Intern Spotlights – Jeanie Pearson

Jeanie is a Portland, OR, native, who’s currently a sophomore studying computer science at MIT. She’s been programming since her freshman year of high school, and has loved it ever since. She’s also involved in the Society of Women Engineers in both the MIT chapter and the regional leadership. In her spare time, she enjoys dancing, as well as doing outreach projects to introduce girls to STEM fields.

What inspired you to apply to this internship? What about Google made you want to be an intern here?
Last summer, I participated in the Google Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI). I had always been interested in computer science at Google from hearing about all of the cool projects happening here, but after attending CSSI, I was sold. For three weeks, I learned about coding from Google engineers. I got to spend all of my time in the Google Cambridge office, and interact with interns and full-time employees. Everyone that I talked to was really friendly and passionate about what they were doing at Google, which made me really excited about the prospect of working here!
What was your path to Google like?
Before Google, I had two other internships. I worked at Rockwell Collins after my junior year of high school. I worked on Heads-Up Displays for pilots. This internship was a combination of engineering and CS, and it helped me decide that computer science was what I wanted to focus on, despite my interests in engineering. The summer after my senior year, I interned at Intel. I also attended CSSI.

What team are you on? What stands out to you about your co-workers?
I’m on the Search Actions team. We work on the Google Voice Search project. Anytime you say something like “OK Google, make a call” or “OK Google, play music,” you’re using a search action. All of my coworkers are extremely friendly and approachable! It is a fun and inviting team to work with. There are weekly team lunches, and we’re starting an “Actions Olympiad” where every two weeks, subsets of the team face off in a friendly competition. Aside from the fun, everyone is great about answering questions. You can tell that they all really care about the product and each of the team members.

Can you give us a high-level overview of your project? What part of the project do you find most interesting and why?
My project is creating a tool to help developers on teams outside of Search Actions easily create actions without having to know in depth about how our code works. Instead, they just have to specify the things that are unique to their action. Since I’m an Engineering Practicum intern, my podmate and I are working on this together. I’m more interested in backend, and my podmate is more interested in frontend, so we were able to split the project so that we both got parts that we enjoy doing! I’m happy about my half because I get to work directly with the Actions team’s code and gain a deeper understanding of how it works.
What’s your typical day like?
In a typical day, I come in to work around 9 and grab breakfast. I start working at my desk, which is right across from my podmate’s. I’ll talk with my hosts and other co-workers who are helping with my project. Around noon, I’ll grab lunch at one of the many (42!) cafes. (I have a goal of eating at all of the cafes this summer). I’ll eat with other interns or with my team. After lunch, I’ll probably have a meeting with my whole team, or a 1:1 with one of my hosts or my mentor. At the end of the workday, I usually take a dance class on Google campus or at a nearby studio. One of my hosts teaches a jazz class that I take every Wednesday, and she sometimes attends other classes with me! After dance, I’ll grab dinner and head home.

Has there been anything that has surprised you about working at Google?
I was surprised by how many different things you can get done on campus! Last summer, I got a small taste of that at the Cambridge office, but at the Mountain View office, you can really do almost everything here. I especially love all of the fitness options -there is a yoga class happening here 24/7. You can really tell that Google cares about their employees and values a strong work-life balance.

You work in the Mountain View office. Is there a particular place or room on campus that you really like?
I really like the ball pit! I’ve had a couple of fun times splashing around in it during my lunch breaks.
What’s something you’ve accomplished during your internship that you’re most proud of? Or something you’re looking forward to working on?
I’m looking forward to seeing my tool being used by real developers! The first iteration is very close to complete, and I’m excited to see how it is received.

Do you have any words of advice to aspiring Google interns?
I think the most important thing is to have confidence! Don’t let yourself get discouraged if you think that others are smarter or more experienced than you. This can prevent you from taking the opportunities that come to you, because you may assume that you’ll fail. You don’t have to be the smartest person to be successful, and confidence will definitely help. You should go after every opportunity that you have because even if all of them aren’t successful, just having the experience is a success in and of itself.

What does “being Googley” mean to you?
Being Googley means always doing the right thing. This goes hand-in-hand with the “don’t be evil” motto.

Posted by Ariana Palombo, Online Hiring & Insights Team