My internship experience at Google – Interview with Josefine, our student from Epitech Berlin
It was a great experience to participate in the Google STEP program. I have learned a lot and I’ve met some wonderful people. Being a student in Epitech played an important card in the hiring process at Google and that’s because of its project-based learning methodologies. Thanks to that, I quickly fitted in my new team and I was fully operational from the start.
About Josi :
Josefine Mende is our 3rd year student from Epitech Berlin. Josi, as all her friends and family nicknamed her, enjoys implementing algorithms, create mini games, and she’s always looking forward to the next game jam.
Some months ago, Josi had the opportunity to do an internship at Google. She worked as a STEP intern (Student Training in Engineering Program) and she enjoyed this experience very much. We’ve asked her to tell us more about it and she happily agreed:
How did you find this internship? What were the different steps of the application process?
It was a great experience to participate in the STEP program. I have learned a lot and I’ve met some wonderful people. What I liked the most is that we could ask for help to any member of the team and there was always someone there to guide us. Just as in Epitech. The application process at Google can last very long. There are different steps to master until you finally get the offer. These steps vary by position. However, for me, it included the resume check and several interviews. After two interviews verifying my technical abilities it came the project matching.
How did you prepare for the internship interview(s)? How difficult are Google internship interviews?
I personally prepared a lot by practicing with hackerrank. I have also refreshed my knowledge before the interview looking into data structures, algorithms and Big-O analysis. I have then applied that to my chosen programming language for the interviews and that was very helpful. The tasks during the interviews were far easier than I expected. Experience with timed tasked helps a lot as well knowing how to structure your steps during the interviews. Even though I am someone who gets very nervous during test situations, my interviewers had a calming influence, and the time flew once I got into the coding tasks.
What played in your favour for your hiring at Google? Did your Epitech training help you before and during your internship?
I think that having coding experience, and more precisely in the languages Google uses a lot, can be an important advantage. My values are also in line with Google values, and I think this is really important when we want to join a company.
Moreover, being a student in Epitech played an important card in the hiring process at Google and that’s because of its project-based learning methodologies. Thanks to that, I quickly fitted in my new team and I was fully operational from the start. I already had coding experience and could apply general knowledge to different programming languages easily. Also having done a six-month internship in my second year was big plus.
Were the tasks you had to do interesting? Does working at Google live up to its reputation?
I joined the Chrome DevTools team for the internship and I’ve worked on improving the screenshots in the back and front end. My main task was to research how to get some dimensions. Therefore, I was able to explore the architecture and learn about the layering in the backend. Therefore, while working at Google, it was for the first time I enjoyed writing tests thanks to puppeteer. Before starting my internship at Google, I was extremely excited about it but also a bit stressed since I heard that the Google working environment is competitive. Speaking from my experience, I can clearly state this was not the case. I have not met anyone that perceive their colleagues as competitors. Furthermore, managers do not push their team members for harder work if it has a bad influence on their well-being. Excellent product quality is very important at Google, but the employees are just as important to the company. You have a lot of benefits at Google and it’s fun to experience their company culture. Furthermore, they encourage an inclusive environment that contributes to a productive work atmosphere. In my opinion, the internship programs are a great opportunity for students to explore the company on their own.
What would you recommend to an Epitech student who wants to apply for a Google internship?
First of all, I think they need to be aware of the imposter syndrome because many people are affected by that at Google. Working in Google is a dream for a lot of people, but anyone can do it if they are motivated, passioned about what they’re doing and hard-workers.
Another thing that can help in the hiring process is to prepare properly for the technical interviews – many people fail at this step.
Once accepted, my only advice would be to take all the opportunities, they find to network a lot, meet new people and enjoy their time there. And if they have the possibility to work on site they should do that instead of working remotely – it’s always better to meet people in person and attend different work events. It makes us grow!
Are you also dreaming to work at Google or in other well known tech companies?
One of the strongest points of Berlin is the high work opportunities it offers. Berlin and generally speaking, Germany offers plenty of opportunities for developers. In fact, you will find that 1 out of 10 jobs in Germany are for software developers/engineers. Another plus: Berlin is so cosmopolitan that a lot of job offers will be in English. Our 4th year students have the possibility to work part-time for 20 credits or do an internship.
Doing an internship or a part-time in a company here allows you to get a precious experience in an international work environment and open your job opportunities to the international market! Every year, our interns participate in writing the history of Epitech in Germany for all generations of teks.
So what are you waiting for? Come study in Epitech Berlin.