Firstly congratulations on completing your internship successfully. Could you tell us how you applied and were selected? Could you briefly tell us the selection procedure and criteria?
Thank you. The application procedure for Google is straightforward. You can apply on the careers website directly. However, if you want to speed up the process, you can ask an employee for a referral. The referral cuts down on the time by about a month. I was referred in the beginning of September and had 2 technical telephonic + coding interviews at the end of September.
Why did you pursue an internship in your core field? What fuelled your interest?
This is something I love. Working on this stuff makes me happy. I have no issues with staying up till 2 AM programming and waking up next day to do the same thing. It is a part of who I am.
How did you prepare yourself for the interviews/selection procedures and how well equipped were you with requirements demanded from an intern?
For the interview preparation, I revised my Data Structures and Algorithms course. Apart from that, I solved questions from the book "Algorithms for Interviews". I was an intern in the Tango Factory Calibration team which involves a lot of Computer Vision, IMU signal processing and non-linear optimizations. As I had covered most of these in my SURA in the previous summers, I was well equipped in terms of the requirements.
Could you tell us about the company where you interned, the culture and work ethic in the office there and what sort of work did you have to do?
Google is one of the best places to work. Amazing people, completely open company structure and all the resources you could wish for add to its charm. One of the best things about being an intern at Google is that there is no differentiation between an intern and a full time employee. I was exposed to the same information and resources which employees did. Due to the above, the work an intern does is a core project of Google and goes into production along with the work of other employees. My work was being used on the factory line to calibrate devices and reduce errors.
What all skills were required in your specific internship? Did you acquire those from your courses or did you have to put in extra efforts?
The skills required with Computer Vision and strong programming, I had acquired most through my SURA in the previous summers. Programming skills develop with more and more code one writes.
Describe a regular day there as an intern compared to how the weekends were or any other holiday? How did you spend free time, if any? Could you tell us any fond memories you have made or anything you want to forget about?
For me the biggest difference between weekdays and weekends was with the food options. I would have much more food options during weekdays at offices as compared to on holidays. On a typical weekday, I would reach office at about 8 AM and leave around 10 PM (Note that I would have all my meals at the office and also spend a lot of time biking around catching Pokemon). I would spend my free time on weekends by visiting my cousin in San Francisco and roaming around the city. My fond memories are visiting my brother in Seattle, experiencing high quality VR and AR for the first time, getting ice cream everyday from different vending machines on campus (completely free!) and meeting some really smart people. I would like to forget a ride on a roller coaster-ish thing which almost made me pass out.
Do you have any suggestions for your juniors? Any pitfall you’d like to warn them about during the application process or any skill they should spend time on developing, which could be useful later?
I believe most of the internship applications have been done by now but nevertheless, prepare well for interviews. Don't blindly assume that you will be able to sail through the interviews. Try to write correct code in one go and minimize the need of running a program to verify its correctness.