Finding An Internship at Google

 

As someone who has interned three times at Google, I have been asked several times for advice on finding an internship. To avoid repeating myself, I figured I would compile my tips into this blog post. Without further ado, here they are.

  1. Recognize what you’re applying to. At a company like Google, you won’t be running around grabbing coffee. Rather, you’ll be working next to engineers on real projects. The same goes for other roles like BOLD (the business internship) and APM (the product manager internship).
  2. You’re never going to feel ready. Most of the time, you’re probably going to feel that you still do not have “enough” skills, or that all your peers are somehow “ahead” of you. Don’t be your own worst enemy – just apply!
  3. Talk to as many people as you can. Everyone has something to share, and by listening to their advice, you will be able to distill the bits that are important to your specific case.
  4. Get your resume reviewed. Pass your resume around to your friends and/or visit the career center at your school (such as the Division of Career Pathways at UCI) to get it reviewed.
  5. Practice for the interview. This should go without saying, but when it comes time for the interview, you need to make sure that technical skills are not the issue. Use websites such as LeetCode and HackerRank to hone your skills, and practice coding on a Google doc while being mock-interviewed by a friend on the phone (intern interviews tend to be phone interviews). There’s plenty of other interview tips scattered throughout the web; just do a Google search :wink:.
  6. Pay attention to networking opportunities. Companies will often partner with student organizations to host information sessions about their company. These are a great way to learn the nuances of the application process and (potentially) give your resume to a recruiter. Career fairs are another opportunity to meet recruiters, though the lines are often very long. Finally, attending conferences like the Grace Hopper Celebration (for women) can greatly enhance your chances of getting an internship.
  7. Ask for referrrals. If there are any Google employees in your network, even current interns, make sure to ask if they would be willing to refer you. Keep in mind that the better someone knows you, the more genuine their referral will be.
  8. Don’t give up! You might not get in on your first attempt, so keep on trying.
  9. It’s a lot easier to go back once you get in. This is more of a statement than a tip, but after interning at Google once, it is relatively easy to return as an intern. I interned as an EP (now known as STEP) intern in my first year, and returned twice as a SWE intern.
  10. Keep in mind that Google is not necessarily the end of the line. As many will tell you, the average employee tenure at Google is only 3.2 years. Personally, I find this statistic hard to believe, as so many of the people I have met at Google have been around for much longer – the article does not mention it, but maybe they include interns in the calculations? Regardless, the point is the same: Google is great, but for many, it is just one step in a long journey.