Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.
By JACK ROSSI
IOWA CITY, Iowa – While some may spend the summer at the beach or catching up on sleep from the school year, University of Iowa track and field standout Chris Douglas spent his summer interning for Google.
Douglas, a computer science major from Deerfield, Illinois, has been working at the Googleplex, Google’s main campus in Mountain View, California, for two months. He has been working on various projects as part of the Google brand.
“Working at Google has been an incredible experience so far,” Douglas said.
He began the lengthy hiring process by sending in an online application for a summer internship.
“I had to send my resume and transcript along with answers to some essay questions that related to prior experience and background,” Douglas said. “After being selected for an interview, I had to set up two back-to-back 45-minute phone interviews where I had to type out my code for the solution to problems on a Google Doc that we were both connected on.”
After accepting the position, Douglas filled out more information, this time pertaining to his living situation in California and Google matched him with a host family. He was all set to start, but had one last choice to make.
The timing of the internship created a conflict on the track. Douglas qualified for NCAA Regionals and had to choose between running in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA West Preliminary in Austin, Texas, or heading west to begin his work. Thinking about his future long term, Douglas chose Google.
“I would have regrets regardless of the decision I made,” Douglas said. “This internship is a huge opportunity for the future. Having experience from a company like this will make it a lot easier to find opportunities in this field in the future. Additionally, the amount of networking I have been able to do will only help in the future.”
While Douglas’ day-to-day remains the same — code for his project, attend meetings related to his project or team, and communicating with managers for approval on projects he is working on — the culture has had the biggest impact.
“The two biggest things I have noticed about the environment is everyone’s work ethic and the willingness to help others,” Douglas said. “Everyone in the office is driven to create the best products they can and deliver the best user experience to customers. This is reflected in how everyone does their work. Nobody skimps on the details and everything is finished with high quality.”
While Douglas may only be an intern and his time is limited, the Google staff has welcomed him as one of their own.
“Everyone is always willing to help others,” Douglas said. “As an intern, I quickly learned that everyone treats you as if you are a full-time engineer, regardless of your skills and experience. Everyone is willing to help if you ask and they foster a sense of belonging for everyone in the workplace, from the newest to the most senior team members.”
Douglas returns to Iowa on Aug. 19 in time for the first day of the fall semester Aug. 21.