Congratulations to first year student Silvia Nepšinská, who has successfully secured a STEP Internship with Google in Zurich. Her success after one semester in computer science is exceptional, given the highly sought after places and competitive process.
Silvia first heard about Google STEP internships from a friend and applied to get real-life programming experience with a company renowned for its creative and varied office environment. She explained her motivation for applying and shared some of her thoughts on the process.
“Thanks to friends who already had internships, and also to the academic skills project talks last semester, I knew what to expect, how the interviews will probably look like. I participated in an algorithmic competition during high school, so I was familiar with the type of questions they would ask, but I have never had a programming interview before, never had to talk while coding, so that was completely new to me. I was really glad when Shyam offered to do a mock interview for me so I could try it.
I had 2 interviews, the first went quite well, but I didn’t know what to think about the second, because the interviewer didn’t talk very much, especially when I got stuck at one point, she mostly waited for me to resolve everything, so I had no idea what she was thinking, which was little scary. But apparently it went well, and they called me just few days later to tell me that I passed the interviews.
But that still wasn’t the end, because in next stage, teams select the successful interview candidates for their projects. It is still possible to get through interviews and not get an internship, because no suitable team/project was found. Last week I received a call from a team in Zurich. We discussed the potential project I would be doing with them and I could ask them whatever I wanted about it, or about the Zurich office in general.
The academic skills project Internship talks were great, because they gave me the information about the process. Also, we had a talk by St Andrews alumni James Smith from Google, and afterwards I signed up for their notifications mailing list. A Google University Programs employee located me from the list, and she talked to me about specifics of STEP internship and future interviews. She was also in contact with my recruiter, so I felt like I had two recruiters, which was really nice.”
The School is keen to highlight student achievement and showcase the talent, originality and creativity fostered here in computer science. Thanks to Silvia for sharing her experience and in doing so, encouraging other students to seek out future internships. We have supported a number of student led, or internship focused events in the last year including the Academic Skills Project, Lost in Translation: Academia to Industry and This is a Google Talk.
Academic Skills Project: Securing Internships and Job Placements