How Google Took Its Internship Program On-line for 2020


  • In March, Google introduced it might transfer its summer time internship on-line in response to the pandemic. It is since confirmed it is doing the identical for its fall program.
  • That is meant loads of logistical complications for the corporate. Kyle Ewing, Google’s head of expertise, informed Enterprise Insider how Google tailored to the brand new digital format.
  • From algorithm-based espresso chats to open-source packages, listed here are a few of the methods Google has tried to adapt its internship for 2020.
  • Its fall internship will nonetheless go forward remotely, however with a discount in numbers.
  • Go to Enterprise Insider’s homepage for extra tales.

In March, when Google responded to the pandemic by transferring its workforce distant, it wasn’t simply workers who had considerations. 1000’s of scholars from world wide had landed spots on Google’s coveted summer time internship program, and have been planning to descend on its Mountain View headquarters – and different workplaces – in a matter of weeks.

There was instantly an enormous query mark over whether or not Google’s intern program, which had been operating since 1999, would go forward in any respect.

However in late March, Enterprise Insider first reported that Google’s summer time internship, which runs from Could till August, was transferring to a wholly on-line format.

Then it had to determine how it might really work.

“Despite the fact that hindsight is 20-20, it was positively the suitable name,” stated Kyle Ewing, Google’s head of expertise, who oversees Google’s intern onboarding annually. 

These issues went past logistical complications like transport 1000’s of laptops internationally or guaranteeing mentors have been matched with interns on the identical time zone.

It additionally meant guaranteeing everybody acquired the identical publicity to firm tradition, entry to different workers, and the prospect to place their stamp on Google merchandise.

“Traditionally one of many extra priceless points of being an intern is bodily being situated subsequent to your mentor and your host and your colleagues,” stated Ewing. “We knew instantly it might be fairly tough, and we could not replicate that.”

Changing the “micro moments”

So Google tried to adapt. For instance, it constructed a brand new platform for connecting interns with hosts for “espresso chats” so they might join with Google workers.

“We used this algorithm that may assist match interns with Googlers they’d have in any other case not have interacted with all through the summer time,” stated Ewing. This system components in “something out of your skilled pursuits, your technical pursuits, or your climbing curiosity pursuits” to match interns to likeminded Googlers, stated Ewing.

“You do miss the good thing about standing within the lunch line and speaking with somebody. You miss these micro moments.”

It additionally made its mentor program – the place interns are paired with Googlers who aren’t their hosts or managers to realize perception into the corporate – obligatory. “It was traditionally extra of an opt-in kind program, which not everybody took benefit of, and this yr everyone seems to be matched with a mentor,” stated Ewing.

And in one other first for Google, it shifted a lot of its technical internship roles to open-source initiatives. A number of interns who spoke to Enterprise Insider stated that they had been moved into these open-source packages, which meant Google did not need to cancel these packages fully – and decreased a few of the related dangers of granting 1000’s of individuals entry to the corporate’s company packages.

“It was a extremely necessary a part of the dialogue when pivoting to digital that college students will proceed to work on the actual issues which have actual influence, and that may assist us assess in the event that they’re somebody who’s focused on being at Google,” stated Ewing.

And, naturally, interns nonetheless acquired the signature Google hat. Simply this time, it got here within the mail.

‘We determined we might run a smaller fall internship’

However the course of hasn’t been fully clean. Some interns who had been accepted on Google’s UX packages informed Enterprise Insider their affords have been rescinded after the pandemic hit.

And in April, worldwide interns who would have been touring to Mountain View have been informed that their compensation was being reduce by as a lot as 50% to carry it in step with their native currencies.

Ewing would not say what number of interns Google has introduced aboard this summer time, however stated it was within the “1000’s” with interns from throughout 43 nations. Final yr, the corporate stated it obtained greater than 125,000 functions for the summer time program.

She additionally confirmed that, though Google has moved its fall internship on-line too, it has decreased the variety of interns. 

“We determined we might run a smaller fall internship” stated Ewing, who added there would “most likely a few hundred” fewer interns than standard.

“Will probably be a little bit smaller as a result of we’re simply being a bit extra cautious,” she stated.

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