Tag Archives: Googlers

How this Google intern is spending her summer

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns, apprentices 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 Micka Alencar, an intern from Brazil who’s spending her summer on the Google Cloud team.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I study production engineering at the Federal University of São Carlos in Sorocaba, Brazil. This summer, I’m interning for the Google Cloud team! Helping people really energizes me, so I also volunteer with local community projects in my free time, like teaching English classes to children. Outside of that, I like to watch anime and spend time with my family.

What do you do at Google?

I’m a Google Cloud Strategy and Sales Operations intern. In this role, I research cloud market trends and look for opportunities to grow our Google Cloud business in Latin America. Right now, I'm working on two main projects: developing a more structured onboarding process for our sales team, and building a framework for measuring our team’s progress.

Why did you apply to Google?

I decided to apply for an internship at Google because of how closely the company's values ​​align with mine. I’ve always dreamed of working at a place where I wouldn’t just be a number, but an important part of something bigger. At Google, my work is relevant, I’m heard and I can be myself without any judgment or fear.

How did your interview process go?

Google’s interview process was different from what I was used to. Here, you’re evaluated across a broad set of skills, not just your technical abilities. Both of my interviewers were very kind, and they made me feel comfortable from the start. They helped turn that evaluative moment into a pressure-free conversation where I could share my points of view, ideas and, ultimately, who I truly am.

Micka, in a black dress, poses with three other family members. They are wearing formal clothing and have bouquets of flowers behind them.

Micka and her family, who she credits with playing a big role in her professional development.

How did you prepare for your interviews?

To prepare for my interviews, I reflected on critical moments in my life and career and crafted a narrative around them. I also visited Google’s Careers site for interview tips and did several rounds of mock interviews with my friends.

How has it been working remotely?

Amazing! My onboarding process was so well organized, and my team has given me the support I need to succeed in this internship. And even though I’m working remotely, I recently met my team in person at the São Paulo office. This was an important moment for us to get to know each other even better.

Any advice you’d give to aspiring Google interns?

First, be authentic and don't try to fit into patterns or create false appearances. At Google, individuality is highly appreciated and is an important part of the candidate selection process. Second, don't diminish yourself in any way — you can be whoever you want to be. And if you think you can work at Google, then you can! And finally, dedicate yourself to your dream and believe strongly in your capabilities.

Meet Nathalia Silva, a Cloud Googler and DEI leader

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 how they prepared for interviews.

Today’s post features Nathalia Silva — a Toronto-based program manager on the Google Cloud Learning team, and a leader of two employee resource groups supporting Latino Googlers.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your role at Google?

I work on the Google Cloud Learning team, whose mission is to train and certify millions of people on Google Cloud. As a program manager, I oversee processes that help design learning content, offerings and solutions for Google Cloud professionals. Outside of my core work, I’m a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) advocate, Star Wars fan and soccer lover — Fluminense is my favorite team!

How did you first become interested in tech?

I grew up in Rio de Janeiro, a beautiful city in Brazil. My mom and dad always believed in the power of education, but good high schools are expensive in my hometown. They both worked hard to provide access to a quality education for me and my brother. Through my parents' efforts and the support of my grandparents, uncles and aunts, I was able to attend an engineering university. Once I got there, I earned an academic scholarship to study in Toronto. After moving to Canada, most of my new friends were computer science students. They used to tell me about their projects and assignments, which inspired me to start studying computer science and eventually join the tech world.

Why did you apply to work at Google?

While working with local tech communities in Toronto, I met many Googlers who always spoke highly of their jobs and the company culture. This made me want to join the Google family. I also always wanted to work at a global company that fosters curiosity, and Google definitely does that. Most of my teammates love traveling and learning about different cultures — just like me!

Nathalia standing in front of a neon Google sign.

Nathalia in the office.

How did you first get involved in DEI work?

Being a first-generation Latina has helped shape my passion for DEI initiatives. Like many other first-gen college students, I struggled with financial challenges, racial discrimination, frequent homesickness and a lack of networking opportunities. So I founded an academic club offering networking events, workshops and career guidance to college students in Toronto. The club earned several academic awards and has evolved into a group that aims to connect women and kickstart their careers in tech.

How have you continued your DEI advocacy work at Google?

In addition to my previous work supporting groups such as women in tech and immigrants in Canada, I've always looked for a chance to help the Latino community. Once I started working at Google, I got involved with [email protected] Google, an employee resource group that creates community for Latino Googlers and allies. Today, I am a global lead for [email protected] and a founder of our local chapter, [email protected] Toronto.

Nathalia poses in front of a large Android statue (which is dressed up as a cowboy).

Nathalia at Google’s Austin office during a Women in Tech conference in 2019.

What was it like interviewing for Google?

I loved every minute of it. My recruiter was really supportive, which helped make the process feel much more straightforward. It was also amazing to meet many different Googlers. Every Googler who interviewed me was attentive and supportive, which made a big difference in my interview performance.

Any tips for aspiring Googlers?

Never stop learning. Once you get an interview at Google, I recommend visiting both the Google Careers site and, if applicable to the role you’re applying for, Google Cloud’s training website. I didn't have much experience working with the cloud, so Google Cloud's training website was a key tool for me. It houses a number of resources to help you better understand core cloud products and services. Attending community events can also be helpful, since you get access to industry content and networking sessions.

Any advice for your past self?

I wish I could tell my past self to never stop believing in my potential. For some time, I doubted if I could get a job at Google, and this brought a lot of stress and anxiety into my life. Once I fully believed in my capabilities and knowledge, I built the confidence to apply to the role that I have now!

Meet Nathalia Silva, a Cloud Googler and DEI leader

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 how they prepared for interviews.

Today’s post features Nathalia Silva — a Toronto-based program manager on the Google Cloud Learning team, and a leader of two employee resource groups supporting Latino Googlers.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your role at Google?

I work on the Google Cloud Learning team, whose mission is to train and certify millions of people on Google Cloud. As a program manager, I oversee processes that help design learning content, offerings and solutions for Google Cloud professionals. Outside of my core work, I’m a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) advocate, Star Wars fan and soccer lover — Fluminense is my favorite team!

How did you first become interested in tech?

I grew up in Rio de Janeiro, a beautiful city in Brazil. My mom and dad always believed in the power of education, but good high schools are expensive in my hometown. They both worked hard to provide access to a quality education for me and my brother. Through my parents' efforts and the support of my grandparents, uncles and aunts, I was able to attend an engineering university. Once I got there, I earned an academic scholarship to study in Toronto. After moving to Canada, most of my new friends were computer science students. They used to tell me about their projects and assignments, which inspired me to start studying computer science and eventually join the tech world.

Why did you apply to work at Google?

While working with local tech communities in Toronto, I met many Googlers who always spoke highly of their jobs and the company culture. This made me want to join the Google family. I also always wanted to work at a global company that fosters curiosity, and Google definitely does that. Most of my teammates love traveling and learning about different cultures — just like me!

Nathalia standing in front of a neon Google sign.

Nathalia in the office.

How did you first get involved in DEI work?

Being a first-generation Latina has helped shape my passion for DEI initiatives. Like many other first-gen college students, I struggled with financial challenges, racial discrimination, frequent homesickness and a lack of networking opportunities. So I founded an academic club offering networking events, workshops and career guidance to college students in Toronto. The club earned several academic awards and has evolved into a group that aims to connect women and kickstart their careers in tech.

How have you continued your DEI advocacy work at Google?

In addition to my previous work supporting groups such as women in tech and immigrants in Canada, I've always looked for a chance to help the Latino community. Once I started working at Google, I got involved with [email protected] Google, an employee resource group that creates community for Latino Googlers and allies. Today, I am a global lead for [email protected] and a founder of our local chapter, [email protected] Toronto.

Nathalia poses in front of a large Android statue (which is dressed up as a cowboy).

Nathalia at Google’s Austin office during a Women in Tech conference in 2019.

What was it like interviewing for Google?

I loved every minute of it. My recruiter was really supportive, which helped make the process feel much more straightforward. It was also amazing to meet many different Googlers. Every Googler who interviewed me was attentive and supportive, which made a big difference in my interview performance.

Any tips for aspiring Googlers?

Never stop learning. Once you get an interview at Google, I recommend visiting both the Google Careers site and, if applicable to the role you’re applying for, Google Cloud’s training website. I didn't have much experience working with the cloud, so Google Cloud's training website was a key tool for me. It houses a number of resources to help you better understand core cloud products and services. Attending community events can also be helpful, since you get access to industry content and networking sessions.

Any advice for your past self?

I wish I could tell my past self to never stop believing in my potential. For some time, I doubted if I could get a job at Google, and this brought a lot of stress and anxiety into my life. Once I fully believed in my capabilities and knowledge, I built the confidence to apply to the role that I have now!

On World Refugee Day, three Googlers tell their stories

By the end of 2021, the number of people around the world who were forcibly displaced totaled a staggering 89.3 million. Of this milestone number, 27.1 million are refugees.

But behind these massive numbers are individuals with their own unique stories, journeys and experiences. In honor ofWorld Refugee Day, we sat down with three Googlers to hear about their background as refugees and the stories that brought them to Google.

From left to right, three headshots featuring the interviewees.

From left to right: Miher Ahmad, Account Strategist; Augustine Wiah, Product Operations; Mustapha Fadel, Analytical Lead Associate

Can you tell us about how you got to Google?

Mustapha: My journey started in Southern Lebanon, in a small city called Tyre. At the age of 4, I came with my family to the U.S. to flee the war and get medical treatment for my sister who was suffering from cancer. When my sister passed away, my family and I did a lot of soul searching and asked the question, “Should we stay or should we go?” Given that our property back home was lost in the war, we decided to start over in the U.S. At just 7 years old, I was translating for my parents and helping them navigate daily tasks and life in the U.S. As a result, I had to learn to be autonomous and independent much more quickly than the average child. This resilience and grit paved the way to Google, which — as cliche as it sounds — has always been my dream workplace. Today, I’m an Analytical Lead Associate for the Large Customer Sales team.

Miher: I was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. As a child, we were forced to flee our homeland from drought, famine and war. Eventually, after being separated from my father for almost five years, we were reunited in Antwerp, Belgium, which became my new home. I vividly remember the day of our arrival and being so excited to go to school and play with other children. After graduating university with a focus on finance, I didn’t initially consider working for Google — but after some research, I gave it a shot. During the interview process, I was so amazed by the culture and decided to pursue working for Google, which gave me the opportunity to work in a dynamic environment with amazing people as an Account Strategist.

Augustine: The Liberian Civil War forced many into exile, including my family. In 1993, we sought refuge in Ghana and I spent most of my formative years at a refugee camp there. As a kid, you’re almost unaware of the magnitude of suffering around you because mothers everywhere, like mine, do everything they can to provide a sense of normality. Fast forward 13 years, I found myself in Oklahoma City where the possibility of college and a career now seemed within reach, but the potential of working at Google seemed impossible. Upon graduating from college, I started my career in technical recruiting and it was this opportunity that exposed me to the larger tech industry. After three years, I eventually landed a role with Google as a technical recruiter and never looked back.

How has your background influenced your work?

Augustine: I’ve always looked towards my community for safety. Navigating a new culture and custom in the U.S. at the age of 15 strengthened my ability to connect with different people. Whether I’m engaging with senior leaders and peers or volunteering on a project, my ability to connect with people and build authentic relationships has been the single most important way my background has influenced my work.

Miher: Since I was young, I’ve had to learn how to navigate new and unknown environments. This helped me to develop a good understanding on how to gear my communication towards a diverse set of people with different needs and interests — especially when working with colleagues, clients and stakeholders.

What motivates you at your job?

Mustapha: For me, my motivation to succeed is akin to my motivation to survive. Coming to the U.S. as a child, we had no money to support ourselves. No generational wealth to lean on. No English skills. No degrees to obtain jobs. The reality for many immigrants — refugees in particular — is that you are simultaneously responsible for your own survival in addition to that of your parents and future children. My success is directly correlated to three generations’ ability to live with comfort and dignity, and there is no plan B or backup to lean on.

Augustine: I’m inspired by the opportunities for growth. Once upon a time, opportunities were scarce and the possibilities of a brighter tomorrow were faint. I remind myself of the opportunities I’ve been afforded, and how showing up has had a material and substantive impact on my family.

What advice do you have for people who want to work at Google?

Miher: Be yourself and be confident. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback, guidance and mentorship from others. There is so much we can learn from each other!

Augustine: Remain authentic and work tirelessly on improving your strengths. There is no “average” Googler, so lean into your unique strengths. If you can optimize for that, there’s a place for you at Google.

Mustapha: Tap into your empathy, compassion, creativity and your patience. The rest will follow.

How a food cart gig prepared this Googler to be a designer

When Conrad Bassett-Bouchard was interviewing for a product design job at Google, there was one question he didn’t think he could answer. “I was going through my final round of interviews and I was told they would ask me to talk about my ‘cross-functional collaboration’ experience,” he says. A grad student who hadn’t worked in tech before, Conrad didn’t think he had anything to talk about. “But my recruiter said to me, ‘Well, didn’t you work on a food truck?’”

Conrad had, in fact, worked on a food truck — well, actually a food cart. And it’s an infamous one, if you live in Portland, Oregon, like Conrad and me. The food cart, which closed in recent years, specialized in grilled cheeses of every sort, shape and variety. Instead of moving locations like the typical food truck would, the cart took up residence next to a converted bus that served as seating for customers. But Conrad learned more than how to make the perfect grilled cheese: I recently caught up with him to find out about how his culinary past helped him land a role at — and succeed within — Google.

Lesson 1: How to stay cool under pressure

As a UX designer currently working on the Google Fi team, Conrad’s job is to lay out what an app or other type of software will look like in a way that’s fun and engaging for a person to use. It’s a role that requires a lot of input, from research to product teams, so he knows what it’s like to balance various needs. “You’ve got lots of different people who have lots of different perspectives,” he says. “And my job is to synthesize these perspectives and understand what they’re saying, and ultimately use that to create something people will want to use.” There’s a certain amount of pressure that can come with his role — and his job in food service prepared him for it. He remembers that on the busiest days at the cart, hoards of people would be ordering, different requests would be thrown around and the crew would have multiple grills full of multiple grilled sandwiches…all grilling simultaneously. “We’d be taking in directions from every angle,” he says. “And…honestly, that was way harder than even my busiest days at Google!”

Lesson 2: How to get into a flow state when things are fast-paced

Speaking of those hectic days…Conrad sort of liked them. “The best part of working there was definitely when we were really busy and I was on the grill — which could fit 16 sandwiches at a time.” Conrad needed to know how grilled each sandwich was, what was on them, what lettuces or sauces needed to come next. “You would get completely in the zone, and everything would just be working out,” he says. “It was definitely an adrenaline rush.” In fact, he says it feels similar to the flow state he can get into when he’s designing — a sort of perfect work mindset where he’s able to get through tasks fluidly, moving from solving one thing to the next. It doesn’t mean that the work is easy, it’s just that all the tools to find the answers are right there, at the right moment.

Lesson 3: How to find your peers, purpose…and pods

“Maybe this makes me sound like a food snob…but Portland and Austin have food carts — they stay in one place, they’re stationary,” Conrad says. “Everywhere else, you’ve got tons of food trucks…but that’s a whole different experience.” The difference, he says, is community. At a food cart, for example, other food carts will pop up — maybe a beer cart, too, or maybe a brewery will take over the empty building next store. “Then you’ll see a clothing pop-up nearby, someone adds a fire pit and a roof cover,” he says. “A little community forms around a food cart pod.” (Again, as a fellow Portlander, he’s extremely right.) “People were just really happy to be there — it wasn’t just about picking up food and walking away,” he adds. That welcoming vibe is what made Conrad want to work there, and it’s something that’s important to him at Google, too. He also mentions that the food cart owner stood out among others in the food industry; he really cared about the people who worked for him. Likewise, Conrad says, the tech industry can be cutthroat, but at Google — and especially within his direct team — he’s always felt like there’s a sense that his colleagues and managers want to take care of each other.

How Ken advocates for small businesses and LGBTQ+ Googlers

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 how they prepared for interviews.

Today’s post features Ken Zhang, a New York City-based account strategist, a member of our PRIDE at Google employee resource group and an advocate for LGBTQ+ Googlers.

What’s your role at Google?

I'm the U.S. East Coast Lead of the Scaled Account Strategist cohort on the Google Customer Solutions (GCS) team. In other words, I do account management. I work with a range of clients, from some of the nation's top marketing agencies to small community businesses, to advise on ways they can grow their accounts using Google Ads. Outside of my core role, I also serve on the board for the PRIDE at Google chapter within GCS, a group for Googlers in our organization who identify as LGBTQ+ or allies.

Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?

I'm a first-generation Asian American and a member of the LGBTQ+ community. I actually grew up next to Google's Irvine campus in California — which first inspired me to want to work here! After high school, I studied economics at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) — go Tritons! At UCSD, I won a scholarship from the Prism Foundation, which uplifts LGBTQ+ Asian and Pacific Islanders by raising funds and mobilizing resources to eliminate social, economic and structural barriers to success. Through this scholarship, I met several board members who worked at Google and encouraged me to apply. During college, I also attended Out for Undergrad's Tech Conference, which is designed to inspire LGBTQ+ students to pursue ambitious careers. There, I met even more mentors who spoke highly of Google's culture, particularly the amount of LGBTQ+ Googlers in leadership positions.

What does your typical workday look like right now?

When I go to the office, my typical day starts with a bike ride to work. Once I arrive, I usually grab coffee with my coworkers before going through my inbox. The rest of my day varies depending on deadlines and client needs. This can include preparing for client calls, attending trainings on topics like the future of ads measurement, speaking to customers about potential solutions for reaching performance targets, and blocking off time for deep focus. I also try to use my lunch time to meet fellow Googlers. The amazing people I get to work with make my job feel like college again in the best ways possible.

What motivates you to log in every day?

I’m motivated to do this work because both my core role and my PRIDE at GCS role allow me to give back. My work as a Scaled Account Strategist is so rewarding because I can help small businesses grow. And I love my involvement with PRIDE at GCS because of the impact we make in our local communities and for Googlers through efforts like career mentorship programs, allyship trainings and volunteer opportunities to support LGBTQ+-owned businesses here in New York.

Ken smiling in his Noogler hat. Sunlight is pouring in from a nearby window.

Ken during his virtual Noogler orientation.

How did the application and interview process go for you?

I interviewed and started at Google during the beginning of the pandemic, so all of my interviews were virtual. But surprisingly, that didn't affect my connection with my interviewers! I remember during my final video interview with my soon-to-be manager, he was still able to paint a beautiful and honest image of Google’s culture. This made me feel connected to him and the company as a whole.

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

Google has some great online classes to develop skills for high-demand roles. I personally took courses on Google Ads to prepare for my interviews. They taught me the fundamentals of Google’s Search, Display, Shopping and Video platforms, which helped me better frame my answers during interviews. My recruiter also spoke about the importance of using the S.T.A.R. method — the process of answering questions by highlighting the situation, task, action and result.

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

Don't be afraid to be yourself! The support I've received from teammates has propelled me to do my best work. Last year, I participated in an internal panel during Pride Month and was blown away by the heartwarming messages I received from Googlers I hadn’t even met. In fact, if I could go back in time and give myself one tip before applying, it’d be to get ready to meet so many new role models and make friends I deeply care about.

This Googler turned her passion for branding into a career

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 entail and how they prepared for interviews.

Today’s post features Tennessee Watt — a London-based associate product marketing manager. Tennessee has lots of advice to share about interviewing at Google, especially because she applied four different times before landing on the brand and reputation team!

What’s your role at Google?

I'm in the Associate Product Marketing Manager program, which is a rotational development program for early-career marketers. In my current rotation, I work on Google's brand and reputation team. More specifically, my work is aligned to our platforms and ecosystems (P&E) product area, which means I get to develop campaigns that promote Google's offering for developers and other technologists. As part of this work, I recently led the refresh of P&E’s social media strategy, resulting in a full reconsideration of our audiences’ wants and, consequently, the content we offer.

What’s a typical work day like?

My work day usually starts with a double espresso and a look through my to-do list. Most of my team is based in the U.S., so my mornings tend to be clear of meetings. As a result, I use this time to work on documents like event strategies and creative briefs. In the afternoon, I usually attend a few team meetings for each of my projects. During those sessions, my team and I touch base on progress, set goals for the week and brainstorm ideas. Outside of my core role, I'm a member of the Inclusive Marketing Consultants group, so I also help review marketing campaigns before they launch, ensuring they meet Google's standards for inclusive marketing.

Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?

I grew up in London and was interested in tech from a young age. I was 4 when I got my first computer, and was 14 when I learned video editing. During this time, I also explored other passions — from martial arts to stage school. However, when it came time to decide what to do for work, I knew I wanted to work in a communications role focused on tech. To achieve this, I studied business and finance during undergrad, followed by a master’s degree in management where I specialised in digital innovation. In fact, I even wrote my dissertation on the Google Ads business model, which definitely helped launch my career in digital marketing!

How did you end up working at Google?

Before starting in my current role, I actually applied to Google three times, each unsuccessfully, before deciding to take a year's break to gain some more experience and mentorship before applying again. Using that time to focus on my passions made all the difference. When I applied for the fourth and final time, I felt much more confident because I was far more certain of my abilities and what I brought to the table!

How did you prepare for your Google interviews?

I started by creating an elevator pitch to neatly discuss my past experiences, the skills I bring to a team and the quantified impact I'd had in past roles (campaign engagements, sign ups, etc.). I also made sure to read up on, and develop a point of view around, Google's recent projects and commitments related to the role's product area. And finally, I practised answering interview questions using the 'STAR' method — basically, centering my response around the situation, task, action and result.

Any tips for aspiring Googlers?

For behavioural questions ("tell me about a time.."), I suggest answering like you're telling a story about what happened. Your answers have to be structured, of course, but the interviewer wants to know who you really are, so it's important to be authentic so your confidence and passion shines through. I'd also say to be patient! Google's recruitment process can be lengthy and challenging, but it's just as much about you seeing if Google is the right place for you than it is the other way around. And most importantly, figure out what you're good at, what you enjoy doing and what the world needs you to do — then apply to a role that fits!

How Unni’s passion for social impact led him to Google

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns, apprentices and alumni about how they got to Google, what they do in their roles and how they prepared for their interviews.

In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, today’s post features Unni Nair, a senior research strategist on Google’s Responsible Innovation team. As a second-generation Indian American, Unni’s background has helped shape his passion for sustainability and responsible artificial intelligence (AI).

What’s your role at Google?

I’m a senior research strategist on the Responsible Innovation team. In this role, I use Google’s AI Principles to help our teams build products that are both helpful and socially responsible. More specifically, I’m passionate about how we can proactively incorporate responsible AI into emerging technologies to drive sustainable development priorities. For example, I’ve been working with the Google Earth Engine team to align their work with our AI Principles, which we spoke about in a workshop at Google I/O. I helped the team develop a data set — used by governments, companies and researchers — to efficiently display information related to conservation, biodiversity, agriculture and forest management efforts.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, but I lived in many different parts of the U.S., and often traveled internationally, throughout my childhood. Looking back, I realize how fortunate I was to live in and learn from so many different communities at such a young age. As a child of Indian immigrants, I was exposed to diverse ways of life and various forms of inequity. These experiences gave me a unique perspective on the world, helping me see the potential in every human being and nurturing a sense of duty to uplift others. It took dabbling in fields from social work to philosophy, and making lots of mistakes along the way, to figure out how to turn this passion into impact.

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, how else has your background influenced your work?

I’m grateful for having roots in the 5,000+ year-old Indian civilization and am constantly reminded of its value working in Silicon Valley. One notable example that’s influenced my professional life is the concept of Ahimsa — the ethical principle of not causing harm to other living things. While its historical definition has been more spiritually related, in modern day practice I’ve found it’s nurtured a respect for nature and a passion for sustainability and human rights in business. This contemporary interpretation of Ahimsa also encourages me to consider the far-reaching impacts — for better or for worse — that technology can have on people, the environment or society at large.

How did you ultimately end up at Google?

I was itching to work on more technology-driven solutions to global sustainability issues. I started to see that many of the world’s challenges are in part driven by macro forces like rapid globalization and technology growth. However, the sustainability field and development sector were slow to adapt from analog problem solving. I wanted to explore unconventional solutions like artificial intelligence, which is why I taught myself the Python programming language and learned more about AI. I started hearing about Google’s AI-first approach to help users and society, with an emphasis on the need to develop that technology responsibly. So I applied to the Responsible Innovation team for the chance to create helpful technology with social benefit in mind.

Any advice for aspiring Googlers?

Google is one of those rare places where the impact you’re making isn’t just on a narrow band of users — it’s on society at large. So, take the time to reflect on what sort of impact you want to make in the world. Knowing your answer to that question will allow you to weave your past experiences into a cohesive narrative during the interview process. And more importantly, it will also serve as your personal guide when making important decisions throughout your career.

How Google helped me live the dream at the Winter Games

For me, Google has become more than a great place to work. It’s become a place where I can continue to live out my passions — more specifically, my dream to get involved at the recent Beijing Winter Games.

In 2018, I got to work with a broadcasting company at the PyeongChang 2018 Games. But when I accepted an offer from Google Korea and moved from the U.S. to Seoul, I thought that dream was over. But I was wrong. Earlier this year I received the opportunity from the same company I worked for in 2018, to be part of the Beijing Winter Games.

It takes a team to dream

I was ecstatic and over the moon when they extended the opportunity for me to join their logistics team. But I didn’t know if it would be possible to say yes, given my current role and responsibilities at Google. After much thought and consideration (and a lot of encouragement from close peers), I presented the opportunity to my manager, who expressed unconditional support without hesitation. And before I even reached out for help, my colleagues were quick to offer their support to cover my duties while I was out.

I met many people in Beijing who wondered how I could get so much time off from work to be there. I never missed the chance to tell them about my amazing support team at Google that helped make it happen.

One team, one dream

Managing the logistics for the Winter Games during a pandemic is no easy feat. Every day was chaotic — change was a true constant — and there was certainly no shortage of rules and restrictions related to health and safety.

At the Games, I learned about the power of unity, and the amazing outcome that results when a team truly operates as one. The logistics team I worked with consisted of people from all over the world, in different life stages and with varying backgrounds, and every person had a different reason or motivation for being there. Moreover, our team had to work cross-functionally around the clock with many other teams.

If we all operated according to our own needs and desires, it would have been a logistical disaster and an emotional mess. But we instead put our team’s goals first in everything that we did. Despite all of the complexities, especially during the pandemic, and on top of any personal differences, we accomplished our goal as one team.

Quite frequently throughout the Beijing Winter Games everyone would say, “one team, one dream.” It really is incredible, the things that can happen when you put not yourself but the team first.

Google took a big chance by letting me take this opportunity to go to Beijing, and my experience there was something I will never forget. I’ve come back refreshed and rejuvenated, and with a whole new level of gratitude (and skill sets) and a more defined sense of purpose for the work I do here. Sure, the Beijing Winter Games are over, but I can still say that I am living the dream.

Why this Pixel engineer chose Google Taiwan

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns, apprentices 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 Gordon Kuo, a Taiwan-based engineer on the Pixel Mobile Wireless Team. He shares what makes Google Taiwan a unique place for engineers to work and advice for anyone interested in applying to Google.

What’s your role at Google?

I’m an engineering lead on the Pixel Mobile Wireless team. Our goal is to help connect people across the world with Google Pixel phones. We solve hardware and software challenges and work with different teams to improve functionality and performance. We talk about everything from design and bug fixes to performance optimization, which makes every day feel different. I love that no matter what we’re working on, it’s always interesting and helpful.

How did you land in your current role?

After completing my PhD in Computer Networking, I started my career at a Taiwanese integrated circuit (IC) design company. After that, I worked on modems at a technology company in China for several years. During that time, I had a few friends and former colleagues at Google, and when we spoke about their jobs and the company culture, everyone shared really positive experiences. Getting the chance to build a career around work that I enjoy was one of the biggest draws. So I applied and interviewed — and now, two years in, I’m leading a team.

What was your application and interview experience like?

Above everything, my recruiter was really supportive, which helped make the process feel much more straightforward. I actually applied and interviewed for another engineering position at first, but I didn’t end up getting it. I was disappointed at the time, but it wasn’t long before my recruiter shared another position that was even more aligned with my skills and career goals. Finding the right fit doesn’t always happen right away, and I appreciated that my recruiter was so committed to setting me up for success.

What have you learned about leadership since joining Google?

Google is a place where people truly listen and communicate openly. Because of this, I’ve learned to never assume anything. Instead, I put in the time to better understand my team and others we work with. It’s important to stay on the same page when you’re leading a team or project, and that requires respect and regular communication.

What makes Google Taiwan such a special place to work?

Taiwan is home to world-class integrated circuit design companies and is known for its thriving manufacturing industry. There’s a lot of exciting product development work happening here too, and it’s one of our largest sites in Asia. In fact, Taiwan is our largest hardware hub outside of the U.S. — with an engineering team that is uniquely skilled in both software and hardware integration. We collaborate with other functions and teams worldwide, and have opportunities to lead important projects from start to finish. From working on widely used products to building and leading a team, I’ve had growth opportunities here that I couldn’t have imagined just a few years ago. I’m continually inspired by the work we do.

On a more personal note, Taiwan is a relatively small island, easy to get around and nestled between the beach and the mountains — it’s a pretty nice place to work!

You recently participated in a live-streamed event about career opportunities at Google Taiwan. Can you tell us more about that?

The event was aimed at helping potential candidates learn more about technical career opportunities at Google Taiwan and what it’s like to work with us. I really enjoyed the conversation! If anyone is interested, they can watch the recording.

What advice do you have for aspiring Googlers?

Work closely with your recruiter! My recruiter guided me through Google’s interview process, shared tips about how to answer leadership-based questions and gave me insight into what the technical interview would be like. I hadn’t experienced this kind of interview support and care before, and it went a long way in helping me prepare. If you’re applying for an engineering role, I recommend doing programming exercises to practice your coding abilities. I also revisited my textbooks to review material, brushed up on my skills and searched for tips online from previous interviewees. Going through an interview process can be nerve-wracking, but the best thing you can do is just go for it.