Intern Q&A with BOLD Intern Steven

Steven is a rising senior at the University of Pennsylvania, where he studies Communication and Consumer Psychology. He is a BOLD Intern on the Online Hiring and Insights Team. He hails from Miami and may or may not ride his bike four miles to and from In-N-Out Burger each Saturday.

Recently, we asked our Twitter followers to submit internship questions for our intern, Steven, to answer. Here are the results:

Q: Why did you decide to intern at Google?
A: There are so many reasons why I chose to come to Google: The quality of the people, the incredible access interns are given, and the opportunity to impact tons of people’s lives (just to name a few). That said, if I had to pick the one factor that most convinced me, it would be the chance to work on complex, interesting projects. I knew that if I went to Google, I’d be given a high level of responsibility (and wouldn’t have to get coffee for executives...thank goodness!), and the prospect of playing a vital role on projects that mattered to the company and the world really enticed me.

Q: I am enthusiastic and like to brainstorm. What else does Google look for?
A: Those are definitely two characteristics that will take you far! Google looks for four traits in candidates: General cognitive ability, emergent leadership, Googleyness, and role-related knowledge (in that order). Kyle Ewing, Director of Global Staffing Programs, discusses this here, and Laszlo Bock, who heads up People Operations, talks more about it here.

Q: What do you believe is the single most important thing you can do to up your chances?
A: I don’t know if there’s truly a “single most important thing,” because Google doesn’t look for cookie-cutter candidates. There’s no one university or job experience or skill that determines whether or not you get an internship here. However, I would urge you to put a lot of time and thought into your resume. Recruiters look through a huge amount of resumes, so I think it’s crucial to make sure that you’ve highlighted yourself in the best possible way. For tips on improving your resume, check out Laszlo’s posts here, here, and here).

Q: What is your favorite part about working for Google?
A: My favorite part of interning here is the collaborative ethos that exists here. On multiple occasions, I have emailed a Googler who had expertise on some topic that would help me with my projects, and every time, the person has been super excited to help me out and see me succeed (even if they’d never met me before). Usually, it’s very difficult to find people who are not only experts in their fields, but also willing and happy to share their knowledge with others; however, at Google, that’s just business as usual, and I love that about working here.

Q: As an intern, how do you fit into your team at Google?
A: Honestly, it has amazed me how well my team has treated me. I’ve never felt like a second-class individual or been excluded from any meeting or information just because I’m an intern. From day one, they have taken time to make me feel welcome and invaluable to the team. During my time here, we’ve had multiple fun team events, including this Bocce game (we beat our manager). They even brought me a cake and threw me a little party on my birthday. At the risk of sounding cliche, I truly enjoy being around my team, and they are a big reason why I look forward to going to work each day.

Bonus Question: What would you recommend to prepare for Google technical interviews?
A: Since I am not a tech intern, I asked several of my tech intern counterparts, and they mentioned that Cracking the Coding Interview was helpful. Additionally, be sure to check out this article, written by Dean Jackson, an engineer at Google. They also said that it’s very important to practice coding questions (leetcode, codelab, and stackoverflow are good places to practice).