That’s a wrap: Our summer intern program
I remember the first time I walked up to the Google offices in Sydney. Wide-eyed, I made my way through the beautiful green surrounds of Pyrmont and stepped through the office doors, greeted by the low hum of friendly office chatter and an infectious energy that seemed to reverberate through the beautiful murals splashed across the walls. I was so nervous - this was Google, after all, but the many smiling faces I saw that day and the reassuring words from everyone I met made me feel at ease.
Eight years later, I like to imagine that the interns who started with us late last year felt the same mixture of curiosity, excitement and nerves that I felt on my first day all those years ago. In late 2022, we had the privilege of welcoming our intern cohort back to the Sydney offices for the first time in three years, after a long hiatus where virtual internships continued but in person coffee chats were sorely missed. Being amongst the group on orientation day, you could feel the excitement in the air as new and familiar faces greeted each other and the beep of badges being activated once again filled the reception area.
Amongst the crowd, Lucy Birdsey, Luke Sentance and Louise Kayode stood waiting for it all to begin. Three interns with different backgrounds, experiences and pathways to Google, brought together for what promised to be a summer full of new opportunities. Now that the internship has concluded we caught up with Lucy, Luke and Louise to hear about their Google experience:
Google interns Louise Kayode, Lucy Birdsey, and Luke Sentance
Q: How did you hear about the Google Internship, and what inspired you to apply?
Lucy: I saw the movie ‘The Internship’ in theaters back in 2013, so you could say I’ve been training for this experience for a while! For the next decade, Google was always a small dream for me - to start with, I decided to find opportunities a bit closer to my comfort zone to start building my skills in tech. I think what finally inspired me to apply was a feeling of confidence that I had in my penultimate year of university which I never had before. After taking on leadership roles in university projects and at work, I felt prepared to take on a new challenge. Working for Google wouldn’t simply mean working for an idea: I could imagine the tangible contributions I would make to the company.
Luke: I didn’t even know Google Sydney took on internships until I started my own chapter of the Google Student Developer Club (GDSC) at university and learnt that you can even apply out of state. Being Indigenous myself, I also found out about an organisation called CareerTrackers that connects mob with companies like Google to bridge the gap. When I applied as a first year student, I didn’t think I would get in but I gave it a shot anyway because I really loved the culture and people I met from the GDSC team - now I’ve interned three times with Google!
Urs Hölzle, Google's SVP Infrastructure, and intern Lucy Birdsey
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you did at Google?
Luke: I’m a proud Wiradjuri man studying computer science in Queensland Australia, and I grew up in the Gubbi Gubbi country. I love the great outdoors and get my best resets on a good hike or a kayak through the beautiful sunshine state. I have a deep interest in the community around me and want to play my part in bringing people together as a leader. I’ve interned as a Site Reliability Intern on the Firestore team, and worked with languages like Java and SQL to improve and automate existing tools.
Louise: I study Commerce and Information Technology at Macquarie University and am passionate about using technology and data to solve problems and improve business operations. In my spare time, I enjoy staying active through dancing and exploring the outdoors. I was an intern with the Techstop team - they assist Googlers with internal technical support, which I find really rewarding.
Lucy: I’m currently a fifth-year student finishing a double degree in Sydney. I’m doing a Bachelor of Engineering with a major in mechatronic engineering, and a Bachelor of Arts with a major in English. I joined the Customer Engineering team in Google Cloud, who work with customers to find technical solutions using Google products.
Q: Tell us about your experience as a Google intern.
Lucy: My experience as an intern was incredible - there is so much to learn and to do! Even the tour you get on the first day is mind-blowing.
As an intern in Google Cloud, I got to see an entire side of the company which I had never really seen before. You work on projects that support current business needs, so it was exciting to work on things that you know will be used by your colleagues. It’s a bit nerve-wracking as someone brand-new to be scheduling meetings (much less running them), but the support we got is unbelievable.
Louise: My experience as an intern was incredible. I had numerous opportunities to learn, grow, and connect with my peers and industry leaders. From day one, I felt welcomed and supported by my team and host manager. And of course, I can't forget to mention the food!
Luke: It was an amazing experience coming to campus. I made heaps of friends in the first week and loved being surrounded by like minded people along with such a diverse cohort, I never felt alone at Google. I worked as a Site Reliability Engineer intern, my responsibilities included working on tasks related to ensuring the reliability, performance and scalability of Google's systems and services.
Q: What advice would you give for students applying to internships?
Lucy: Be open to experiences. I learned that one of the most important parts of being Googley is to appreciate the learning in everything you do. There is value in both the knowledge you have and how you apply it: just because you’ve never done something before doesn’t mean you won’t be able to do it. More importantly, the desire to explore something new drives what we do every day. Be confident in your ability to get things done, even in situations you’ve never faced before.
Luke: Never be scared of rejection, give it your best shot because even if you don’t get in the first time, each time you try you learn so much and get inspired to try even harder.
Louise: My advice to students thinking about applying for an internship is to not be afraid to apply! The company values diversity and looks for candidates with a wide range of skills and experiences.
For all opportunities at Google available for students, please check out google.com/students