with customers in Europe and the Middle East. What´s particularly inspiring about my job is to see our clients, some of whom are the largest, most traditional enterprises in the world, embark on their digital transformations.

How did you begin advocating on behalf of people with disabilities?

I was born and raised in the city of Tuttlingen in Southern Germany. Since birth, I have lived with a physical disability (shortened arms and legs), which posed a variety of challenges to my family in my early years and teens. Overcoming these challenges, continuously growing as a person and sharing my experiences to empower others has become one of the key motivators of my life. 

I became the first person in my family to ever attend university. Along the way, my family and I broke through a variety of challenges and hurdles, such as being the first person with a disability to ever attend my German high school. I experienced both severe societal injustice and an extraordinary commitment aimed at remedying it. After high school, I involved myself in local and state politics in Germany. I founded several organizations that lobbied on behalf of people with disabilities. In that function, I started doing speaking engagements focused on how political and technological progress can create an ever more inclusive society.

Patrick poses with a multicolored hat given to new Googlers at orientation. In the background are other new Googlers with their hats.

Patrick at Noogler (new Googler) orientation.

What led you to apply to Google?

I pursued a double degree in international management and business administration, which allowed me to study for two years at ESB Business School in Germany, and two years at NC State University. During that time I interned in Germany and the U.S., primarily  for technology and tech consulting companies. It was during one of those internships that I met people from Google. Their drive to challenge the status quo, their desire to not take no as an answer and their commitment to a diverse, equitable and inclusive society inspired me to apply.

Patrick’s speech at NC State University’s 2018 spring commencement ceremony.
10:25

Patrick’s speech at NC State University’s 2018 spring commencement ceremony.

What inspires you to come in (or log on) every day? 

Seeing how the world´s largest organizations transform and get fit for the digital age is breathtaking. So is seeing how excited our clients get about the seemingly endless capabilities that groundbreaking technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning offer to grow their businesses and better serve their customers.

How did the application and interview process go for you?

The recruitment process was both challenging and inspiring at the same time. I was still on the U.S. West Coast at the time, interviewing for a position in Europe. While my recruiters did their best to accommodate for the time zone differences, it still meant waking up at 6 a.m., hastily downing 3 shots of espresso and then getting into interview mode. 

Throughout all my interviews, the people I met reassured me that this is the company I would love to work for. Google has a policy in place that allows you to self-disclose any special needs you may have due to a disability. When I self-disclosed, both the recruiter and the hiring manager made absolutely sure to provide me with all accommodations needed to set me up for success. 

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

The most important thing is to familiarize yourself with the resources available on Google´s career site. This will help you get ready for your role and set you up for success. In addition, I would encourage all applicants to reach out and speak to current Googlers. We are here to help you get ready and it is our pleasure to share our experiences.  

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

Be yourself and bring all of it to your interviews! This is a place where it doesn't matter who you are, or where you come from or what you look like. You can make it here at Google, if you are willing to try.

Combining technology and art as a Developer Advocate

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about 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 Priyanka Vergadia, who followed her curiosity and stumbled upon a role that combines her technical and artistic skills: creating technical learning content for Google Cloud developers as a Developer Advocate.

What’s the best thing about being a Developer Advocate at Google? 

This role challenges me with new technologies every day and allows me to think creatively about learning novel concepts and explaining them to a wide range of people. I get to interact with the developer community and create content that can help them learn about Google Cloud. I create tutorials for the Google Cloud Youtube channel, write blogs, codelabs and sample code and speak at conferences. 

Currently I’m working on the concept of visual learning. I created the GCP Sketchnotes series, in which I explain the Google Cloud tools in the form of a sketch. The idea is to be able to print the sketchnote or use it as a desktop or phone wallpaper to learn quickly. You can check them out at the cloudgirl.dev.

Example from the GCP Sketchnotes series created by Priyanka. At the top of the cartoon-style page is the title "Where should I run my stuff?...it depends" followed by comparisons of the pros and cons of the different options, which are: Compute Engine, Kubernetes Engine, Cloud Run, App Engine and Cloud Function.

An example from the GCP Sketchnotes series.

What first sparked your interest in technology? 

I am from Indore, a city in central India. My parents are my role models: My dad is an engineer and his work inspired me to be an engineer, and my mom is an artist and her creativity and confidence continues to inspire me in everything I do.  

I studied electronics and telecommunication with a bit of programming during my undergraduate course work. Due to my growing interest in coding, I decided to pursue a masters from University of Pennsylvania in computers and information science. After graduating, I had my eye on becoming a software engineer. 


What eventually led you to becoming a Developer Advocate?

My first job was as a quality engineer, which allowed me to explore the industry a bit more. Customer engineering caught my eye. I took a risk and decided to change course, working with customers and applying my technical skills to solving real business problems. 

That was a turning point for me because I had stumbled on something that I really loved. I was able to combine my creative skills to create compelling presentations, demos and code samples that would help developers learn specific products better. That love of solving problems with technology led me to exploring the Developer Advocate role, and I am absolutely loving it!


Priyanka in her work-from-home studio, which includes a lighting and camera setup, desk and display shelf of potted plants.

Priyanka’s work-from-home studio, where she records YouTube videos for the Google Cloud Platform channel.

What was it like to apply to Google?

I applied right after school and did not make it past the phone interview. After that experience I had imposter syndrome. Then about 4.5 years later a recruiter from Google reached out to me. I was not really looking for a new job at the time. But I went into the process with an open mind because I found that this time the role was right for me and the skills I had acquired over the years aligned perfectly to the position. After the first phone interview my hopes started to grow because I really liked the role. 

What's one thing you wish you could go back and tell yourself before applying?

I wish I knew that Google is not just looking for coding gurus. The search is for people who can think analytically and solve problems. The interview questions are more focused on getting to know your thought process and how you get to a solution. Knowing this would have made me worry much less. 

What inspires you to come in (or log on) every day? 

I am inspired by the people I get to collaborate with and the impact I get to make by working on products that touch millions of lives.

Combining technology and art as a Developer Advocate

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about 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 Priyanka Vergadia, who followed her curiosity and stumbled upon a role that combines her technical and artistic skills: creating technical learning content for Google Cloud developers as a Developer Advocate.

What’s the best thing about being a Developer Advocate at Google? 

This role challenges me with new technologies every day and allows me to think creatively about learning novel concepts and explaining them to a wide range of people. I get to interact with the developer community and create content that can help them learn about Google Cloud. I create tutorials for the Google Cloud Youtube channel, write blogs, codelabs and sample code and speak at conferences. 

Currently I’m working on the concept of visual learning. I created the GCP Sketchnotes series, in which I explain the Google Cloud tools in the form of a sketch. The idea is to be able to print the sketchnote or use it as a desktop or phone wallpaper to learn quickly. You can check them out at the cloudgirl.dev.

Example from the GCP Sketchnotes series created by Priyanka. At the top of the cartoon-style page is the title "Where should I run my stuff?...it depends" followed by comparisons of the pros and cons of the different options, which are: Compute Engine, Kubernetes Engine, Cloud Run, App Engine and Cloud Function.

An example from the GCP Sketchnotes series.

What first sparked your interest in technology? 

I am from Indore, a city in central India. My parents are my role models: My dad is an engineer and his work inspired me to be an engineer, and my mom is an artist and her creativity and confidence continues to inspire me in everything I do.  

I studied electronics and telecommunication with a bit of programming during my undergraduate course work. Due to my growing interest in coding, I decided to pursue a masters from University of Pennsylvania in computers and information science. After graduating, I had my eye on becoming a software engineer. 


What eventually led you to becoming a Developer Advocate?

My first job was as a quality engineer, which allowed me to explore the industry a bit more. Customer engineering caught my eye. I took a risk and decided to change course, working with customers and applying my technical skills to solving real business problems. 

That was a turning point for me because I had stumbled on something that I really loved. I was able to combine my creative skills to create compelling presentations, demos and code samples that would help developers learn specific products better. That love of solving problems with technology led me to exploring the Developer Advocate role, and I am absolutely loving it!


Priyanka in her work-from-home studio, which includes a lighting and camera setup, desk and display shelf of potted plants.

Priyanka’s work-from-home studio, where she records YouTube videos for the Google Cloud Platform channel.

What was it like to apply to Google?

I applied right after school and did not make it past the phone interview. After that experience I had imposter syndrome. Then about 4.5 years later a recruiter from Google reached out to me. I was not really looking for a new job at the time. But I went into the process with an open mind because I found that this time the role was right for me and the skills I had acquired over the years aligned perfectly to the position. After the first phone interview my hopes started to grow because I really liked the role. 

What's one thing you wish you could go back and tell yourself before applying?

I wish I knew that Google is not just looking for coding gurus. The search is for people who can think analytically and solve problems. The interview questions are more focused on getting to know your thought process and how you get to a solution. Knowing this would have made me worry much less. 

What inspires you to come in (or log on) every day? 

I am inspired by the people I get to collaborate with and the impact I get to make by working on products that touch millions of lives.

Holly Slonaker finds career growth and accessibility at Google

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s installment is a little different because we’ll be talking to two Googlers: Holly Slonaker, a Program Manager and member of the Deafglers community at Google, and Tricia Martines, the recruiter who worked with Holly throughout the interview process. They’ll share how Google is striving to support candidates with the accommodations they need during interviews.

Holly, what prompted you to apply for a job at Google?

Holly:This was my first time applying to Google. I had been at my previous company for nine years and was looking for new career growth opportunities. I applied on Google’s career website and didn’t know anyone at the company. I never really expected to hear back, as Google was such a pie-in-the-sky company to work for. I was surprised and delighted when Tricia reached out to me about the role! 

What was that first conversation with Tricia, your recruiter, like?

Holly: I remember my heart beating out of my chest when I saw the first email from Tricia. I couldn’t believe Google was interested in me! I was initially worried about needing accommodations for the phone interviews, but Tricia quickly put me at ease and assured me that she’d make sure I had what I needed, which made me feel incredibly valued as a candidate. I could then focus on preparing for my interview answers rather than worrying about whether I would be able to hear the questions. 

What accommodations were especially helpful during your interview process?

Holly: Being deaf, the job search process can present some unique barriers. From my first interaction with Tricia, I knew this experience was going to be different. She went above and beyond to make sure I had everything I needed to be as successful as a hearing candidate. We typed questions and responses live in a shared Google doc for the initial screening, and remote captioning was provided for all of my phone and in-person interviews. She even communicated the offer to me over the Google Hangouts chat app, so I was sure to capture all the details correctly and was still able to experience the excitement of a live offer.

Tricia, what resources did you use to help Holly prepare for her interview?

Tricia: We initially had conversations over a shared Google Doc to discuss the role and what to expect through the interview process. For the first interview, our Candidate Accomodations team was able to provide captioning services for Holly over a Google Hangout. The team was able to coordinate details for the onsite interview as well. Holly and I stayed in touch at each stage so I could answer questions and share with Holly what to expect along the way. We were so excited that Holly ultimately accepted the offer!

Holly, now that you’re a full-time Googler, how has Google continued to create an inclusive workplace for you?

Holly: The positive hiring experience has carried over for me as a Googler, with continued support from my managers, the Accommodations team and our employee-run Deafglers and Disability Alliance groups. A captioner joins all of my meetings, which is especially crucial in this new working-from-home normal we’re working in. All of our company-wide events are captioned; I don’t even have to request it, which is huge for me. I’ve even been asked to advise some of our research and engineering teams as they explore new accessible products for our Deaf and hard-of-hearing users. 

Feeling so inspired by Google’s work in this space, I recently changed roles and am now Google’s Accessibility Education Program Manager on the Central Accessibility team. I'm helping to educate Googlers on how to design accessible products for our users. 

A question for both of you: Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers with disabilities?

Holly: My advice for others is to ask for what you need to be successful. Don’t be afraid to share your disability accommodation needs with recruiters. Companies like Google that value diversity will focus on what you bring to the table and will gladly provide disability accommodations to help remove barriers that prevent you from getting to that table in the first place.

Tricia: Google is a place that values diverse perspectives, and we want to hear from you. We have a Candidate Accommodations team in place to support you during the interview process and will facilitate the initial call with your recruiter to match your needs. If you need an accommodation, don't hesitate to let your recruiter or sourcer know. Your recruiter can engage the Candidate Accommodations team to support the initial phone call all the way through the onsite interviews.

Holly Slonaker finds career growth and accessibility at Google

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s installment is a little different because we’ll be talking to two Googlers: Holly Slonaker, a Program Manager and member of the Deafglers community at Google, and Tricia Martines, the recruiter who worked with Holly throughout the interview process. They’ll share how Google is striving to support candidates with the accommodations they need during interviews.

Holly, what prompted you to apply for a job at Google?

Holly:This was my first time applying to Google. I had been at my previous company for nine years and was looking for new career growth opportunities. I applied on Google’s career website and didn’t know anyone at the company. I never really expected to hear back, as Google was such a pie-in-the-sky company to work for. I was surprised and delighted when Tricia reached out to me about the role! 

What was that first conversation with Tricia, your recruiter, like?

Holly: I remember my heart beating out of my chest when I saw the first email from Tricia. I couldn’t believe Google was interested in me! I was initially worried about needing accommodations for the phone interviews, but Tricia quickly put me at ease and assured me that she’d make sure I had what I needed, which made me feel incredibly valued as a candidate. I could then focus on preparing for my interview answers rather than worrying about whether I would be able to hear the questions. 

What accommodations were especially helpful during your interview process?

Holly: Being deaf, the job search process can present some unique barriers. From my first interaction with Tricia, I knew this experience was going to be different. She went above and beyond to make sure I had everything I needed to be as successful as a hearing candidate. We typed questions and responses live in a shared Google doc for the initial screening, and remote captioning was provided for all of my phone and in-person interviews. She even communicated the offer to me over the Google Hangouts chat app, so I was sure to capture all the details correctly and was still able to experience the excitement of a live offer.

Tricia, what resources did you use to help Holly prepare for her interview?

Tricia: We initially had conversations over a shared Google Doc to discuss the role and what to expect through the interview process. For the first interview, our Candidate Accomodations team was able to provide captioning services for Holly over a Google Hangout. The team was able to coordinate details for the onsite interview as well. Holly and I stayed in touch at each stage so I could answer questions and share with Holly what to expect along the way. We were so excited that Holly ultimately accepted the offer!

Holly, now that you’re a full-time Googler, how has Google continued to create an inclusive workplace for you?

Holly: The positive hiring experience has carried over for me as a Googler, with continued support from my managers, the Accommodations team and our employee-run Deafglers and Disability Alliance groups. A captioner joins all of my meetings, which is especially crucial in this new working-from-home normal we’re working in. All of our company-wide events are captioned; I don’t even have to request it, which is huge for me. I’ve even been asked to advise some of our research and engineering teams as they explore new accessible products for our Deaf and hard-of-hearing users. 

Feeling so inspired by Google’s work in this space, I recently changed roles and am now Google’s Accessibility Education Program Manager on the Central Accessibility team. I'm helping to educate Googlers on how to design accessible products for our users. 

A question for both of you: Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers with disabilities?

Holly: My advice for others is to ask for what you need to be successful. Don’t be afraid to share your disability accommodation needs with recruiters. Companies like Google that value diversity will focus on what you bring to the table and will gladly provide disability accommodations to help remove barriers that prevent you from getting to that table in the first place.

Tricia: Google is a place that values diverse perspectives, and we want to hear from you. We have a Candidate Accommodations team in place to support you during the interview process and will facilitate the initial call with your recruiter to match your needs. If you need an accommodation, don't hesitate to let your recruiter or sourcer know. Your recruiter can engage the Candidate Accommodations team to support the initial phone call all the way through the onsite interviews.

Holly Slonaker finds career growth and accessibility at Google

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s installment is a little different because we’ll be talking to two Googlers: Holly Slonaker, a Program Manager and member of the Deafglers community at Google, and Tricia Martines, the recruiter who worked with Holly throughout the interview process. They’ll share how Google is striving to support candidates with the accommodations they need during interviews.

Holly, what prompted you to apply for a job at Google?

Holly:This was my first time applying to Google. I had been at my previous company for nine years and was looking for new career growth opportunities. I applied on Google’s career website and didn’t know anyone at the company. I never really expected to hear back, as Google was such a pie-in-the-sky company to work for. I was surprised and delighted when Tricia reached out to me about the role! 

What was that first conversation with Tricia, your recruiter, like?

Holly: I remember my heart beating out of my chest when I saw the first email from Tricia. I couldn’t believe Google was interested in me! I was initially worried about needing accommodations for the phone interviews, but Tricia quickly put me at ease and assured me that she’d make sure I had what I needed, which made me feel incredibly valued as a candidate. I could then focus on preparing for my interview answers rather than worrying about whether I would be able to hear the questions. 

What accommodations were especially helpful during your interview process?

Holly: Being deaf, the job search process can present some unique barriers. From my first interaction with Tricia, I knew this experience was going to be different. She went above and beyond to make sure I had everything I needed to be as successful as a hearing candidate. We typed questions and responses live in a shared Google doc for the initial screening, and remote captioning was provided for all of my phone and in-person interviews. She even communicated the offer to me over the Google Hangouts chat app, so I was sure to capture all the details correctly and was still able to experience the excitement of a live offer.

Tricia, what resources did you use to help Holly prepare for her interview?

Tricia: We initially had conversations over a shared Google Doc to discuss the role and what to expect through the interview process. For the first interview, our Candidate Accomodations team was able to provide captioning services for Holly over a Google Hangout. The team was able to coordinate details for the onsite interview as well. Holly and I stayed in touch at each stage so I could answer questions and share with Holly what to expect along the way. We were so excited that Holly ultimately accepted the offer!

Holly, now that you’re a full-time Googler, how has Google continued to create an inclusive workplace for you?

Holly: The positive hiring experience has carried over for me as a Googler, with continued support from my managers, the Accommodations team and our employee-run Deafglers and Disability Alliance groups. A captioner joins all of my meetings, which is especially crucial in this new working-from-home normal we’re working in. All of our company-wide events are captioned; I don’t even have to request it, which is huge for me. I’ve even been asked to advise some of our research and engineering teams as they explore new accessible products for our Deaf and hard-of-hearing users. 

Feeling so inspired by Google’s work in this space, I recently changed roles and am now Google’s Accessibility Education Program Manager on the Central Accessibility team. I'm helping to educate Googlers on how to design accessible products for our users. 

A question for both of you: Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers with disabilities?

Holly: My advice for others is to ask for what you need to be successful. Don’t be afraid to share your disability accommodation needs with recruiters. Companies like Google that value diversity will focus on what you bring to the table and will gladly provide disability accommodations to help remove barriers that prevent you from getting to that table in the first place.

Tricia: Google is a place that values diverse perspectives, and we want to hear from you. We have a Candidate Accommodations team in place to support you during the interview process and will facilitate the initial call with your recruiter to match your needs. If you need an accommodation, don't hesitate to let your recruiter or sourcer know. Your recruiter can engage the Candidate Accommodations team to support the initial phone call all the way through the onsite interviews.

Navy veteran Meghan Wilkens finds camaraderie at Google

Welcome to the latest installment of “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 Meghan Wilkens, a Navy veteran who’s now a Program Manager on the Google Technical Services team (known as gTech). Meghan started her journey to Google by attending what has become Google’s Veteran Career Series, an annual career development event for the U.S. veteran community. (If you're interested in learning more about Google culture, job opportunities, and more to help your job search like Meghan did, you can register for the series here.)

You grew up in a Navy family. What was that like?

I grew up all over the world. I spent a lot of my childhood moving from country to country and experiencing different cultures. It was an amazing way to grow up, because it really opened my eyes to the world.

After graduating from Marquette University with a degree in advertising, I decided to follow my father's footsteps and enter the Navy. I commissioned as a Supply Officer and served in the Navy for nearly 10 years. It was an incredible experience and I attribute much of the person I am today to the experiences I had in the service.  

As I began looking at shifting out of the military, I completed my MBA from UNC Chapel Hill and, for the first time, looked at opportunities outside of the service.

What was it like to attend the Google Student Veteran Summit? 

When I attended the Google Student Veteran Summit back in 2018, the group of vets that came in to speak to us shared their stories on how they arrived at Google. The truly surprising part was how many different paths and various walks of life people came from. Being in the military full time, I knew that getting an internship at Google would be a stretch for me. But the shared experiences from the veteran panelists and the conversations I had with current vet employees inspired me. I decided I had nothing to lose and I applied anyway. Looking back, I am so very glad I did!

During my internship, I made a point to volunteer at the 2019 Google Student Veteran Summit. Being on the other side of the panel was a very different experience but no less rewarding. I am so glad to be back at Google full time and I intend to make veteran engagement a big part of my life at Google.

What’s your role at Google now?

I am currently a Program Manager on the gTech Central Functions team. I work on business planning and cost management within my team. Things have been very different in this new COVID-19 environment and, as a mother to two young children, it has been challenging at times.  My team has been nothing but supportive as I manage my work and my children during their remote learning.  

What inspires you at work every day?

I truly appreciate how we work to make information accessible and practical for everyone, everywhere. Coming from a mission-centric and service-driven role in the military, it is awesome to be at a company where I feel like my work is still in service to others. Being part of such a great team of people who are all working towards that same mission is really wonderful, and it creates an aspect of camaraderie that I felt during my time in the Navy.  

How did the recruitment process go for you?

Once I entered the interview process, I was so nervous about not answering in the best way or not making a good impression, but I was also thrilled to be interviewing with such a cool company and with some really unique teams. My recruiters were incredibly helpful and were dedicated to finding a team that matched my skill set.  

Following the MBA internship, I entered the conversion process to convert from an intern into a full time employee. That process was also exceptionally smooth and I felt the conversion team I worked with was really looking out for my best interests.

Anything you wish you’d known when you started the process?

I wish I had more knowledge about some of the departments and teams within Google prior to starting here. Google has so many different product offerings and the roles people have within the company vary so vastly. It is incredible to see the different projects people work on within Google.

Finally, do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?

I think my biggest takeaway during this process is to not doubt myself. I didn't think I would get past the application process and, after getting interviews, I still thought I wouldn't get into the internship program.  I'm so glad I had enough gusto to at least try.

I hope aspiring Googlers apply for the positions they want without doubting themselves. You have nothing to lose by applying. Go for it!

Gabriel Jimenez knows the power of different perspectives

Welcome to the latest 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 Gabriel Jimenez, a Product Marketing Manager in our Singapore office. He’s passionate about helping people, both in his work supporting job seekers and in helping build space for underrepresented groups at Google.


What were some of the most important things you learned while growing up?

I grew up the youngest of three kids with parents from Mexico and Puerto Rico in Temple City, California. I was raised to respectfully speak my mind, to open my heart and home to those who need help and to never let the status quo or expectations limit me. 


The last one became particularly important in my sophomore year of high school, when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by issues with fatigue, sleep, memory and mood. It is an invisible disability that I didn’t get comfortable with openly discussing until I went to college.


I attended the University of Pennsylvania, where I studied International Development. Penn gave me incredible opportunities for growth, helping me solidify my queer identity and experience with my disability. But observing the stark divides in experiences across socioeconomics, race, ability and sexuality also helped me become more aware of how I use my privilege in spaces where folks are underrepresented. I currently live in Singapore, where I try to lend a hand to NGOs supporting migrant workers and the LBGTQ+ communities.


What’s your role at Google?

I’m a Product Marketing Manager working on Next Billion Users products in Southeast Asia. While there are over three billion people already online, another billion are expected to come online in the next four years. They predominantly only use mobile devices, often struggle with data connection, and generally have an understandable mistrust of the internet. I work with engineers, UX designers and product managers to make sure that Google’s mission rings true for everyone, everywhere.


I'm currently working on Kormo Jobs, an app that connects job seekers with businesses looking to hire. Given the impact COVID-19 has had on unemployment, it's critical we build platforms that not only help job seekers find good jobs, but also help candidates present the best version of themselves to potential employers.


What inspires you to log on every day?

Google is the type of place that not only lets you respectfully question the status quo, but also expects you to do so to make our products more accessible to and inclusive of everyone. As a queer Latino with a disability, I know that the representation of voices from communities I identify with is still far below where I’d like it to be at Google. That’s why the culture of welcoming a different perspective, even amongst our highest leaders, still keeps me invested in Google. It lets me know that I can use my privilege to enact a meaningful change for those who aren’t in the room with me just yet.


What made you decide to apply to Google?

Like many liberal arts students without a “technical” degree, I hadn’t thought of Google as a place I could work. If I’m candid, I really didn’t know how to manage the transition from academic life to professional life. Although quite successful in their own right, my parents did not graduate from university and didn’t know how to advise me on the types of careers I was interested in. I was worried that the accommodations and processes I had developed to navigate my disability as a student wouldn’t be available in a work setting. 


Halfway through college I learned about Google’s BOLD Internship program through Lime Connect, an organization that prepares and connects university students and professionals who happen to have disabilities for scholarships, internships and full time careers.


After attending just one information session and doing some research on Google’s career site, I quickly discovered how expansive Google’s work is—including entire teams dedicated to improving internet access in developing countries—and how Google aims to make interview accommodations that set candidates up for success.


What resources did you use to prepare for your interview?

Because I knew I was interviewing for a role related to Google Ads for small to medium businesses (SMBs), I read updates on new Ads features and watched YouTube videos directed at SMBs. My goal was to understand how Google explained its values to small business advertisers. Being able to articulate that showed the interviewer that I really focused on helping the user, which is a top priority for any current or potential Googler.


Any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?

Stop thinking of your career as jobs you want to have. Instead, think of your career as things you want to learn or problems and challenges you want to solve. Not only will you become a much more interesting and thoughtful candidate, but you will better recognize how seemingly unrelated roles are actually perfect for you.