Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hello World, from Google NYC

So I've decided (albeit lately) to post a little bit about my internship, and the cool stuff I've been able to do since being here.  There have been a lot of questions surrounding the 'Google Internship' lately, what with the Vince Vaughn/Owen Wilson feature hitting theaters and the recent press about tech internships.  While it's made my experience here more interesting and entertaining, I do feel like there are a lot of misconceptions (many of which I shared until starting this experience) about the Google intern experience that should be addressed by someone who is actually a Google intern.

My team, seeing The Internship. The guy in the plaid shirt
is my host, and that's me in the Noogler hat!

My first day on my internship, my host sat me in front of a computer and walked me through how to put code live on, by far one of the most terrifying and thrilling moments of my computer science education.  All of a sudden, thirty seconds into my day (and I had barely even managed to find my desk), I was being asked to modify a product that I used every single day. I was terrified that I was going to break the entire site by typing a letter wrong.  The funniest part was that I did: a piece of text on Google started showing up as red instead of black, and part of my second week was fixing that mistake.  No one got mad (it helped that it was noticed before the code went universally live), and any jokes that I got were friendly; in fact the experience made me feel more comfortable writing code because I realized my team wasn't going to give me any tasks that would inadvertently shut down Google.

People stared. And wanted to know
where I got my hat.
I have met some of the most interesting people in my life since starting at Google, and am excited to have the chance to share my experience to the world.  I could write about it for pages (and believe me, I will in the next 30 days), but for the first post I'll stick to two moments that stand out to me as being indicative of a Google Internship (the real one, not the one that somehow involved a strip club and Quidditch). One moment was when I was sitting with my team, and the credits were rolling on ‘The Internship’ and realizing I had been given this incredible opportunity and yet no one (from Google) had said, ‘You should know how lucky you are to be here.’  Rather, Google made sure there was a balloon over my desk, my team invited me to join them in a 5K, and I was introduced to a number of people whose creations I had been using for years and who were willing to listen to my ideas and argue features despite the fact that I've been coding for only three years.  Google makes you feel like they’re the ones who are lucky to have you as an intern.

A group of interns playing in the ball-pit while my team is around us working.
This was on our lunch, and we spent the next ten minutes picking up balls
The first picture I took on the
first day.  I was so nervous, and
must have looked like such
a tourist.

The second moment was when the Knowledge team went to Montauk, and I met a guy who had just changed his job from coding for a financial firm to working at Google.  He told me that when he changed jobs to work at Google he suddenly understood what it meant to ‘love what you do’; that all of a sudden, his son thought his job was cool, he was able to focus on projects he had a passion for, and that best of all, he was in a career where he learned something new every single day.  And didn't have to wear a tie (this part was added as an afterthought, but the dress policy is definitely worth acknowledging as a perk of switching from a financial firm).
A view of the terrace where NYC Googlers can eat lunch

As someone new to the industry, these are the things that reminded me why I had always wanted to work at Google; people here love what they do and do it well and in turn the company makes sure that coming to work is something people feel excited about.

Feel free to post comments with any questions you might have, I'm excited to share my journey!
(Countdown to completion: 30 days)


  1. This is so awesome, Sam! So glad to hear it's going well for you, and I really enjoyed reading your post. Will definitely keep up with you in your adventures. Best of luck!


  2. Sounds like a fun experience! :)I wish I could get an internship at Google so its really awesome to read your experiences trough your blog.