Reflections from Half of a Google Internship

The Google internship recruiting process is notoriously opaque. From visiting the Google Sunnyvale campus with the B&T Club in October to my interview in February to start date in May, little clarity was provided. How would my expectations live up to the real deal?

 

Location

I joined the Google Cloud Professional Services (PSO) group based in Reston, Virginia. I was excited about the location (despite missing out on the amenities of Mountain View and HQ) because I was close to friends and family. Also, in smaller offices it’s easier to get in with the cafe staff and get custom orders. Location played a smaller factor than expected since roughly 98% of my meetings included GVC (Google Videoconferencing). I still felt that I was able to connect with colleagues in my group and others regardless of home office. It didn’t hurt that my host (manager) was flexible with work location. I’ve badged into six different Google offices thus far!

Role Pt. 1 (Consulting)

As a Cloud MBA Intern, I was assigned three separate projects to manage during my internship. The first project had me supporting the Application Development consulting group as they help roll out Anthos, Google’s multi/hybrid cloud product. This role has led me to work with consultants, customers, product managers, engineers, UX researchers, and marketing managers. Helping the team build assets to help customers required me to quickly ramp up on the product, define scope for how I could help, and start delivering. The fast paced and customer-focused nature of the project made me feel like I was back in tech consulting!

Role Pt. 2 (Technical Account Management)

I also helped support the Technical Account Management team, a team of folks who develop longstanding relationships with customers to help them achieve their strategic technology goals. I supported this group by working as a program manager for ongoing marketing and customer adoption projects. This included leading my own project to help the sales organizations convey the value of PSO group to customers. Google explicitly recruits interns based on their experience, but I was pleasantly surprised that I was given a lot of runway to define my role and grow how I wanted to.

Googley Culture

Google is exactly as advertised. My colleagues are some of the smartest, yet pleasantly quirky, people I’ve worked with. There is an explicit freedom to bring your authentic self to work, and people do. What has amazed me most is how there is an understanding that what you wear to work does not hold you back from being professional, it’s how you carry yourself. There is an unbelievable variety in the subcultures at Google as well, there’s a Google Group for everything. I connected with Sneakerheads, Formula 1 fans, Arsenal fans (COYG), and many, many more.

 

I’m halfway through my internship and there is still plenty about Google that is opaque. A big chunk of that is because there’s simply too much to wrap your head around in 12 weeks. And a big chunk of THAT is the result of “oooh shiny” moments. Fireside chat about the future of AI? The impact of Cloud in the retail sector? Using machine learning to create slide decks? If only I can find a way to bring that last one back to campus…

 

Neil Gunn | MBA 2020

Cloud Professional Services MBA Intern at Google
Neil is originally from Washington, DC, having spent six years in the area with investment banks and consulting firms following his graduation from Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!) as an International Business and Psychology double degree. When not in class or performing duties as student body president, Neil can be found attending as many concerts as possible, dragging classmates to the gym with him, or trying a new recipe with his sous vide cooker (or various other kitchen doodads.
Neil Gunn | MBA 2020

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