Intern Diary: Alice Chang

Alice is a rising senior at the University of Chicago. She hails from D.C. and has interned at Google twice to date—once in Zurich, and once in Mountain View.

June 26, 2015

Today’s the last day of my second internship at Google! After spending one summer in Zurich and another in Mountain View – Google’s European engineering headquarters and global headquarters, respectively – let’s just say that I’ve had more than my fair share of exciting times. So, I thought it would be fun to go back in time and share a few of my best stories from my two summers here.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll share my intern journey from Zurich to Mountain View and dive into the many incredible experiences I had, including attending the EMEA Tech Intern Summit and launching GWE-MP, a mentorship program for female engineers at Google. But, before I get to all that, let’s start things off with the first page from my travel log, which dates back to my very first day on the job in Zurich in 2014. Happy reading!
June 30, 2014

Just got back from my first day at work! It still feels so surreal. I’ve only been in Switzerland for a few days, but I’m already starting to crave fondue at odd moments. My day was packed with exciting activities and new faces. Here’s a breakdown of everything that happened:
9:00 AM
I arrive at the office. Despite not having gotten much sleep the night before, my excitement quickly puts an end to whatever daze I’m in. First thing on the schedule: getting picked up by my host!
9:30 AM
I meet my co-intern, Han, and my host, Johnny, comes down to greet us. I know I like Johnny right away by the way he whisks us off to give us an impromptu tour of the Google Zurich office (“Zoogle” as it’s affectionately known).

It turns out the Zurich office is pretty amazing. I can hardly believe this is where I’m going to be spending my next three months. Out of all the spaces we visited, here are a few that stood out to me the most:
  • Jungle Lounge. Something straight out of Tarzan: leafy greens and stuffed monkeys everywhere. Gets you in the mood for quality coding, I hear.
  • Water Lounge. My personal favorite. Picture an aquarium crossed with a nap pod. Googlers come here to take a refreshing post-lunch break before getting back to work.
  • Fork(), an Asian café, home to – you guessed it! – zero forks.

After we finish setting up our accounts, Johnny takes some time to familiarize us with our team and project. I’m working on the YouTube MDx (Multi-Device Experience) team, which aims to unify the YouTube experience across different device platforms. Our main feature allows users to pair mobile devices with smart TVs in order to cast YouTube videos directly to the big screen. And, it turns out, Han and I will be coding a feature that makes this experience more social for everyone!

For our project, we’re going to enhance “Multi-User Mode” on YouTube TV, which is activated when multiple users in close range all pair their devices with the same TV. This feature has the potential to improve user experiences for people all across the world. For example, imagine a group of friends hanging out and queuing YouTube videos up on a shared TV. It’d be helpful for everyone to receive feedback when certain social actions occur, such as when someone in the group adds a video to the queue, joins the multi-user session, or leaves it. Our goal is to help everyone stay engaged with exactly what’s happening during their session.

After learning about our projects, we grab lunch with our new team in the main cafeteria, Milliways. There’s a machine that squeezes fresh orange juice on demand – definitely my favorite part of the cafeteria.

2:00 PM
The rest of the day is spent continuing our orientation and running through a few code labs (training tutorials to get Nooglers accustomed to Google’s internal tools and codebase). I’m already learning a lot and starting to feel integrated into the Google ecosystem. We wrap things up and grab dinner downstairs before parting ways and heading home. And with that, I’ve completed my very first day as a Noogler!

I can’t believe how great it is to finally be here. I can already tell it’s going to be an amazing summer.

Posted by Steven Claunch, Online Hiring and Insights Team