Have you seen the movie The Internship? Have you pictured yourself riding a Segway around the Googleplex? If Google is at the top of your dream employers’ list, tomorrow you will have the opportunity to learn what it is really like to work there from a UCF alumni.

What should you do to prepare?

  • Learn about Google’s Corporate Culture. Everyone knows their employees get unlimited snacks and can bring their dogs to the office (as you can tell, I got my priorities straight) but… Why do they offer these perks? What are the company’s Mission, Vision & Values? How do you fit into that?
  • Search for openings in your field and look up the requirements. Are you doing everything you can while you are in school to meet those requirements?
  • Review your qualifications and ask yourself: “why would Google pick me for a job?” Make sure you are really able to elaborate your answer (I know your mom thinks you are special… that’s not enough).

I have asked Clayton Pritchard, a UCF Alumni working at Twitter, to share some tips with students interested in working in the tech industry. Here is what he had to say:

  • They want to know about the things you have done outside the classroom (internships, community involvement).
  • They don’t want to just know what you’ve done, but also the impact that you’ve made (quantifiable results).
  • Leadership qualities are extremely important as well as showing that you are taking full advantage of your time in college to improve yourself (competitions, start a new business, blogs, etc.).
  • They want people with unique qualities who have done unique things that might be completely unrelated to the job. Do you speak multiple languages? Do you have a pilot license?
  • You need to be bright, humble, curious and passionate.

I have also reached out to a Subject Matter Expert at Yahoo, my friend and fellow HPU Alumni Anil Patel. Anil is currently the Head of Global YDN Outreach and Community Management and he has also previously served as the Talent Development and Innovation Manager at the same tech giant. Here are some of his very helpful insights:

  • You need a general understanding of coding and how websites are built. Even if your position doesn’t require to actually do the technical work, you need to be able to talk to engineers/programmers. If you work on the business side, formal training might not be necessary, but you must do some research and teach yourself the basic concepts.
  • Tech companies such as Yahoo look for hard-working students who think outside-of-the-box. Those can be found at state schools too, by the way, so if you didn’t attend Harvard it doesn’t mean you don’t have a shot at working in this industry.
  • Get an internship. Roughly a quarter of their interns get offered full time positions upon graduation.

Be able to tell your story and relate your work/internship experience, coursework, extracurricular activities, and unique qualities to the jobs available at Google/Yahoo/Twitter/etc. Due to the strength of the brand names, the pay and perks, and the very unique work culture these companies set the hiring bar very high. As the Dean keeps telling you, you REALLY need to “get to the one” to get noticed.

Info session information: Thursday October 16th 11:30am in VAB 132


Laura G. McDonough

Career Coach – Economics & Finance