We had a chance to speak with intern Lu Chen this summer for the Googler Beta Series, and she shared with us 5 reasons why interning for Google is awesome. Continue below to get Lu's unique perspective on working here at Google.
Interested in being a summer intern at Google? Visit www.google.com/students to apply today.
Name: Lu Chen
Internship Focus: Google Blogger Team
Hobbies: Eating/Hanging around the kitchen; Graphics & Animation
Top 5 Reasons to Intern for Google
1) The People. Without a doubt, the Googlers are truly what makes working here awesome: every person I met was intelligent, dedicated, and just plain cool. Discuss this piece of code? Sure. Switch gears and talk about the latest episode of Top Chef? No sweat. There are smart and cool people at any job, but here at Google, finding them is a sure bet!
2) It's real. Over the course of my internship, I have gotten an accurate taste of what a career in software engineering is actually like. Interns are treated as, and essentially are - full time engineers. I worked within the same codebase and wrote to the same standards as my colleagues. Additionally, my project wasn't some busywork that no one would ever see or use after I left -- rather, I had the pleasure of working on some front-end features that will end up being seen and used by thousands of Blogger users! From the practical experience of working on such a large and fast-paced application, I've learned a lot about web development, product life cycles, and programming in general.
3) Being 'Googley'. Everyone at Google works insanely hard, but there is also a sense of fun that is endorsed by the company culture. During one offsite, I went on a white water rafting trip! Through the intern program, I also had the opportunity to have some fun with my fellow interns: paintball, indoor skydiving, hiking, etc. Alongside all of the fun, there is an unspoken expectation that every Googler knows his workload and gets it accomplished bt the end of the day. I wasn't told what hours to work or where on campus I should work (work next to frozen yogurt machine, anyone?). Not many companies give their employees such trust and freedom, and the culture is one area where Google really outshines its competitors.
4) One big company, lots of diverse opportunities. Although I was a part of the Blogger team, I got to experience and learn much more than Blogger engineering. For example, I took a mini-course on UX (User Experience) sketching and learned how to draft quick prototypes on paper. I even took a seminar on making mochas and espressos! Between tech talks, seminars, and 20% time, Google offers so many opportunities to continue learning. Even in the scope of my own project, it wasn't just daily coding; I had the opportunity to contribute towards the user experience, design, engineering and testing of my feature.
5) Where else will you find a T-Rex being attacked by pink flamingos?
Application Deadline: February 16, 2010
Name: Alex Sydell
School: UC Berkeley
Internship Focus: Search Quality Evaluation Tools
Hobbies: Creating websites and iPhone applications; Rock Climbing; Movies and Volleyball
Q: Hi Alex, thank you for joining us today. Could you briefly explain your summer internship project with Google this summer?
A: Sure. My team creates and maintains tools that are used to evaluate the quality of Google's search results. I worked on a new web-based user interface (UI) that automates part of the evaluation process. My project allows engineers to more intuitively configure some of our tools and quickly get the new configurations into our codebase.
Q: What would you say is for your favorite part of working here at Google?
A: Being surrounded by Googlers! I have never been in a place with so many smart, talented, friendly, and open people. Everyone is easy to approach with a question, whether just asking for directions or having a detailed discussion about a project. And someone always offers a helping hand. It is incredibly easy to make friends at Google because there is a very little sense of superiority and no reservations between Googlers. The atmosphere at Google is second to none.
Q: Could you describe a moment during your summer that will be difficult for you to forget?
Alyssa Daw was offered as an Software Engineering in Test (SET) with Google last winter and prepared vigorously by taking advanced coursework in computer science. "I was absolutely ecstatic when I got an internship at Google and I immediately set out to prepare myself by registering for the most difficult courses that I could for spring quarter," she says.
After her winter quarter, Alyssa was diagnosed with a rare medical condition and, after considering the severity of her situation, she contacted Google to give up her offer. "I called my manager to say that he could find someone else," she says. "But instead of taking me up on my offer, he offered to hold the job for me for as long as I wanted it - even if it meant finding shorter projects in case I needed to start late."
Alyssa joined Google this summer in the Seattle office as an intern in our SET group. And although her situation caused her to begin the internship behind schedule, she still had a very successful summer with us. "In the end, I did have to start a couple of weeks late, but the experience was amazing! I definitely felt the support from my whole team, especially my host who ended up getting Vice President approval for some of my accommodations."
Alyssa knew she was going to spend her summer as an SET, but she didn't quite understand what that meant at the time. "Before my internship, I thought that a Test Engineer primarily spent their time testing, and I am sure that in some cases this is true. However, during my internship with Google the only tests that I ran were against my own code - just like any other developer. I also got the experience of talking to users (in this case, other Googlers), and designing and developing a product that fit their specifications."
Her contribution to Google? A tool that allows admins to organize and display information about test labs. "I have never worked in a place where it was so easy to write quality code, test the code, have the code reviewed, and see all the comments, changes, test coverage, and more in one place. This is all thanks to some stellar internal tools. As I got into my own project, it hit me: I was adding to the stellar tools! It felt great to be giving back in this way, and to know that future Googlers would use my tool to make their lives easier.
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