The value of Google interns

July 05, 2016

Stephanie Borgman, the head of staffing programs at Google, explains how internships offer mutual opportunities for students and businesses.

google interns

When you think of internships at Google you might think of interns riding around the office on scooters, eating endless supplies of free food and playing video games.

But when we talk to interns, that’s not why they come to Google.

Google interns come to work on products that affect millions of people around the world. They want to build technology that help people live happier and easier lives – products that change the way people access information, do business, learn and connect with each another.

In fact, when we surveyed students the most important factor influencing a decision to apply to Google was the opportunity to make an impact on the world. The least important factor was the famous perks. Students tell us they want to do cool things that matter.

In our Sydney office, Google interns get to work on products like Google Maps, which are used by one billion people around the world. They get to build crisis maps that are used in times of natural disaster.

And they’re working on some of the world’s coolest technology challenges, like how to make cars smarter, and how to build products for the next billion people who will be online.

Each year we host interns in order to inspire and encourage the next generation of tech innovators. Google interns gain valuable hands on experience and mentorship on Google teams. Students with fresh ideas are introduced to Google’s culture of innovation and will initiate some of our newest and interesting projects.

Interns bring in their big questions and then use Google’s resources to help them build the answers, as part of a team. The strongest Google interns are people who thrive on collaboration. People who enjoy working with others to find creative solutions to problems. This is how great answers are built.

To build more answers, we need interns from diverse backgrounds who aren’t afraid to fail. They are curious, and they love to learn and learn from their mistakes.”

Combining a degree in computer science (CS) with another discipline means students are more prepared to work across teams to build products for the world. Computer science, combined with another discipline brings with it new insights and new ways of approaching things. Students can combine CS with other passions in areas like music, retail, finance and health. They learn how to think big and rethink what is possible across any industry.

Internships also provide an opportunity to work with people with different attributes, experiences and points of view. Those differences make us stronger, more productive and more innovative. Intern programs like the Google STEP program (Summer Trainee Engineering Program) provide university students from traditionally under-represented groups in computer science with practical experience working on a software project early in their degree. They create opportunities that get students excited about Google, and inspired by a future career in technology.

Our mission has always been to ask the big questions and build better answers. To build more answers, we need interns from diverse backgrounds who aren’t afraid to fail. They are curious, and they love to learn and learn from their mistakes.

Despite interns eating more food than the rest of us at Google, they come in because they are excited about their work. We look forward to every intern season when we have another group of students working on some of the biggest challenges in technology across the globe.

Stephanie Borgman

People Programs Specialist, Google Australia/NZ

Read next: Leeanne BondChief Software Architect at Cochlear, on how thinking like an engineer can make a world of difference in business.

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