My BOLDest summer yet: A recap from the frontlines of a Google internship

Lie down and remember that dream you had about something that seemed impossible—now imagine waking up and looking around to realize you were never sleeping. From strawberry funnel cakes to five-story cruise ships and hangouts with Larry Page, my summer of Building Opportunities in Leadership and Development (BOLD)—a Google summer internship program—never looked, tasted or sailed so well. Every day this summer I’ve jumped out of bed and into my real-life dream, working on products that I believe will change the world and contributing to a melting pot of proactive teamwork.

BOLD, one of Google’s student and diversity initiatives, brought 100+ undergraduates from all over the U.S. to Google in 2011. The program began in 2008 as a way to expose historically underrepresented students to the technology field. Whether it be sharing tofu with co-founder Sergey Brin or rubbing elbows with some of the world’s brightest minds at the Google Science Fair, Google interns worldwide have collected a plethora of unforgettable moments.

Being an intern here is much more than making coffee and photocopies. As one of Google’s largest sources of full-time hires, internship programs contribute to the company’s diversity, culture and future. Sure, I’ve made a few coffees during my internship—caramel mocha cappuccinos to be exact, from the espresso machine in the microkitchen. But my summer at the Googleplex was a packed, 11-week adventure within the Global Communications & Public Affairs apps and enterprise team. My projects ranged from working with my manager on the Google+ Project launch to staffing press at the inaugural Google Science Fair. Other BOLDers worked on major products like Android and YouTube, and even launched newbies, like Games in Google+. We attended weekly workshops, talks about technology and skill-building seminars led by company leaders like director of online sales and operations Stacy Brown-Philpot and chief legal officer David Drummond.

I was even able to scratch my creative itch for event coordinating and community service. On my second day at Google, I painted hallways alongside my team for a community GoogleServe project at middle school in San Francisco. Soon after, I coordinated a weekly intern discussion series with a few amazing mentors from the Black Googlers Network.

To share a few other perspectives beyond my own, I caught up with Brandon Jackson and Eoin Hayes from the BOLD and Online Media Associate Program (OMAP) bunch. I asked them to share a few of their experiences this summer:

  • Brandon, a two-time BOLD participant and rising senior at Stanford, worked with the technology human relations team, focusing on transitioning new Googlers to the company. He told me: “BOLD represents family. The program coordinators find some of the brightest, most intellectually curious and warm hearted students in the world. Coupled with inspiring mentors and an incredible university programs team, BOLD is a community that never stops looking out for each other.”
  • Eoin, a master’s student at London Business School who worked with the OMAP AdSense team in Dublin, said he not only gained deep product knowledge during his internship, but also leadership and management skills. A highlight was his visit to Google’s headquarters with four other international interns.

Eoin with other European and U.S. interns at a Googleplex TGIF

Although my internship officially ends today, my professional development is just beginning. I have a new perspective on life and career options after college, like having had a refreshing sip of “Googlemonade” in the Sahara of post-college stress. As a senior this year, I’ll be serving as UC Merced’s first Google Student Ambassador and I can’t wait to connect my college to all of Google’s collaborative learning resources and leadership opportunities.

Me (with the purple pants) & fellow BOLDers on the 80s-themed intern boat cruise around the San Francisco Bay

This summer was an unforgettable cruise and I will never forget those who set sail with me. If you’re interested in student opportunities at Google, visit the Student blog.

We want YOU-Tube: now hiring

(Cross-posted from the YouTube Blog)

Nearly six years ago, YouTube was created to enable people to create, share and discover the world through video. Today, 35 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute and we see well over 2 billion views a day. It’s been amazing to watch an idea become a platform that turned into a stage for hundreds of millions of people to express themselves. We now have aspiring filmmakers and musicians building their careers on YouTube, activists opening our eyes to global issues and individuals telling their stories in ways that only video can capture. And because we believe that technology and platforms like YouTube are giving rise to the most diverse set of faces and voices ever seen or heard in human history, us YouTubers really enjoy and feel proud to work here.

2010 was a bang-up year. And in 2011, we plan to grow the number of people working at YouTube by more than 30% (!), making it the largest hiring year in YouTube’s history. We’re looking for top talent from around the world. Why don’t you join us?

Help wanted: Google hiring in 2011

2010 was a huge year for Google. Many of our big bets—on mobile, display advertising, the cloud and more—really started to pay off. Amazingly, Android now runs on over 100 devices with more than 300,000 activations each day. Chrome has at least 120 million active users and it’s growing quickly. Last year more than 1 million businesses switched to Google Apps and embraced its 100% web approach. And we’ve made search faster than ever, even when you’re on the go.

But it wasn’t just a growth year for our products—the company grew as well. In 2010 we added more than 4,500 Googlers, primarily in engineering and sales: second only to 2007 when we added over 6,000 people to Google.

I love Google because of our people. It's inspiring to be part of the team. And that's why I am excited about 2011—because it will be our biggest hiring year in company history. We’re looking for top talent—across the board and around the globe—and we’ll hire as many smart, creative people as we can to tackle some of the toughest challenges in computer science: like building a web-based operating system from scratch, instantly searching an index of more than 100 million gigabytes and even developing cars that drive themselves. There’s something at Google for everyone—from geo, to enterprise, to video—with most of the work done in small teams, effectively working as start-ups. (The average number of software engineers on a project at Google is 3.5.) That’s why the vast majority of our people stay with us, building their careers and taking on new challenges within the company.

I joined Google more than eight years ago—when we had barely 500 employees and still used Outlook for email and AIM for chat—and while there have been many changes, Google is still the same entrepreneurial company it was when I started, encouraging Googlers to take on big ideas and high-risk, high-reward opportunities.

If you think you want to join the team, check out

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood: growing in Pittsburgh

Nearly five years ago, we announced that we would begin building an engineering presence in Pittsburgh, a city with a strong technology ecosystem as well as an entrepreneurial spirit and great quality of life. Since then, we’ve grown from two engineers to more than 150, and we’re continuing our commitment to growth in the region as we've officially opened a new Google Pittsburgh office in an old Nabisco factory in Bakery Square.

The Collaborative Innovation Center at Carnegie Mellon University had been our home since 2006, and our relationship with CMU remains invaluable to us. On top of the strong pipeline of brilliant engineers emerging from local universities, we’re seeing a “boomerang effect” of Pittsburghers who previously believed they had to go elsewhere to succeed with careers in computer science and engineering. We hope that the scrappy start-up culture we’ve maintained from the beginning at Google Pittsburgh as well as the burgeoning tech community throughout the city continues to encourage them to consider coming home.

In addition to teams focused on core initiatives related to Product Search and Ads Quality, we’re proud to be home to 20% time projects including the Sky Map planetarium app for Android phones, which combines astronomy, physics and computer science to put the galaxies in your pocket (and now includes the ability to time travel!) and Sky in Google Earth, which enables you to look upward from your position in Google Earth to view the heavenly objects above. Luis von Ahn and his reCAPTCHA team lead development of a technology that improves the process of converting scanned images into plain text, which powers initiatives like Google Books, and we welcome our first Enterprise sales leads who are working to help businesses and organizations in the region consider the benefits of cloud computing with Google Apps.

Our almost-40,000 square-foot space is Googley in many ways, but my favorite characteristics include a climbable trapeze net that extends from our second floor into thin air and a massive cookie-dough mixer preserved from the former Nabisco factory, which pays homage to Bakery Square’s manufacturing heritage.

If this sounds like the place for you, take a look at our open jobs and apply. We’re growing in Pittsburgh.

Investing in innovation at Google

Eric said during our third quarter earnings call that "innovation is the technological pre-condition for growth." He was talking about the kind of innovation that's only possible when you can attract and retain the world's finest minds. Some come to Google through acquisition, like the people who created Google Earth (formerly Keyhole), or the folks at Android Inc. — but most innovation coming out of Google is homegrown.

A good example is Google Chrome, which in only a year, has more than 30 million active users. Larry and Sergey recently gave the Chrome team a Founders Award, a multimillion-dollar stock bonus shared by the Googlers who worked across functions and regions to create and launch that product. As its name suggests, this award is presented by our founders to celebrate the kind of large-scale, game-changing achievements that Google stands for. The Chrome team joined a long list of teams — including Gmail, AdSense for Content, Google Maps and parts of our sales and marketing units — who have won this award (and could win again!).

We want to continue to create products that rethink industry standards, challenge the status quo and make people's lives easier — and we know that there are great minds out there with the same goal. Recently, we announced that we're starting to ramp up hiring for positions across the company, continuing our investment in the future as we imagine it. That future is shaped by small teams of creative people who want to make a difference. We're on the hunt for these kind of people — let us know if you think you're one of them.

Growing the next generation of computer scientists and business leaders

(Cross-posted on the Google Student Blog)

We had a busy summer here at Google interacting with students through a wide variety of scholarship, internship and networking opportunities across North America. Here's a look back at a few of our programs (you can bet we'll be hosting them again!) along with news on some upcoming initiatives.

Rising college sophomores participated in two Google programs: Google FUSE, in its inaugural year, and the Google Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI).

For FUSE, we welcomed 50 rising college sophomores to our New York City office for a three-day retreat designed to connect students from groups that are under-represented in the field of computer science. The retreat focused on making connections between students and Googlers, encouraging students to create meaningful academic experiences and allowing them to learn more about possible career paths via hands-on activities, panel discussions and a bit of fun around the New York City area.

Another group of twenty rising sophomores spent two weeks at the Googleplex in Mountain View for the second annual Computer Science Summer Institute. This special program included an interactive and collaborative Computer Science curriculum, as well as a living-learning residential experience for student networking. Students worked in teams to create an interactive web application using Python in Google App Engine. When not in class, they heard technical talks from Google engineers, spoke with professionals from across the technology industry and academia about the many things they can do with a Computer Science degree. They also had some fun joining the Bay Area summer interns on a boat cruise and catching a baseball game after an exciting San Francisco scavenger hunt.

In addition, our engineering internship program hosted more than 450 college (undergraduate and graduate) interns in 15 locations across North America. These interns were an integral part of the engineering team and made significant contributions this summer working on exciting projects including Android, Chrome, Docs and machine translation.

We also had more than 100 students working across multiple functions, including sales and engineering in Mountain View, New York, Chicago, Ann Arbor, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Boston as part of the Building Opportunities for Leadership and Development (BOLD) Program. BOLD is a 10-week internship program designed to provide exposure to the technology industry for students from groups that are historically underrepresented in technology. This summer experience includes a unique glimpse into a business or engineering career, professional development and leadership courses, as well as one-on-one mentorship designed to further support professional growth.

Of course, we realize that growing future leaders in engineering and business doesn't just start with college students. For this reason, we partner with the LEAD programs in both business and engineering to encourage outstanding high school students to pursue careers in these fields. This year, all four LEAD Summer Engineering Institute participants had the opportunity to tour a local Google office to attend technical talks and interact with Google engineers (okay, with some tasty food and video games thrown in as well).

As part of Google's ongoing commitment to recognizing student achievements and promoting leadership, we also offer a number of academic scholarships. We are currently accepting applications for the Google Lime Scholarship for Student with Disabilities in the U.S. and Canada, and the Anita Borg Scholarship in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and the United States. In case you're curious, we offer a host of scholarships for many other international regions.

If one or more of these opportunities sounds like something you'd like to participate in, you can find applications for full time opportunities and summer internship opportunities on our student job site. Visit our scholarship page for more information on our scholarship opportunities. And follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates on application deadlines and new program announcements.

Making an early connection playing People Bingo at Google FUSE.

Taking a break from bowling during Google FUSE.

Google India Women in Engineering Award 2008

Diversity at Google means having a workforce that reflects the diversity of our customers' perspectives, ideas and cultures -- one that thinks and acts inclusively, and fundamentally values people's similarities and differences. As part of our ongoing commitment to encourage women to excel in computing and technology, the India team has taken our first steps: in December we launched the Google India "Women in Engineering Award" to recognize women in the field of computer science and engineering.

In its inception year, we have extended this award to recognized engineering schools across India; it is open to any woman student in computer science engineering who meets the application criteria. This initiative has been received positively, as has been indicated by the inundating queries and subsequent applications. The last date for applying is January 31st and we are looking forward to hearing from even more applicants.

After our panel reviews all applications, the winners will be announced in a little more than a month, on February 29th. The winners will be invited to visit the Google engineering office in Bangalore during first week of March for a conclave comprising of keynotes, panel discussions, tech talks, breakouts and an award ceremony.

We hope this award will encourage students to take up computer science engineering as their study, and perhaps inspire some of you to take this up as a career too.

What U.S. immigration policies mean to Google

Our experience with American immigration policy dates back to one of our founders: when he was six, Sergey Brin's parents fled the Soviet Union in 1979 and settled in the United States. Today, there are literally hundreds of examples of immigrants and non-immigrant foreign workers playing a vital role in our company.

In particular, employees who are holders of H-1B visas -- which allow foreign-born workers with specialized skills to work in the U.S. on a temporary basis -- have helped lead the development of Google News and orkut. Immigrants from countries like Canada, Iran, and Switzerland now lead our business operations, global marketing, global business development, and data infrastructure operations. Without these talented employees and many others, Google would not be where it is today.

As Congress grapples with various immigration reform proposals, Laszlo Bock, our Vice President of People Operations, testified today before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration about the practical impact that the U.S. immigration system has on Google. (Laszlo's mother Susan, who fled Communist Romania when Laszlo was a child, was there too. She was welcomed by Rep. Zoe Lofgren, the chair of the committee, and she received an ovation from everyone present at the hearing.)

In his testimony, Laszlo said that, due to limits on the number of H-1B visas, Google is regularly unable to pursue highly qualified candidates. This year, an estimated 133,000 visa applications were filed by H-1B candidates in the first two days of the filing period for only 65,000 available spots. Over the last year alone, the artificially low cap on H-1B visas has prevented more than 70 Google candidates from receiving H-1B visas. Therefore, Laszlo said, "We would encourage Congress to significantly increase the annual cap of 65,000 H-1B visas, to a figure more reflective of the growth rate of our technology-driven economy." He also urged Congress to address the backlog of employment-based green cards for highly skilled workers.

Check out the full text of Laszlo's testimony or watch the video of his opening remarks to the committee below.

Working in the Windy City

Despite the fact that we have dozens of offices worldwide, whenever I tell people that I work for Google in Chicago, most of them respond "Google has an office in Chicago?" Then I proceed to tell them that yes, we have a sizeable sales office in downtown Chicago (which is now in its sixth year!), and yes, we have a few engineers camped out in one corner (near the cafe and the foosball table, of course).

Well, now we're decking out the office with binary clocks and caffeinated soap because Google is hiring engineers here.

Our Chicago engineers are currently working on Open Source and developer tools, and we're ramping up other interesting data-centric projects now. So if you're an innovative engineer who likes to launch early and often, build world-class software, and be a part of a small upstart team, then we want you.