The COVID-19 pandemic has badly impacted Singapore’s labour market, causing pay cuts, hiring freezes and retrenchments.
While some industries are badly affected, tech giants like Google, TikTok and Tesla are actively hiring in Singapore.
Beyond full-time positions, Google is also offering internship positions. Its next internship application round for its May 2021 intake opens in less than a week, from 1 to 30 September.
In this round, Google will be looking for software engineering, business, data centre and cloud customer engineering interns.
Prospective interns will be given the opportunity to work on open source and Google specific projects. This includes working on online marketing with SMEs and contributing to Cloud AI and Ads products.
Vulcan Post spoke to a Google executive as well as few Google interns to get a sense of how it’s like to land a job there as well as learn more about their first-hand working experience.
Want To Be A Googler?
Google hires for culture add and a Google internship can easily lead into a full-time job at the company, explains Daniel Wasik, Google APAC’s Head Of Talent And Outreach.
We hire for ‘Googleyness’. Being able to thrive in ambiguity, to put the user first, and care for your teams are (necessary), given Google’s core mission of “making world’s information universally accessible.”
– Daniel Wasik, Google APAC’s Head Of Talent And Outreach
He added that the upcoming internship application will be slightly different. It will the first time Google is hosting virtual internships.
Regardless, what it means to be an intern at Google has not changed, stressed David.
“We want our interns to have fun, to learn as much as they can and make an impact. We do this by ensuring they are well taken care of at every stage of their internship.”
Going directly to the source, we asked two Google employees to provide a review of their internship experience at the tech giant.
Don’t Be Afraid Of Rejection
Her 14-week internship at Google just ended, but Zi Jun Kan is already raring to apply for a full-time job at the tech giant.
Hired as a software engineer, Zi Jun joined the team as an undergraduate intern working on Google Pay’s data infrastructure.
Her projects included setting up a data pipeline and building an anomaly detection system.
Initially, Zi Jun was approached by a recruiter for the Google internship. She went through two coding interviews and a host-matching stage before her profile was approved by the hiring committee.
Technical interviews can be stressful, Zi Jun admits, “(but) failures are always part of the process, and there’s no better time to fail and learn than when we’re still students.”
My advice for students who’re interested in this position … is to let go of the fear of rejection, work hard, and focus on the process of growth.
– Zi Jun Kai, ex-Google intern
Open Work Culture At Google
Despite entering Google at the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak, Zi Jun enjoyed her time there immensely.
“As cliche as it sounds, it really is the people that made this internship an unforgettable one,” says Zi Jun.
Zi Jun describes Google’s work culture as one that is open and diverse, encouraging communication and engagement.
“As an intern, I’ve also never been treated like I was less than anyone else. Everyone is treated with equal respect and trust.”
Zi Jun experienced weekly Intern TGIF sessions, where interns gathered for games, talks and sponsored bubble tea. She also organised a Virtual Amazing Race during National Intern Week.
The ex-intern also shared a healthy relationship with her hosts, who checked on her to ensure her workload was manageable and offered to help when she had queries from day one.
The ex-Googler also had a mentor whom she met with regularly.
“She was a role model whom I received lots of guidance, motivation and advice from … I can confidently say (that she has) impacted me beyond the internship.”
Demonstrate Your Ability To Problem Solve
On the other hand, Jun Tong Thien took his internship at Google one step further.
In the summer of 2018, he secured an undergraduate internship in Google Channel Sales.
During his internship, Jun Tong mapped out the e-payments ecosystem in Southeast Asia and identified potential Channel Sales partners. He also planned and executed a prospective partner summit across Singapore and Malaysia — all in a span of 12 weeks.
Lured by Google’s collaborative working culture and the projects he experienced as an intern, Jun Tong was set on converting to full-time employment after graduation.
The Channel Sales team unfortunately did not have a role open, but the team was “very supportive” of his conversion, recounts Jun Tong.
Working with recruiters, Jun Tong eventually applied to be an Enterprise Customer Development Representative for Hong Kong.
Now, he functions as an Account Strategist managing over 100 SMEs and startups across industries in Singapore.
The hiring process in Google is rigorous and holistic. Each interviewee is interviewed by a panel of at least 3 to 4 interviewers (covering) areas across general cognitive ability, leadership, role-related knowledge and ‘Googleyness’.
– Jun Tong Thien, ex-Google intern
The key to acing a Google interview is the ability to demonstrate your problem-solving skills, he adds.
“(Don’t) be fixated on nailing the ‘correct’ answer; share your thought process and how you arrived at your answer.”
Stay Open To New Job Opportunities
Like Zi Jun, Jun Tong appreciates Google’s open working culture.
“It’s been an incredible journey so far. In the time I spent at Google, I have been in three different teams working with amazing colleagues from different backgrounds and nationalities. Even while working from home, everyone is only one ‘ping’ away.”
Jun Tong also treasures his collaborative relationship with his manager. In weekly one-on-ones, the conversation is focused more on how to help Jun Tong succeed than top-down directions.
Imparting advice for Google-hopefuls, Jun Tong believes that the key is to approach jobs with a flexible mindset.
“For undergraduates thinking about their first job, it’s always important to be open to talking to people and not be closed off to different opportunities.”
“I was pretty set to join the finance industry as an undergrad, but hearing about the experiences from the many people I spoke with greatly encouraged me to take this leap of faith to pivot to the tech industry, and I’ve never looked back since. “
Google Takes The Welfare Of Its Employees Seriously
Daniel affirms that Google takes the welfare of its employees, including interns, during Covid-19 seriously.
“This is the first time we are hosting virtual internships, and we know we will learn a lot.”
24/7 counselling services are available and Blue Dot, an employee-led mental health awareness group, is also available on Google Meet.
From virtual bingo games, planking competitions and coffee chats, interns can stay social and in touch with their colleagues over video chat.
Interns can also join the wider Google community through internal clubs such as Women@, Gaygler@, and Disability Alliance@.
Recently, an APAC Intern Work-From-Home talent show was organised, Daniel recounts.
We believe there’s no one kind of Googler, and we are always on the lookout for people who can bring new perspectives and life experiences to our teams.
If a candidate is looking for a place that values their curiosity, passion, and desire to learn, and seeking colleagues who are big thinkers eager to take on fresh challenges as a team, they are already a future Googler.
– Daniel Wasik, Google APAC’s Head Of Talent And Outreach
If you’re keen to work or intern at Google, you can check out their career portal or browse the online resources they have available for students.
Featured Image Credit: Google Singapore
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