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My Path to Google

My Path to Google - Callen Therrien, Cloud Technical Resident

Welcome to the latest installment of our blog series “My Path to Google.” These are real stories from Googlers, interns, and alumni highlighting how they got to Google, what their roles are like, and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.


Today’s post is all about Callen Therrien. Read on!

Callen under a light display

Callen at the Trail of Lights maze in Austin. 

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I was born in Jiangxi, China and adopted as a baby. I then moved to Cleveland, OH where my mother raised me as a single parent until she passed away when I was six. I was fortunate enough that her aunt and uncle took guardianship of me and have raised me as their own ever since. They provided me with all the love and support I needed to get where I am today.

I attended John Carroll University in Cleveland and majored in computer science and minored in mathematics and statistics. Outside of work, you can find me kayaking down the Colorado River, at the Alamo Drafthouse movie theater, or trying out new breweries and food in Austin! 

What’s your role at Google?
I am currently a Cloud Technical Resident, part of a rotational program aimed to provide recent graduates with technical and client facing skills. The program is 12 months long, with 3 months of training and rotations in 3 separate Google Cloud organizations. 

Throughout the past year, I have been able to build crucial business and technical skills that I never would have with a typical software engineering job. Within my rotations I increased my technical knowledge of Google Cloud products as a Technical Solutions Engineer, learned what it was like to sell products to customers as a Customer Engineer, and how to manage enterprise customers as a Technical Account Manager.

What I love most about this program is the incredible network I've been able to build. I've met so many different individuals within each rotation and within our cohort of 25 Residents as well. I didn't really know what I wanted to do after college, and being able to start a role with 24 other people in the same situation was the best way I could have started my post grad life.
Callen and fellow Residents at the Cloud Technical Residency 2018 Cohort Graduation.

Callen and fellow Residents at the Cloud Technical Residency 2018 Cohort Graduation. 

Complete the following: "I [code/create/design/build] for..." 

I build for a better future for others.

What inspires you to come in every day?
I am excited to be a part of Cloud's ever expanding and rapidly scaling business. The organization moves quickly and changes day to day, but there is always something new to work on and projects to make a huge impact on. 

Taking my experience from the Cloud Technical Residency (CTR) program, I'm excited to see how Cloud grows as a whole. I'm grateful to have seen how deals get done from start to finish and I look forward to how we can improve these processes.
Callen in a chair with dog.

Callen and Doogler in the office. 

Can you tell us about your decision to enter the process?

Google was always the “top dog” of companies for me, especially in the eyes of a computer science major. It blew my mind that a company could have such global impact. Billions of people use their products and the extent of their customer reach was beyond me.

I've always wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself, and Google was just that. In all honesty, I had never applied before because I didn't think I'd get the job. I didn't think I could compete with all the other talented individuals out there, which all changed senior year of college.

How did the recruitment process go for you?
During the last semester of my senior year of college, I received an email one day from a Google recruiter, informing me about a new program they had just opened up. At first I thought it was spam or a cruel joke email. However, it was obviously not and I continued through the hiring process and never looked back. 

The entire process was very exciting and also nerve racking. On one hand, I couldn't believe I was talking to “Google people” and that I was getting closer and closer to landing a job at Google. On the other hand, I really really wanted the job and knew I would have been sad if I didn't get it. 

I'll never forget the day I found out I got the position. I had woken up to an email from my recruiter. She said she had some good news and to call her immediately. I remember my heart beating so fast and being overcome with so much emotion. I had never felt so proud of myself and was the happiest I'd ever been. I always think back to that moment when job/life gets tough as a reminder to why I'm here.
Callen and other Nooglers in hats in front of Google headquarters sign.

Callen and other Noogers on their first day at orientation. 

What do you wish you’d known when you started the process?

I wish I would have known how easy going and friendly the Google team would be throughout the process. Every recruiter and interviewer I came across was incredibly kind and very down-to-earth. They all made the process so much smoother than the scary interview process I had in my mind. They're all more than happy to help, so don't be afraid to ask questions as well.

Can you tell us about the resources you used to prepare for your interview or role?
I studied and reviewed over and over again the materials the recruiters provided us. I did my own research about web technologies and Google Cloud Platform‎ (GCP) products as well. I also made a list of past internship and project experiences to apply to situational interview questions.
Callen standing under Google sign.

Callen at the Google headquarters sign. 

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?

Do not underestimate yourself. I never thought in a million years I'd be working at Google and I wish I gave myself more credit to begin with. Don't be intimidated to apply and put yourself out there. 

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