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What it's like to have a hybrid internship at Google

Illustrated graphic of a person on their laptop in the office, surrounded by six other people working virtually in multi-colored boxes.

After three virtual college semesters, I felt like a fish out of water applying for summer internships. My networking and interviewing skills were rusty, and as a first-generation college student without access to career prep resources, I felt totally unprepared for the job application process. I didn't know what role I wanted, where to apply or how to write my resume. So I joined a professional development program for underrepresented talent, where I spent hours in workshops, interview prep sessions and meetings with my career coach.

Inspired by a lecture on battling imposter syndrome and the power of believing in yourself, I built up the confidence to apply to Google. I trusted the process and kept my best foot forward, and before I knew it, I was in my first round of interviews for Google’s communications team. Not long afterward, I was walking through the doors of Google’s New York City campus on my first day as an intern.

This year’s interns are the first to participate in Google’s hybrid work week and the first to go into Google’s offices since early 2020. The hybrid schedule has helped me embrace the best of both worlds — from connecting with my teammates over lunch at the office to focusing on projects in the comfort of my home. Through this hybrid experience, and especially as a member of the communications team, I've learned how important it is to ask questions, stay connected and engage thoughtfully.

A big part of my role at Google is seeking out and sharing stories about our culture, products and people — including my fellow interns. So in celebration of International Intern Day today, I asked a few of them to share more about their hybrid internship experiences and their proudest accomplishments so far. Here’s what I learned.

Gia, wearing a black t-shirt and patterned skirt, stands in front of a white brick wall with the Think Games logo and holds a cardboard cut-out of a rocket ship.

Gia Phuong Phan | Singapore

Business Intern, Vietnam Marketing

Gia is working on one of the most iconic Google products — the Google Doodle. She pitches Doodle ideas focused on spotlighting Vietnamese culture. Gia also recently hosted the webinar Think with Google - Winning Tết 2023, which helps our ads clients plan campaigns for the Vietnamese Lunar New Year. One of Gia’s proudest moments so far was traveling to Vietnam to manage and run social media promotion for Think Games Vietnam, a gaming industry event. “Traveling to Vietnam for my first business trip ever was thrilling,” she says. “It was so rewarding to see the impact of my work in person.”

Jiehua Wu, wearing a white t-shirt and blue pants, sits on a wooden bench in front of a green Google logo.

Jiehua Wu | Zurich, Switzerland

Software Engineering Intern, Android TV OS

Jiehua is working to create a more accessible viewing experience on Google TV and Android TV OS by developing features for people with visual impairments. So far, he’s built a color correction setting that lets you easily adjust your display hues. His favorite part of the internship so far? “Meeting interesting Googlers from around the world — both in person and virtually — has been the highlight of my experience,” Jiehua says. “I’ve met Google leaders Jeff Dean and Urs Hölzle in person, who are trailblazers in software engineering, and others working on cool projects across the company.”

Kamilly, wearing a black dress and shoes, stands with her arms crossed in front of a multi-colored wall with the Google logo. To her right is a multi-tiered wooden table with a plant on the middle shelf, and to her left is a multi-tiered shelf with a plant on top.

Kamilly Souza | São Paulo, Brazil

Marketing Intern, Brazil Marketing

Kamilly is working on a project in partnership with the Dorina Nowill Foundation that distributes Android smartphones to people with visual impairments in Brazil — helping them more easily and independently navigate daily activities like calling family, getting directions and learning virtually. "I'm proud to be part of such an important project that supports underrepresented communities in Brazil,” she says.

Kaustubh, wearing a yellow shirt and glasses, stands outside in front of two green Android statues. One statue is filled with candy, the other is holding a lollipop and holding up a peace sign.

Kaustubh Dighe | Mountain View, California

Software Engineering Intern, Fuchsia

Kaustubh is currently working on Fuchsia, an operating system (OS) developed by Google. He specifically works on Wi-Fi drivers, which are components that help the OS communicate with network devices and connect to Wi-Fi. So far, he’s updated drivers that will go into smart display devices that use the Fuchsia OS. Kaustubh loves the far-reaching impact of his work: “Having the opportunity to update a product that helps so many users has made me very proud,” he says.

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