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.
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.
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.