Katerina Saranti and Tatiana Matejovicova: Google STEP Internships

Congratulations to second year students Katerina Saranti and Tatiana Matejovicova, both have successfully secured Google STEP Internships with Google, in Zurich. A fantastic achievement given the highly sought after summer engineering projects and the competitive process involved.

Katerina had originally applied for a Google Anita Borg scholarship last year. She had intended Interning at a natural speech recognition company, before being contacted by a student development specialist from Google who encouraged her to apply for a STEP internship.

Katerina shared some of her thoughts on the interview process.

“After the Christmas holidays, a Student Development Specialist at Google emailed me asking me if I would be interested in applying for a STEP internship as my profile from the Anita Borg application seemed a good fit. It took me by surprise but I was thrilled of course and I spent the next few weeks preparing for the technical interviews.

I feel that all CS modules helped me for the interviews, but I found the most relevant module to be CS2001 as it focuses on data structures which are especially important for the interviews. Also crucial to my preparation was solving lots of coding problems by hand, without using an IDE, since during the interview I had to write out everything myself, without the help of auto-complete or the compiler’s complaints about my errors.

I had two technical interviews, I thought my first one went OK and I managed fairly easily to do the coding that I was asked but I was not quite sure about the second. The feedback took about two weeks to come out and after that, things went on rather quickly; a host matching interview was arranged for a project in Zurich and in a matter of hours I received confirmation that I was selected. The big bonus is that my friend and classmate Tatiana was also selected for the exact same project and I can’t think of a better outcome than us working side by side! Special thanks to the careers office who helped me with my CV which was necessary for the scholarship application.”

Thanks to Silvia and Katerina for sharing their experience in an inclusive and informative way, and in doing so encouraging other students to seek out internships.

We have supported a number of student led, or internship focused events in the last year including the Academic Skills Project and look forward to hearing more about the 2016 STEP internships at future events.